Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

I wish I could say I had a fabulous holiday and that Nate's first Christmas was everything I had hoped for and more. Unfortunately, it was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

I woke up on Christmas morning to an overwhelming sense of joy. My first sight upon awakening was my two loves laying beside me, peacefully asleep. Despite an absence of mistletoe hanging from the stucco above, I planted a kiss on DH's cheek and Nate's forehead. It was then that I noticed Nate was hot to the touch. He was outfitted in a fleece sleeper so my first instinct was that I overdressed him. I nursed him and took his rectal temperature during his morning diaper change.

101.4. Poor little guy had yet another fever. Hadn't we had enough of this a few weeks ago with those dreadful sinus infections?!

I mixed some Tylenol with breastmilk and fed him a bottle. As he drifted back off to sleep in his swing, DH and I exchanged gifts. Blu-Ray player for him. Beaba BabyCook for me. I was delighted about my present but my happiness was short-lived as I was reminded of my sick baby.

When Nate awoke, he still felt warm but seemed to be in decent spirits. In other words, he was not wimpering in agony or showing signs of distress. We opened his gifts but there was little enthusiasm on his part. No smiles. No laughter. He was lethargic and generally disinterested in his surroundings. He would examine each gift for a few seconds before looking or turning away. It was evident that he was not himself.

I gave him another dose of Tylenol before heading out to see family. He slept for the hour-long car ride and woke just as we pulled into the driveway. I brought him inside and took his temperature again. 101.2. I was hoping for better after 2 doses of meds. He opened presents from Grandma and Grandfather with the same general malaise he had shown earlier. As more and more family arrived and the children became more boisterous, it didn't take long for a total meltdown to commence. After being passed around from person to person like a hot potato - despite the warnings of his current condition - he had had enough. The annoyed griping amplified to deafening screams in record timing.

I spent the majority of the party upstairs in a quiet bedroom, trying to soothe him while simultaneously watching reruns of A Christmas Story on TBS. While he was obviously hungry, he was rejecting the breast in favor of hibernation. During his naps, I would rush downstairs to greet neglected guests and stuff leftover hor d'oeuvres in my mouth. Trying to hold a conversation with someone was a lost cause. A not-so-funny joke. My attention was concentrated on canceling out the hullabaloo to hear Nate's distinct cries.

The sky grew dark and the guests cleared out. Nate still had a fever. I gave him a bath, thinking it would cool him off and lower his temperature. Instead, it was up to 102.4. My heart was pounding as I called the urgent care center. All sorts of scenarios ran through my head on the way to our appointment. I imagined spending the night in the ER with a baby so feverish that a seizure could erupt at any moment.

When we arrived, they took us back almost immediately. His fever was now up to 103.5. My heart sunk. The doctor examined him. Ears, nose and chest were clear. But his throat was sore and blistery.

Diagnosis: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Expect high fever and sore throat for 3-5 days, followed by diarrhea and body rash.

Treatment: Motrin as needed every 6-8 hours

I didn't think Motrin could be given to babies under 6 months but because of the severity of the fever and Nate's weight, the doctor said it was fine. Since we had no pump on-hand, he had to be given the meds with a dropper. He promptly puked up the first dose but with a patient nurse, we were able to get it all down the second try.

Within half an hour of the visit, our baby boy was back to his sweet, smiling self. Shame his true personality only showed during the tenth hour on Christmas night. But he slept like a log and I was able to rest knowing exactly what we were up against.

I'm still quite miffed over the situation. How unfair is it that our baby's first Christmas was ruined dampered by such an awful, unexplainable virus? I had high expectations and reality just threw a wrench into everything. I have just a handful of acceptable pictures that were taken sporadically during the day. No pictures of us all together as a family. I know I should keep my trap shut and be grateful I even have a baby to be sick. Gain some perspective. I'm just really bummed that we had to be miserable on such a special occasion. I feel as if Christmas truly was stolen by a grinch this year.

HFMD: the one gift from Santa that I brutally rebuff.


Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I'm so sorry things were so hard and that Nate got so sick! Poor thing!!! HUGS to all of you.

Shawgil said...

oh poor nate...hope he is the mend now. ((hugs))

Grad3 said...

Hey, I think that we had the same Christmas!

Lil P had been running a low grade fever all week and it would just slowly creep up. Next thing I knew, Christmas night- 103.7. Called the on-call NP at 2am. He is still running a low grade fever-- ugh.

Hope you are and family are feeling better soon! ~Hugs~

Blankenship Babbles said...

Poor things...I know that HFMD is no no fun :( I hope he is feeling much better. I know it wasn't what you thought it would be, but it seems many things are like that nowadays...I'm sorry girl...maybe your New Years will be a totally different story :) And if it makes you feel any better we didn't get a picture of us 3 1/2 this year at all either... :( So I know how you feel about that one...hang in there...Lots of Love!!!

Emily said...

HFMD sucks. big time.

((((hugs))))) friend.

Fertilized said...

When the craziness stops spinning around here, I will post a similiar 1st christmas story. I feel ya. I am hoping a few more motrins doses will help nate feel better

Kim said...

Poor little guy, I hope he starts feeling better.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry your Christmas wasn't everything it could've been. Poor Nate - I hope he makes a full recovery soon.

JJ said...

Blech..Im sorry about the sickiess! Im glad they got you back so fast--hope hes feeling better really soon!

eden said...

Oh what a poor lil guy!! Next year he'll have to have an extra-special Christmas to make up for it ... he'll be running around then. There'll be no stopping him!