Sunday, December 29, 2013

When Baby Has a Cold

Jack has his first cold.

Oh, I could talk about Christmas, all the lovely things our families gave our son and the joy of watching my son grip the wrapping paper and make small tears. But on Boxing Day, it all came to a screeching halt. But I'll go ahead and briefly describe the BC (Before Cold) era.

See, we had rolled into my mother-in-law's Christmas eve before the sun set, had dinner and put Jack to bed. We woke up to a picturesque sight. The ice storm that hit the province days before had the trees glistening in the sunlight. She lives in a small town and the views from any angle are all things charming.

We did Christmas dinner at my aunt's house and spent the night. I had too much wine. Then in the afternoon we headed on out to a family friend's house on the island, and then off to the Dude's aunt and uncle's for dinner. Jack seemed to be holding up well enough, but was clearly starting to get grumpy. So, sensibly, we left. In the morning, we would see the Dude's grandmother in the nursing home and then come back home to Toronto.

That totally didn't happen.

I can't remember when it started, but Jack started waking up crying. I always take the night shift. If it's rough, I'll just sleep in from 6:00 a.m. on and the Dude will handle the morning. But the crying wouldn't stop and he felt warm. Eventually I had to wake up the Dude and we brought our baby into the bed. The Dude got maybe a few hours of sleep. I got none.

While I recuperated from a night that was hell on wheels, the Dude and his mom brought Jack to the walk-in clinic. Verdict? A cold.

Now, I didn't know this, but A. a baby often has several colds in the first year, and B. they can last TEN days. 10. One-zero. Cue misery. I mean, we had obviously gotten away with something all this time never having dealt with a BC before, but it was here now and damn it.

We did not visit grandmother, we did not go home. We stayed at my MIL's and took care of business. This was nice. Food and drink were made available, no housework need be done and we could just focus on taking care of our sick baby and otherwise resting from caring for our sick baby.

And then I had to spend all night alone with him. The Dude needed to drive home and fatigue on the highway serves no one. So, I got the queen bed to myself with the baby and he laid on me all night, effectively keeping me awake until 6:30 a.m.

He'd wake up with a hoarse cry and I'd give him some formula. Then he woke up some more and I had no more supplies in the room, so I left him crying in the travel crib while I mixed him up another bottle. He woke up a lot to sob about his impacted breathing, and pitifully snuffle and wail. I'd give him baby Tylenol every four hours to keep a fever at bay.

In the morning I was relieved of my duties and I slept for 4.5 hours. But then it was go time and I was on the clock. We got home in one piece, and I did the night shift again when Jack wouldn't sleep in his crib, even with it on an incline to promote drainage.

So today, knowing that tomorrow I would have no sleeping in with the Dude back at work for two days, I got cracking. I researched everything and then I set out. I got my nails done first to give myself a break, but then I got serious.

1. Vicks VapoSteam. The Dude bought a humidifier and we have it running now. You add a little VapoSteam and it gives a little extra sumpin' sumpin' to the steam to help clear the sinuses.

2. Hydrasense Easydose. I use the regular full power stuff on myself for allergies and this stuff does not kid around. So we tried it. They come in capsules and we squirt one into each nostril and then wipe up the contents as they make their gross exit. (Okay, this is so gross, but one time it worked so well that a giant booger shot through to the other side of the nose and when I squirt up that side next, the capsule acted like a suction and sucked it right out. Incredible in its ickiness.)

3. Shower steam room. And! For bonus effectiveness, I put some of the VapoSteam in the shower and created this medicinal box of easy breathing. I ran Jack's bath and a whole bunch of stuff came out of his nose by the time the bath was over.

4. Vick VapoRub. Classic. We use just a dab on his chest.

5. Crib is still on an incline for drainage.

And for hydration, I added an ounce of water to the formula because Jack doesn't seem keen on drinking water on its own. And of course Baby Tylenol every four hours.

No screwing around.

So far Jack has woken up once, but went back to sleep. We'll see how well this goes. The Dude got Jack sleeping a lot for naps in the car seat (Again, the recline was the key) and I'm going to use all these tips and tricks to keep things going tomorrow.

I really do think my baby is a trooper, though. Not only is he going through his first cold, but he also cut two more teeth while at my MIL's. He could have been so much worse.

Oh, parenting.

But know what's great? He's been so snuggly and cuddly with me, and he can't do without his stuffed Big Bird. Precious.


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