Because morning sickness isn’t fun enough, this week we got hit with a delightful vomiting bug too.
And of course this happened A) whilst I was solo parenting thanks to the other half working away for a couple of days, and B) whilst I am pregnant and still in the throes of nausea!
Poor Josh had it first, and it broke my heart to see him so sick. It also scared me half to death as I’ve never seen him throw up like that. Milk sickness and baby posset is one thing, projectile tuna pasta vomit is quite another. And I was lucky enough to have it directed all over me. Josh hadn’t been right for the couple of days before but I’d put it down to teething; he was off his food, super clingy, and that night he didn’t even want his milk before bed. Unheard of. He woke up a couple of hours after I took him to bed and was whimpering but again I just put it down to being a bit whingy. I even ignored it for a bit (I can’t tell you how bad I felt when I realised what was going on) but when I went up to him and he cuddled me, needing me, I knew something wasn’t right. I decided to change his nappy, and frighteningly enough that’s when he threw up! Obviously I sat him straight up; I felt so stupid for having laid him down but I guess, how was I to know he would vomit. Both of us covered in the remains of his dinner, I had to put him in the bath and strip him down as well as myself. He was so distraught it was horrible and I brought him downstairs and, taking advantage of the nakedness, I did the one thing that has always worked for us when Josh has needed soothing, skin to skin. Eventually he settled and fell asleep on the sofa entwined in me. There was no way I was going to move and disturb him so that was us set for an hour. I decided after an hour that I’d bring him up to my bed and he could sleep in with me that night.
Of course he woke up once we got upstairs and starting babbling to himself and I could tell the throwing up had helped him. I guess it does; I always try to put myself in his shoes, using common sense. And I know when I throw up it’s a relief; whatever has made me feel sick is out of my system. Given his perky mood I knew he wasn’t going to settle and lay with me, and I was too frightened he’d vomit again in his cot whilst laid down, so my next plan was to recreate the bedtime routine. At 10 at night. Back downstairs we went and on went In The Night Garden (God that show is messed up, but it doesn’t half save you as a parent sometimes). In the end I managed to get him back to bed, checked on him a million times in the night, and after a restless night, morning came.
It was a super rainy day which worked out well for us. We had a pyjama day, the plainest and most boring of foods and despite a few more vomit sessions and some epic nappys, we got through the day. He still wasn’t right the next couple of days and to add insult to injury, I picked it up too. It’s not surprising, Josh drenched me his bug fuelled vomit and I believe that has got to be the most effective way of passing on a bug. Not ideal when you’re nearly 5 months pregnant and alone dealing with the toddler.
So how have I coped the last couple of days, apart from being thankful that with motherhood comes a remarkably strong stomach:
- The rainy day in particular has never been more of a Godsend. Because when the sunshine returned at the end of the week, Mummy guilt joined the sickness and all I could think about was how we weren’t out enjoying it. Embracing the shit weather was a given.
- Everything beige; it was time to not worry about 5, 10 or however bloody many fruit and veg they insist we all have now. It was all crackers, breadsticks and dry toast for a couple of days and it seemed to help. And thank goodness for those Ella’s Kitchen Melty Hoops as he was ravenous for them.
- Water water water. This was essential for both of us. The last thing you want is dehydration kicking in. I was so glad Josh kept on drinking because he had lost a lot of fluids through sickness and diarrhea.
- Rest. We both napped a lot over the next couple of days. Again it’s about giving your body time to repair, refresh and replenish. Besides, throwing your guts up takes it out of you and you’re knackered!
- Cuddles. Because when you’re a Mummy, your cuddles seem to have actual magical healing powers.
In a bizarre way, it almost did me good to stop and do nothing. We cuddled up, watched films (his first watch of Finding Nemo was so cute), played building blocks, and there was no worry about what we should or shouldn’t be doing. There was no rushing to get out the house and to a class or worrying about when we’d get to the shops. Everything could wait. It was just Josh and I and everything else could wait. I just wanted him better.
These sort of shit storms (and I mean that literally as well as figuratively) show you how remarkable you are as a Mother. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like crap still now, but I also feel a weird reassurance following this week, that I am a bloody brilliant Mum. It’s funny, and I hope this doesn’t sound horribly judgemental but I saw online today Cheryl Tweedy being hailed as a SuperMum; it was her first public outing since having her baby and she’s “snapped back” She looks just as slim as she did before having her baby, and good on her – I suppose with being a celebrity, looking good is all part of the job, and I hate to sound negative, but I’ve no doubt her dietitian, personal trainer and stylist all helped her achieve her lovely look today. Does that make her SuperMum? In my opinion, No! This week, alone, I have nursed a 20 month old through a vile sickness bug, whilst pregnant and then whilst having the bug myself all the while doing all I can to make my baby feel better, feed him, keep him occupied whilst we were housebound, missing out on afternoon tea with my best friends, missing out on a wedding reception that the rest of the family have gone to and enjoyed, and disinfected the house within an inch of it’s life in order to prevent anyone else catching this damn bug.
So I’m sorry Cheryl, but I’ll be taking the SuperMum badge this week – I fucking deserve it. And I’ll also be booking myself a spa treatment at the earliest opportunity.
Sometimes you’ve got to remind yourself of how much you do, how much you should be appreciated. As Chezza says “you’re worth it” (Sorry for that – I hate that cringe saying but I had to throw it in there)!