When I gave the BFF a replay of my Sunday night, her reaction was, “Well, that sounds like a special kind of hell.”
She couldn’t have been more right.
The stomach flu is never fun. Having the stomach flu when you are nursing a one month old is, indeed, a special kind of hell. Having children who are sick is never fun. Being the one who is sick and having to take care of the children is, indeed, a special kind of hell. Crying is never fun. Being so sick and dehydrated and delusional that you are actually crying and begging your one month old to stop nursing and go to sleep, and then getting irritated because she’s not listening is, indeed, a special kind of hell.
In between throwing up, somewhere around midnight, I tried Googling “Breastfeeding while sick,” desperately looking for a reason, any reason, to stop nursing her and send her next door. Do you know what I found instead? 150 websites that all said something along the lines of, “The best thing you can do for your baby while you are sick is to continue to breastfeed because…antibodies, health benefits, milk supply, blah, blah, blah…”
So, there I was. Nursing, puking, calming down the baby who was now pissed at me because I had to puke, nursing again, puking again, and so on. This went on for about 8 hours.
Special. Kind. Of. Hell.
Now, I can hear some of you asking, “Where was Jeremy?” and I will tell you, he was asleep. He was sick, too. “Well, you should have woken him up anyway! It’s not fair for you to do it all by yourself!” you may be thinking. To which I will tell you, I did.
Around 1:30 in the morning, I woke him up. He rocked her, changed her, made her a bottle of pumped milk and cuddled her. In typical Elizabeth fashion, she replied to all of that with, “Hey, thanks for all that Dad. That was really great. You’re amazing and I love you…
“Now, WHERE THE EFF IS MY MOM!?!”
I could have let them figure it out for awhile, I guess. I could have let him be frustrated, let her be frustrated, listened to them both cry. I could have but, hearing your newborn cry and knowing the only thing that is going to make her happy is
your boob you, no matter how bad you feel,
and just letting her cry anyway? Well that…that is a different kind of hell all
It was about 3:30 am when she finally detached herself from my body and went to sleep. She made it up to me by sleeping until 11:30. The puking stopped, the fever broke and by 5:00 on Monday evening, I was starting to feel human. This morning I’m much better and it’s all just a distant memory, an anecdote, a reason to tell the story about, ‘that one time when Elizabeth was a baby and I got the stomach flu…’
On Sunday night, however, I was thinking it was never going to end. I was thinking I might be stuck in that special kind of hell forever.
I guess that’s just part of this parenthood gig though, isn’t it?
Logan will be seven in September. I have almost seven years full of moments. Moments with both boys that were warm and fuzzy and wonderful and that I hoped would last forever. Moments that were a special kind of hell that I thought would never end. The perfect ones don’t last forever. The hellish ones do stop, eventually. And I’ve learned along the way that eventually they all sort of blend together.
I’m sure it won’t be long from now that I’ll be sick with the flu again or I’ll have a migraine, or, you know, a hangover. Elizabeth will need much more to make her happy than to be nursed for comfort, just like her brothers do. I will actually have to get out of bed to make her something to eat and I’ll be thinking to myself, ‘I wish I could go back to the days where all she wanted was my boob in her mouth…” and somehow I won’t remember it as a special kind of hell.
I’ll just remember it as…special.
Happy Tuesday, Friends.
go. do. be.