In the past 10 months, have taught me that I can have continuous sleepless nights and still manage to smile at my baby (not necessarily at the father though). Or laugh when my baby bites the life out of my nipples or giggle to that painful face grab she loves doing. But I cannot bear to see her uncomfortable let alone in pain.
She had a cold and tonsillitis last week and like so many other colds that other children go through it was stressful. But I noticed some positive changes in the way I handled it this time round as well as in my daughter. I was not tempted to call our doctor ten times or to run to the hospital after the first cough and I believe that is called experience. This is the way I handled it.
Fever at any level used to make me panic because I know that fever is the sign of something serious and we have had quite scary experience with infections. But last week, when the thermometer showed that she had a fever, I kept on monitoring, removing her clothes and putting wet towel on her, and giving her painkiller when I had to. I think my husband was amazed that I didn’t want to run to the hospital at the slight increase of her temperature.
Throwing up – was a whole new experience. In all the times she has been unwell, I have never seen her vomiting, spitting yes but never throwing up. It was frightening but I found myself bearing through it, breastfeeding more and giving her fluids to avoid dehydration. I kept an eye on her soft spot as a sunken soft spot is a sign of dehydration.
Sleepless nights – When your sleep is interrupted 5 times in an hour, you become the crankiest person alive. Oh yes, you will, just ask my husband. If lack of sleep can affect an adult that much, children can suffer from it more and that added to the illness is a messy cocktail. I held my girl almost through out three nights while breastfeeding her for comfort. I tried catching some sleep during the day when she is with someone else or even dozing off while I hold her.
Warm bath – on the third day of our restless evening, she threw up so much, I decided to give her a bath. I saw her relax and even falling asleep before I was done. I forgot that a warm bath not only soothes them but also eases the pain and discomfort that comes with a cold. Fortunately, she did not have a stuffy nose but the steam from the water could also have helped in clearing that too.
We ended up going to the doctor on the fourth day because the fever kept on going up and down but the experience showed me that we both have grown together in this journey. Kids can fall down ill a number of times but they are built to survive. We should not be in a hurry to administer medicine as their immune system is developing and it needs to learn to cop on its own with the minor issues. One should not take chances with infants below 6 months but for older kids, I have learned that it is best to monitor and keenly observe while making them comfortable. But our motherly instincts are usually correct and you should run to the doctor if you feel that something is not right.