Wanting a Healthy Family


Sophie got sick first, a week and a half ago. I was still pregnant. We were at my parents’ house. She woke up from her nap and calmly told us she sneezed all over her pillow. And by “sneeze” she meant “threw up.” It was on that day I learned two things: (1) toddler throw up is very different from baby spit up and (2) I never would have guessed I’d be so willing to cup my hand under her mouth the next time it happened.

That Monday seems like forever ago, given all that we’ve been through since. And poor Sophie still can’t seem to kick it. She hasn’t thrown up for almost a week, but every once in awhile she’ll have a low-grade temp. Or she’ll go almost 48 hours with no symptoms and then, a not-so-fun diaper.

The rule at the NICU is that any child must be completely clear of all symptoms for 48 hours before being allowed in. Sophie has yet to manage that. And as such, she has yet to meet her brothers.

She sort of gets it. No longer does she put her head on my belly (and I still have a belly) and “talk” to the babies. Instead she asks, “Are the babies in there?” all the time. And we tell her no, that they’re in the hospital, getting bigger until they can come home. We show her pictures of Owen and James on the computer—the first time we did this she sat and stared at the slide show on the screen for a good 15 minutes. And she’s fascinated by my pumping milk (and constantly wants to pump her milk, too).

Still, I wish it hadn’t gone this way. I wish she could see them, in person, in the hospital. Not only because I can’t wait to introduce them to her, but also because I think what has happened will make more sense to her.

This virus hasn’t been kind to my family. The first night I stayed at the hospital overnight, my mom stayed with me. She started to feel bad, though, and not wanting to get me sick she left early, early in the morning and sat in the waiting room, waiting for my dad to pick her up. Then Andy got sick. And now I’m sick. My temp hit 102.6 last night, and without going into details I’ll just say that I was miserable. Recovering from a VBAC has been much easier than recovering from the c-section I had with Sophie but still, I had Owen and James less than a week ago—throwing a virus on top of it just isn’t fair. And the worst of it is, I wasn’t able to see Owen and James at all today—I’m hoping to see them tomorrow. And I’m hoping my dad and Jill don’t get sick, either (so far, they’re the only ones who have managed to stay in the clear).

If I’m to look on the bright side of things, though, this virus would have been much more difficult to handle if both Owen and James were home. As my friend Michelle said, thankfully I was able to rest all day today while my boys were in the best hands possible at Good Sam. Thankfully I had Jill to take care of Sophie today. And thankfully the boys were well loved, with four visitors—Jill, my mom, my dad and Andy. Yes, thankful indeed.

Still, I hope these germs scram, and fast. Owen may be coming home at the end of this week (which makes me so happy) and we all have some germ-free baby loving to do.

“The greatest wealth is health.” —Virgil