A Week of Firsts

1. The Swim Crawl

On the move!

This week, Bailey started crawling or at least of version of getting from point a to point b in a fairly adept manner. It’s mostly upper body strength driven with some serious abs. The legs, he sort of drags along behind him as if they are in the way. I’m sure he’ll figure out how useful those really are when it comes to crawling soon enough. But for now, his technique is definitely getting him around the room. And boy is he determined to get around even in the midst of a big, bad cold…

2. The Fever 😦

A serious snot bubble after a giant sneeze

Today, Bailey got his first fever. It’s at 101 right now which is a low grade fever accompanied by a wicked cold. I’ve never seen so much snot come out of one little being before. I’ve given him ibuprofen. I’ve given him a lukewarm bath. I’m keeping him hydrated and watching for enough wet diapers. The cold actually started over the weekend, or was it last week or the week before? Hard to remember… he started daycare the week before Labor Day, and I swear he’s had a cold a week. This one is by far the worst. I imagine his body is aching all over, especially his head, yet the kid is still smiling through it all (or most of it). He does wake himself up through the night, crying this pitiful wailing sort of cry. But during the day, he is rolling and crawling and jumping in his exersaucer and talking and rubbing his face and going none stop between naps. Even in the midst of this fever, I can’t tell if he’s just effervescent about life or just slightly delirious from being ill as he stares at the circles on the shower curtain like they’re the coolest thing ever.

This is what moms do: We turn on the shower in the smallest bathroom in the house and hold baby to let the steam help relieve the congestion. And then we sit on the toilet seat in the steam, trying to get baby to nurse to also help relieve the congestion and to help with hydration. Almost 7 month old babies help out by noticing what a crazy different place this is to be having a meal – meaning they have to check out everything, and I mean everything around the room except for the meal.

This is what mom is thinking, “Does his forehead seem warmer? I know the steam is good for congestion but is heat bad for a fever? Should I give him a bath? That would make me feel better, oh wait, but google told me that a bath is bad unless it’s lukewarm…ok, maybe a lukewarm bath next… oh for the love of…do I need to hold your head in place – focus baby, focus!! How long have we been sitting here? What? Only 2 minutes? Go to your Zen place. Go to your Zen place…”

This is what baby is thinking, “Mmm, milk, yum, yum, yum, whoa! What was that? Holy crap! Is that? Oh, it’s the toilet paper holder. And is that toilet paper? Wow, so cool…oh right, milk, yum, yum, yum…whoa! Something on the other side, what is that, is that? OMG, that shower curtain has the coolest circles on it. Wow, I wonder if I can eat those, can I eat those? Mommy, mommy, please can I eat those?? Why are you trying to clamp my head down to your chest?! Can’t the milk just follow me? I’m so confused. I’m hungry, yum, yum. Oh wow, you’re pretty. Can I smile at you?” And so on…

3. That Zen place

I’m not the most patient person in the world. I get bored easily if I don’t have a task. I like to be productive. I like to multi-task. This weekend, when Bailey got his bad cold, I finally found a Zen place. I found it late at night when he was coughing and sadly crying after having woken himself up again. I had fed him, soothed him, turned on the humidifier, given him pain medicine, everything really that I could think of and he was bereft. Whenever I tried to hold him, he writhed away and I could relate. When I’m sick, I’m just miserable. I want to be left in a dark corner to whine about my misery until sleep overtakes me and fixes me.

This was probably the fourth time that day that he was bereft. And each previous time had filled me with anxiety and concern. But this fourth time was different. I went in, shifted him around and told him he was okay. Then I left the room and continued about my business. I felt calm…not numb or anxious or like I had given up, but instead it was a sense of Zen. I had done all I could, and Bailey didn’t really want me to help more, he just needed to work it out. Ten minutes later, he was asleep and slept a solid 8 hours.

In this Zen state of mind, I was able to go to bed less anxious. I was ready to shut down my ever-whirring mind. I was ready to just let it be. I’m a part of a few online forums that have been really helpful. That evening, I had posted something about being worried that my baby wasn’t getting enough to eat nursing through his cold because he either got distracted or fell asleep in exhaustion. He also seemed like he could barely breath through his congestion as he tried to nurse. Part of me was thinking that the nursing helps the mucus move and the milk provides immune defense. But I was also tired and getting run down which can affect supply, so I was going around in circles about whether I was producing enough.

Anyway, I wanted to know whether I should just give bottles to get more into him. A few BTDT (been there done that) moms replied. They said that nursing is great for your baby right now. He will get through this cold and you are doing exactly what you should be. Reading those responses somehow felt like a benediction. I was fine. Everything was fine. I just needed to carry on supporting my baby. And so I found this Zen place. If my supply drops, he’ll let me know and we can move on down that path. Otherwise, calm the heck down mama! Your stress is not helping anyone here!

Harder done than said, but I say we should all be open to that Zen place and maybe even actively practice the feeling so it becomes more the norm in this anxiety-ridden world.

Good luck out there mamas, papas and future parents!

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