Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jack's second hospital visit in two weeks. Just breath

Traveling will a baby is certainly different than traveling without a baby. The last time that Greg and I were in Europe together, it was 2007, and we were getting married in Rome. We had three weeks to disappear into blissful relaxation. It was otherworldly. This trip to Barcelona -- while enjoyable in an entirely new way -- has emphasized how totally and completely different our lives are now. There are certain responsibilities and stresses that we simply can't escape.

First, let me finish up the story about the forgotten breast pump charger, and to tell you that story, I've got to tell you something about Beata. Beata is my co-worker. We were pregnant together, due one week apart. At the time, she was my only pregnant friend, and her little boy, Julian, was born just 10 days after Jack. Beata and her husband have always been wonderful: a more generous couple, I could hardly describe.

Anyway, back to the pump charger story. Everything worked out, and I cannot express my gratitude to the *many* people who helped. After my last frantic post on Jack Attack, I sent an email to my female coworkers, asking if anyone had not yet left for Spain. Luck was with me, and someone replied: if I could get the charger to her in the next few hours, she could cram it in her suitcase and hand it off to me at the conference. One of our tenants was able to enter our floor (thankfully the key was in the common door -- it usually isn't!), dig through my bags and find the charger to put it in our mailbox. Then Beata took an hour out of her day, walked to our house and then to a second location to drop it off with the courier... but not before her husband dug through his own stash of electronics chargers at their house (to find one he thought might work) and drove that one by, too.

I cannot get over how amazing people are. Folks, I am embarrassed to have caused so much trouble, and especially to have caused so much trouble over the charger to a device that's designed to suck milk out of my boobs. Awkward. Let me send a giant, public Thank You to everyone who went so far out of their way to help with the pump charger.

Thank You!

On to other topics.

We've been in the hospital with Jack.


Here's how events proceeded. On Monday morning, Jack threw up. Then came the 104 fever, diarrhea*, listlessness and general malaise. He nursed well the first day, but he quickly stopped nursing and refused all liquids and food. He screamed and cried from the intense stomach pain. Fever of 101-104 despite alternating advil and tylenol. The wet diapers started slowing down. He. Was. Miserable.

*I can finally spell that word correctly the first time. Does this mean I am officially a Mom?

We were miserable.

We were sick with worry. We were frustrated and helpless and so sad for Jack being in such pain. Admittedly, we were also frustrated and sad that our Great Family Vacation was spinning rapidly down the drain.

But mostly we were worried. Because if there's anything worse than being in pain, it's watching your baby be in pain. It's feeling desperate. It's wanting to do anything to make the pain go away, but knowing that you can't do a damn thing.

I'll skip over the freaking out parts (and there was much, much freaking out), to say that just when we thought he was getting better... just when his fever cleared and he started nursing again... just then, the bright red blood showed up in his diaper.

Seriously. Fresh blood.

Hospital Del Mar, there we went.

We checked into the emergency room. We saw some very nice Spanish doctors who spoke a bit of english. They said he looked good: he wasn't dehydrated. They took a stool sample. They explained that babies bleed easily from tummy bugs. And eventually they sent us on our way with instructions to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

And within 5 hours, Jack was totally fine.

Really. Completely fine. No fever. No diarrhea* (well, less of it anyway). No blood. Happy Camper. Smiles and laughing and pointing and much "duh! duh! duh!" (and a few "Uh-Oh!"s, more on that later).

*I'm 2 for 2.

So Greg and I are now hyperventilating at even the slightest hint of potential injury (you would not have wanted to be a fly on the wall when Jack slipped and bumped his head on the wood floor in our rental apartment...). But our baby is fine and apparently that is the theme of parenthood: freak out, baby OK. Get a moment to breath. Freak out, baby OK. Etc.

Having a sick baby in a foreign country -- albeit one that speaks quite a bit of english -- was terrifying.

The first few days in Spain were consumed by nursing Jack back to health. Then I had my conference for a few days. We played all day Saturday, all day today, and we have all day tomorrow to chill out before our flight back on Tuesday.

More on the rest of the trip soon.

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