My baby got sick. As in, sicker than any of my four kids has ever been in my eleven-plus years of motherhood. Sometime around 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning, Genevieve cried and asked to come to our room. I brought her to bed, and instead of wanting to nurse as I expected, she seemed to fall instantly and deeply asleep...for thirty seconds, until she threw up. After a complete strip down of bed, baby, and mom, we layered towels over the clean sheets in standard toddler-vomiting procedure so that they could be stripped away one at a time as needed. Sadly, the towels weren't enough to prevent two more changes of sheets before 10:00 a.m., especially once things started coming out the other end as well.
For those of you who don't know her personally, Genevieve is a little cricket bug. On a good day she weighs about 24 pounds, soaking wet. A full day of being unable to hold down a sip of water while any reserves she had seeped out the back door quickly took its toll. Sometime around 6:00 I was changing her clothes again and she was unable to stand up on her own. I called the pediatrician's after-hours nurse, who called the doctor on call, who confirmed that I needed to take her to the emergency room. I loaded up a diaper bag with extra clothes, a towel, diapers, wipes, and plastic bags and headed to Baptist East.
The emergency department at Baptist is undergoing renovations, and so is the parking lot. After circling a few times, I sucked it up and parked in the garage, which meant I had to walk about six blocks carrying a suddenly-heavy 24 pounds of half-awake toddler and an overloaded bag, along with my purse. Fortunately once we reached the E.R. we only had to wait about half an hour, during which time she threw up the water she'd drunk in the car.
The nurse and doctor we saw were wonderful. The nurse remarked immediately that Genevieve's eyes were very sunken and that she would most likely need IV fluids. The doctor concurred, and soon my poor baby girl was being gently but firmly swaddled in a sheet with one arm pinned to her side, then strapped onto an immobilization board with giant octupus-like blue velcro straps so that she would not injure herself by fighting during the insertion of the needle. She was so weak that all she could do was wimper "Mommy, mommy, mommy" pitifully as I stroked her hair and mumured soothing reassurances while fighting back tears of my own.
Once the needle was in, the nurse quickly took blood and a rectal temp, which was 101.2, and then released her to sit in my lap during the actual receiving of the fluids. She also injected some Zofran into the IV line to stop the vomiting, then left us alone for a bit. There was a wallpaper border of jungle animals at chair-rail height all the way around the small room, and after about five minutes, I pointed out the elephants to Genevieve. For the first time all day, she perked up a little and responded by talking about all the different animals, explaining which was the Daddy and which ones were herelf and her siblings. I was so relieved that I almost cried again. The nurse came in and said she looked noticibly better already and chatted about Genevieve's apparently excellent veins. I told her she must have gotten them from her father, because when I gave birth to that child it took every nurse in the hospital to get my IV in successfully. She looked at my apparently veiny hands and scoffed at the lack of expertise. I think the issue is that mine roll when someone tries to stick them. Anyway...
The doctor came back in and explained how the Zofran works and said he'd give me a prescription for more that could be taken orally if needed. He also explained that now that she was hydrated again, the diarrhea would likely reappear, which it did before we even left the E.R. Over the next two days it really never let up, which added an almost bloody butt rash to the mix of her misery. By Monday she was mostly better but cranky, and by Tuesday she was just plain crabby and over it. She really went 72 hours without eating, so it will probably be a while before she's 100% again. Somerset woke up puking this morning but already seems to be doing better, so I'm hoping it won't hit those of us over 30 pounds as hard, if at all.