Katie's Musings

A blog about cooking, knitting, books, and parenting

Finally getting better!

After a very, very long week of dealing with a nasty stomach virus, we’re all finally getting better. Poor Emmett had it really rough for a few days, and I was sick yesterday (but not nearly as bad as poor Emmett). Emmett still isn’t feeling completely well, and he doesn’t have his energy back, but he was eating a little more today, so I’m very relieved.

This was the first time that Emmett has been sick (other than diaper rashes, etc.), and so it was a new experience for me as a parent. I couldn’t believe how incredibly exhausting, mentally and physically, it was. It felt extremely stressful for me to watch my poor baby feel so miserable: I felt awful, because there was nothing I could do for him other than comfort him. (The pediatrician said that these stomach viruses usually run their course in about 24-48 hours, and all we could do was try to keep him hydrated and eating whatever food he could keep down.) I wished with all my heart that I could trade places with him, and be sick myself, rather than watch him go through that. It was just heartbreaking to watch little Emmett be sick. How do you explain to a 1-year-old what is happing?

All I could do was comfort him, but I just felt awful. I knew I wasn’t responsible for his getting sick, but I felt like I still blamed myself; I felt like a bad parent. I’m used to being able to ensure that he is always safe, happy, and well, but this was something I couldn’t control. All I could do was hold him, encourage him to drink pedialyte, and comfort him. Fortunately he slept a lot while he was sick, and when he was awake, he was content to just let me or Scott hold him. When I held him, he cuddled up in my arms, snuggled his head against my shoulders, and I hugged him tight, sending him all my strongest feelings of love and comfort. (He’s usually so active, running around everywhere; I haven’t held him for this long since before he was crawling.) He lost a lot of weight over the last week, which also scared me a lot, but the doctor said that he’s doing better now and that she isn’t worried about him.

I can’t imagine what it would be like as a parent to have to deal with a longer, more serious illness of a child. This felt so draining and exhausting for me, and I worried so much about what would happen to him. I felt so responsible for it all (even though it wasn’t my fault), and I obsessed over every little thing– how much food he was able to eat at each sitting, how much water he drank, etc. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to deal with a more extended or serious illness. My heartfelt sympathies and well-wishes go out to all parents in that situation.

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June 25, 2010 Posted by | parenting | | Leave a comment