I’m not sure why but apparently the universe wants me and my family to suffer in 2014. Whatever we’ve done to deserve it, I hope it wears off soon.
Simon finally came home about a week ago, after 9 days in the NICU. He’s a pretty good kid, much more mellow than his high maintenance sister was. I had forgotten about her and her extreme neediness and total lack of sleep until I realized I was expecting it out of him and he wasn’t delivering. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s a newborn so he sleeps a lot during the day and wakes up a lot during the night (and likes to stay up for a good three-hour stretch between midnight and 3 am which totally sucks for Mama) but he is so much less… I don’t even know. Louisa was a high need kid (still is). She just always wanted to be held and she was a lot more fussy. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a lot less anxious because he’s my second kid or if there really is a difference in personalities but Simon seems a lot more mellow so far.
Anyway, after a few days of us driving back and forth to the hospital with Louisa to feed and see Simon and all of that stress we had a few days to ourselves before the visitors descended. And Louisa started acting weird. We thought it was a combination of not being cool about the new brother and teething. She was drooling and chewing on her hands which is what she normally does when getting teeth plus acting weird with the relatives so both of those things seemed like valid options. Until she stopped sleeping. I don’t even want to get into her sleeping habits lately, suffice it to say they have sort of sucked since I went to the hospital, but this was pretty extreme. She was only asleep for about an hour before she started screaming and then she JUST WOULD NOT go back to sleep. And then Simon woke up and he wouldn’t go back to sleep either. And then my husband and I contemplated suicide for a few minutes.
And then in the morning Louisa had a fever. Oh fevers. They really turn children into Satan do they not? God. Help. Us. All. We still thought she might just be teething and getting her horrible molars because I’ve heard horror stories about them and the fevers and tantrums and horrible monstrous children that accompany them. It was just a mild fever so it seemed like a plausible explanation. And there were still visitors here. And we were tired. And Louisa would be semi-grumpy until we gave her Tylenol and then she would be fine. I noticed a few little blisters on her feet and thought to myself “hmmm, I wonder if her shoes are suddenly too small?”. And when I mentioned it to my husband he was like “oh maybe”.
And then it was time for sleeping again. And she was a total nightmare. My husband was so frustrated he decided to sleep on the floor next to her crib. I was wrestling Simon in the other room so I barely noticed that she was up all night again, and apparently writhing in pain and uncomfortableness. The next day I noticed more blisters on her feet and that she was not really in to walking on them. This was all happening on Sunday now and did I mention that we had visitors three days in a row? Sunday my brother was scheduled to be here and I was super excited because we haven’t seen him for like a year and a half – the last time he was here Louisa was six weeks old. And it was Easter so I had put together a cute little Easter bucket for Louisa and was making a yummy Easter dinner. And my child was clearly not feeling well. She still had a fever on and off and at this point was acting like a real demon, poor thing. We had a followup pediatrician appointment scheduled for Simon on Monday so we decided that if she didn’t feel better by morning we would call and see if they could squeeze her in as well.
That night the sleeping was even worse than the night before. Again, Jason slept on the floor by her crib and by the time morning came and I crept in to check on them she was delirious from tiredness but not sleeping at all. My husband said “we NEED to get her into the doctor today”. I agreed, then suggested they both come into our bed which worked for a few hours. I called the doc and they said they’d squeeze her in. And then I saw that the blisters had again multiplied, and SPREAD. They were now all over both of her hands and creeping onto her face. And I freaked out thinking somehow she had contracted chicken pox despite being vaccinated against it (lucky kids that don’t have to have the pox nowadays – I was sooooooo SO sick when I had them – me and two of my siblings had them at the same time and my mother almost murdered us AND herself, it was bad). I started googling stuff and figured out that she probably had hand, foot and mouth disease which the pediatrician later confirmed.
You guys. It’s so awful. For the rest of that day the only thing she would eat was a popsicle because I guess there are sores in her mouth that we were totally oblivious to. At least she would still drink things because I guess a huge concern when kids get sick is that they won’t drink and then they get dehydrated and then shit really gets real. And the blisters are all over her body, including her poor little bum. And all I have to say about all of this is really? Have we not suffered enough here in the Carter household this year? I mean really. Enough already. Listen, Universe – whatever I’ve done? I APOLOGIZE. PROFUSELY.