Monday, April 7, 2014

Solo Mission

It seems that the days I take my children to the doctor solo, it gets complicated.

There was that one time I had to watch the X-ray tech stuff Baby Owen into an upright tube with his arms stretched above his head. Then there was the time four-year-old Nathan was given a surprise blood draw and scheduled for a a colonoscopy. Then there was Friday's three-hour visit that involved several firsts for my daughter.

When I lifted Nora's heavy body from her swing Thursday afternoon, I noticed she was sweaty. I chalked it up to our gross humid weather, and began to feed her. When she decided to quit after only four ounces, I knew there was something wrong. I took her temp and sure enough it was 103. Sure enough, I freaked out a little. Dr. Google told me everything from "it's no big deal" to "permanent brain damage" so I polled friends and family, and decided to skip the ER in lieu of Tylenol. She had a restless night, but still showed no symptoms other than high fever. She was up to 103.9 Friday morning, and we were glad the pediatric clinic had an opening that afternoon.

I was also glad my mom was able to come watch Owen, because if Owen had to be there for all of this, my slightly anxious demeanor would have escalated very quickly. Once us girls were situated in our room, it wasn't long before the nurse came in to check over my little hot potato. I was surprised when the ears were fine. I was shocked when her throat was spotless. I was floored when words like "blood work" and "catheter" started coming out. Thankfully, I've ridden in this rodeo a time or two and kept my composure as I toted my 24-pound baby girl {you read that right} from floor to floor, staring into her sad blue eyes blurred with tears and watching her scream at me for help. Unfazed, I held her arms down like a champ.

I've come a long way from the nervous breakdown that followed Nathan's first shots.

Once all tests were administered, we were asked to wait in our square decorated with African animals and graphic portrayals of mumps and polio. Her chubby arm was wrapped tight with a pink bandage and she continued to choke on her sobs. Nora could only hear the one available board book so many times. "Yes, mom, I know the boat was called an ark. Yes, mom, two of every animal. Yes, mom, the dove and the rainbow and the promise. I know what the elephant says!!"

I'm assuming here, but it's probably a good guess.

The next couple of hours featured everything from a dance party and singalong to peekaboo and patty cake. The fussiness grew, and 24 pounds is a lot. I knew she was getting tired, so I laid that baby on the examination table, plugged in her paci, and tucked her in. It wasn't five minutes before my daughter was snoozing. Every so often a nurse would pop in and check on us, and every time the nurse would laugh. I was just thanking my lucky stars to have a moment for both of us to breathe.

Exactly three hours from our appointment time, we found out that some of Nora's cell counts were a bit high and signs pointed to a bacterial infection. She was given antibiotics and hasn't had a fever since Saturday morning. She even {knock on all the wood you can find} slept through the night last night, so maybe the reason behind her all-night parties were related to illness, and not sleep regression.

I tell you this story for two reasons: 1) I'm sure Nora's grandmas want to know the exact details of what happened and 2) I'm living, standing proof that this kind of mess gets easier. I know three hours is not an exceptionally long time, and for that I'm very happy we decided to wait instead of rushing her to the emergency room. However, if this would have happened to me six years ago, this story would be one of terror, fear, and mama guilt. I would be wracked with the fear that the doctors scarred my baby for life, and I probably would've passed out from the decibels reached during catheterization. I would have broken down into my own tears trapped with a crying baby in a cinder block room for hours.

I'm thankful that some parts of motherhood get easier with experience. I'm thankful that, unlike many children, long doctor visits are not a regular part of my children's routine. I'm thankful Nora is back to her jolly little self. And I'm thankful to be able to pawn these doctor visits off on her daddy every once in a while. Happy Monday, y'all!

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