So the Little Angel (LA) is sick but somehow I think I’m the worse for it.
She smiles and kicks and plays in between coughing fits. I’m the one hovering and worrying and staying awake.
Once we get her to sleep she manages to sleep through the coughing and hacking and phlegmy, gaspy breaths. I, however, do not.
I remember growing up my mother always said she would rather be sick than have me be sick. I just took it at as a sign of parental love. I know now that while it is a sign of parental love, self sacrificing and beautiful, I think it’s also just pragmatic. At least when you are sick you know what is wrong.
It is horrible to see her turn down her lips and scream and not know what is wrong. If I don’t know what is wrong I can’t fix it and that is what is the worst.
I know she is bothered by something. I imagine it’s congestion or the hacking cough she has- I know those things always make me miserable. And at least when I have those things I know that they are temporary and that I’ll feel better soon. In her world she doesn’t have that context, everything has just gone horribly wrong.
My little girl who has never, ever cried in the middle of the night was waking up every few hours screaming. Straight from sleeping to crying… which broke my heart because that is bad. She was crying before she was even awake.
I did everything. The rocking her in a steamy bathroom. Keeping her upright up to her neck in cozy blankets. She slept with us several nights so I could keep a closer eye on her.
What really killed me is she’d give me the signals to nurse. But when I’d get her in position she’d just scream. I think the congestion would get worse when she’d suck or get in a more horizontal position. Then she’d just get madder because she was hungry AND uncomfortable. And I felt worse because I couldn’t even give her what she needed without making her feel worse. We did work out some positions and things that worked.
On top of it I feel the medical community aims at completely freaking out parents. She has RSV which can be anything from the common cold to something requiring hospitilization, especially in children under six months of age. (LA is 3 and a half months old). It didn’t help my peace of mind that the little girl who had it first was in the hospital.
Maybe it’s not that they are trying to… I have to be fair. It’s probably just normal parental paranoia. I worry about things I never even thought to worry about before. And it’s so much responsibility for someone you care about more than you’ve ever cared about anyone or anything.
So now, like my mother before me, I say that I would gladly, willingly, happily be sick rather than have LA go through even the smallest cold again!