Our sweet boy is suffering from his first cold. I […]
Our sweet boy is suffering from his first cold. I noticed yesterday that Graham seemed extra fussy and that his voice was starting to sound a little husky. Last night at around 12:45 a.m., I was awakened by the sound of him struggling with some congestion—snorting and sputtering. I picked him up, and he soon started to cry. As a natural reaction, I tried to comfort him with breastfeeding because that always does the trick. He eagerly latched on only to find that with his stuffy nose, he wasn’t able to eat and breathe at the same time. This led to some seriously sad wailing for the next 30 minutes. I felt so useless as I walked around with him trying to soothe him to no avail. He eventually wore himself out and fell asleep for a little while, only to wake again and again throughout the night with the same frustrating congestion.
For some reason, I felt totally unprepared for this. I had this unrealistic expectation that our sweet boy just wouldn’t get sick because I was breastfeeding him and he’s not in a daycare setting yet where he could be exposed to lots of kid germs. Even though I’m a nurse, I’ve never worked in pediatrics and admit that I’m inexperienced when it comes to taking care of sick babies. It’s heartbreaking watching your miserable little one look up at you with watery red eyes and a snotty little nose with a look that says, What’s happening to me? I can’t help but feel guilty that he’s sick … like, surely I could have prevented this. Did I bring germs home from work with me? Or, did I not wash my hands after my grocery store trip before I picked him up? Or, is my pumped breast milk giving him less immunity since it’s being refrigerated for a day or two before he gets it? I know it’s ridiculous, but these are honestly the thoughts running through my mind.
I called my doctor’s office this morning to see what they thought. Because his fever (which I had to take rectally, poor guy!) was just at 100.5 F and his mucus was clear for the most part, they recommended keeping an eye on him today and using a humidifier, saline nasal spray and infant Tylenol as needed. The saline spray and Tylenol seem to have helped, and thankfully, he’s breathing through his nose as he naps in my arms right now. He’s been able to breastfeed more comfortably these last couple of hours as well. I’m clearing my schedule completely to give him lots of cuddles and extra love today. Hopefully, this cold passes as quickly as it came on.
I’m learning about a new aspect of motherhood: taking care of my precious sick little boy. I seem to be the only one he wants for comfort now that he’s not feeling well, which is sweet and exhausting at the same time. Thinking about all of the nights my own mother must have stayed up with me when I was sick growing up, I can’t help but be grateful to her. The journey of motherhood continues with unexpected twists and turns every day.