Well, your fifth month was interesting. And by interesting, I mean ulcer-inducing. Around the middle of the month, your brother developed this cough wherein he would hack up vital organs. He had a fever one night, I worried about him, the next day he was back to plotting his takeover of smaller island countries -- you know, for the views. Then you developed this cute little hack. Oh, it was adorable. A day later, you just didn't seem like your smiley self, so I took you to see your sage grandmother, NP and she thought you were developing a little ear infection. Your cough was sporadic and a little more intense. But, I wasn't that worried.
Enter the worst 48 hours of my life (and I threw up on a commuter train once...do you know what the toilet on a commuter train looks like?).
That very night your cough turned into a "Dear God, did her lung come out with that one" cough and you developed a fever and you looked like you wanted to die; you would barely open your eyes. You were still nursing, though, so I thought maybe we had hit the worst. I slept sitting up on the couch with you with the humidifier going. Oh, I forgot to mention that you were clogged to the eyeballs with snot. I had to use the aspirator thingy and saline drops almost every hour on you.
That was not the worst.
The next morning, you looked pale, you wouldn't nurse, you were coughing so hard that grey matter was coming out, you couldn't breathe due to all the phlegm, and you would barely open your eyes. I was sure you were dying of pneumonia. It was so quick; you turned bad so quickly.
I immediately googled every life-threatening illness I thought you could potentially have. After I diagnosed you with whooping cough with pneumonia, I called your doctor...the second they opened.
Your pediatrician was out of town, so I had to take you to his very sweet on-call doctor. I think I cried the entire time I was in his office. He examined you and said, "Yes, she go to hospital for the night." Then my heart fell into my rectum. The what? Then in a very rational manner, I asked the sweet Indian doctor, "Is she going to die?" And then the sweet Indian doctor said, "Mother, you are going to be okay?" Because, oh yeah, I was crying uncontrollably. He assured me you were fine. He thought you probably had RSV (a respiratory virus), but he wanted to make sure you didn't have pneumonia, as well, and he wanted to get fluids into you because you weren't nursing.
So, I called your dad and blubbered something unintelligible to him. He was able to glean "hospital" and "possible pneumonia" from my sobs. It's great that you have at least one rational, level-headed parent. Because during an emergency, I basically shut down. He assured me it was going to be all right and that he and Eli would meet us at the hospital. Then, I called your grandma, your grandpa, sent out a mass text asking for prayer, alerted the Vatican, and ran a red light getting you to the hospital.
So, you were given an i.v., they suctioned snot out of you (during which I was put into a straight jacket), then suctioned you again to get a sample for tests, and put you on a monitor, mainly to keep track of your oxygen levels. A couple hours later we were taken down for a chest x-ray. You did not move when they placed you on the x-ray table. Normally, you would flail as if ready to take flight, but nothing. I started crying again. Oh, also, you did have an ear infection and were placed on antibiotics.
To recount: i.v., suctioned, suctioned some more, monitor, chest x-ray, antibiotics for ear infection, mother in dire need of sedation.
Your tests came back positive for RSV, but negative for flu and pneumonia. And after a few hours at the hospital, you seemed to be doing much better. You slept through the night in a crib that I can only describe as the crib where they send baby delinquents. The next morning, though, your oxygen levels kept falling, so they...prepare yourself...put you on oxygen. I'm sure the nurses were ready to kick me out, because I went full on Shirley Maclaine in Terms of Endearment on them. "Why is her monitor beeping?" "Her heart rate monitor is beeping." "She needs to be suctioned again." "When will she be off oxygen?" "Let me see your licensing." "I would like to speak to the manager." At one point, a nurse came in and said, "Why don't we just turn the monitor off. She's fine." And then locked the door behind her.
the saddest picture ever.
So, the nurse said you would probably stay another night. Your dad came over to relieve me for an hour, the lovely Jen Decker came to my rescue and watched your brother for a few hours, I came home and packed a bag for the night and looked in a mirror for the first time in a 24 hour period only to discover my incessant crying had given my face a sort of Elephant man look.
When I got back to the hospital, the doctor came to check on you. He told us that he thought you were doing much better and you could go home in a few hours. Hooray! So, you were taken off the monitors, your i.v. was taken out, we were given a nebulizer and two prescriptions, and the nurses each cracked open a 40 in celebration of our departure.
I can't express to you how horrifying it is to see your child as sick as you were. That feeling of powerlessness is overwhelming. You were so sick, and all I could do was pray. And, really, the situation was not as dire as I imagine it to have been. Parenting is hard. Your heart becomes so vulnerable. I've said this before, but I cannot imagine raising children without my faith in Christ. Because, honestly, I can't control your world (trust me, I've tried...stupid hypnotherapy). You are essentially His, and I've been entrusted to help guide your way in this world. Having you and your brother has helped me (a little -- I still have a long way to go) learn that He is in control, and as much as I coddle or read books or invest in child-size hazmat suits (they come in lovely shades of highlighter yellow), I can't protect you from everything.
Okay, enough heavy. Let's go the likes/dislikes portion of our monthly letter (a format I stole from Sara Falulah Luke).
At 5 months, you like:
- your sophie giraffe. This thing is amazing. Perfect for gnawing, orally fixated babies (and that's why it's important to place commas correctly). We don't leave home without it.
- your crinkle book. Another favorite toy right now.
- your exersaucer. I put you in this last month, actually, but your love affair blossomed this month.
- your swing...still. I've replaced the D batteries (which aren't cheap) in that swing 8 times now. I never had to change them with your brother. We tried to buy cheap batteries one time only to discover a couple days in that they were leaking battery acid. Which is cool, if you're making meth, but we are not.
- me. I'm not lying when I say that I will leave the room while your eyes are closed, and you'll start crying. You have this sixth sense...and it's...well, it's just terrific. (when you're older, mommy will teach you about sarcasm.) Don't get me wrong, darlin', I love, Love, LOVE being with you...it's just sometimes mommy needs her space.
- my nasally, high-pitched pigeon voice. Whenever I read any of the Pigeon books (by our favorite, Mo Willems) to your brother, I use this awesome nasal, high-pitched voice for the Pigeon. And by awesome, I mean ear splittingly annoying. I also use this voice when I'm changing your diaper...you know, to ease the tension. You think it's HI-larious. Just wait until I use it when your first boyfriend comes to meet us. That and your father holding his shotgun should make for a lovely meeting.
- your monkey pacifier. This thing is also amazing. It's a pacifier attached to a little monkey. Your LauraJean got it for you. It's nice because if your pacifier falls out, it's easy for you to pop it back in.
At 5 months, you dislike:
- naps. When you got sick, your sleep patterns (if you can call them that) went out the window...and we have yet to see any normalcy return. It's a dilemma right now. You do nap, but they're not consistent and they don't last as long as they should. And you need your sleep.
- when your swing stops.
- rolling over. You'll do it, but it's like watching a turtle flipped onto its shell...you do the whole airplane move, flail your limbs, and cry. It's presh.
- Your Coldplay lullaby c.d. It cures many a crying spell that occur whilst driving around town.
Please stop taking pictures.
Tell her to stop.
You are lovely to me, Scout. And even when you don't nap and my brain feels like it's going to shrivel up and die from lack of sleep, I still think you are pretty great. Happy five months, my lovely.