Oy. And a little “uff-da,” too.
I can honestly say the last 36 hours have been some of my most difficult as a parent.
I took Boopsie for her 12 month appointment on Tuesday afternoon. We had a nice visit with Dr. P, who said she looked great (19 lbs., 3 oz!) and then she got her blood drawn and received two shots — chicken pox and MMR.
(Tangent: I decided, on kind of a whim, to have a “two-three poke rule” from here on out. This means, unless there is some kind of emergency, Boopsie will only get two shots or a total of three pokes in any given day. At this visit, she was also due to get Hep A, but I drew the line. The “three” comes in with the finger prick… two shots and a finger prick is the max, or one shot and two finger pricks. No more than three. Arbitrary, but somehow comforting to have a point of view. Oh, I also decided that Daddy-o is taking her to get her next shots. Period.)
Everything seemed okay Tuesday night, though her little goose was obviously cooked after a long day in back-up day care (betcha didn’t know “Labor Day” holiday was Thursday-Friday-Monday-Tuesday!) and her doctor visit. She conked out at 6:45 p.m., slept until 7 a.m. and then took a bottle from Daddy-O and went right back to sleep. I, on the other hand, slept terribly for a total of about 4-5 hours. I got up in the morning, got ready for work and decided to let her sleep until she woke up.
Daddy-o also headed out to a doctor’s appointment Wednesday morning. He’s got an injured back and after a week or so with progressively worsening pain and progressively shrinking physical ability and emotional fuse, he headed in.
So Boopsie woke up at 8:30 and the first thing I noticed was that she was H-O-T. She didn’t really want to eat at all, so I took her temp and it was 100.3 (in her armpit, which means it’s like 214 degrees, right?). I gave her acetaminophen and was immediately struck by how different she was acting. Very unhappy, very uninterested in anything but being in my arms. This was, by far, the worst fever she’s had (even though I know lots of babies have much worse, and that she probably will at some point).
My parents came up to watch her so I could dash into the office and pick up some things, and it was the first time I’ve ever had to leave her behind crying in someone else’s arms.
I’m going to gloss over the play-by-play of the rest of the day, because I am totally wiped out, but here are the “lowlights” that have brought me to where I am tonight:
- Boopsie is still sick — is it from the shots or is it a virus? She’s never been this sick before, which I think (and hope) really says more about how healthy she’s been rather than how sick she is right now. She won’t eat or drink much (still wetting diapers, though) and that in and of itself strikes at a primal “Mommy nerve” for me.
- Daddy-o is in extreme pain, unable to bend or lift… meaning he’s basically totally unable to help.
- Last night I got up with Boopsie six times. Then I got up to go to work (and Daddy-o dropped her off at my parents).
- I am feeling incredibly behind and disorganized at work, in a professional accreditation program I’m pursuing and in my life. My house is a total freaking PIT right now… and it’s supposed to go on the market a week from today.
- As the icing on the cake, I called the nurse line for our clinic system this evening, after Boopsie woke up from a nap and screamed for 30 minutes and we tried desperately to make her stop… that has NEVER happened before. It was totally rattling. When I called and spoke to the nurse, she was a bitch. Sorry for the word, but there’s no way around it. I ended up hanging up on her and breaking down in tears. Tomorrow I will call our regular clinic to try and figure out how to make a complaint.
The best way I can put my feeling right now is this: It’s almost like having a newborn. At that stage, I was exclusively breastfeeding and sleeping downstairs while Daddy-o slept upstairs… often through the night. It was a lonely time, and this is, too. I don’t begrudge him his injury and I know he’s in so much pain and very stressed out about several things being complicated by his back pain, but I definitely am struggling with being the “it” person again. I’m sleep deprived, I feel disorganized and overwhelmed. I have no idea how the hell to comfort Boopsie.
When I made the connection last night of feeling like I have a newborn again, I couldn’t help but think: We might be a three person family. And maybe that makes me weak, or whimpy, or selfish, but I am at my limit.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go eat some humble pie before I (hopefully) get some sleep.