Monday, March 22, 2010

..and we're back!

Remember that virus that was going around? Sure you do; the one that crippled [humans] for a few days rather than technology? Well, BabyJ was hit by it. Hard. One day he was fine and the next he was vomiting 180° all around him (the other 180° didn't happen as a mere result of the foresight he had to sit up with his back against the wall at 4am). For days (and days and days and days and daaaaaaaaaaays) that was his routine. Wake-up in the wee hours before dawn, whimper, vomit all over mama's bed, heart-rending little cries, have his clothing gently taken off, wrapped in a big, soft towel to finish vomiting episode, then [still with lights off so he wouldn't fully awaken and cry even more] be wiped with warm, wet washcloth till all vestiges of that acidic stuff were gone. Put back into fresh pjs (both him and mama), cuddle in papa's bed while mama's bedding was peeled off and changed, vomit on papa's bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. We went through 30 huge towels in about 4 days. We were just about hip-deep in BVL or baby-vomit-laundry as we affectionately called it (how original of a name, right?). Each morning the pink-tinged fingers of sun that parted our vertical blinds landed first on the mountain laundry that had had accumulated from the nights' adventures. Each day it was hauled to the washing machine.

Nights were the easy part really. We kept a giant pile of towels on hand by the bedside for the inevitable gurgle-then-completely-empty his toddler-sized stomach. They weren't enough. I'm serious. The 2nd day in he learned to vomit in a directions at once with a 360° 5 ftoot-splatter-radius. I kid you not. You were within 4-5 feet; you were fair game. The stroller wheels, my tall suede boots, dining room table's legs. In your hair, down your shirt, in your socks; he didn't discriminate. I swear I didn't think it ever would end. One night we had used up every single last one of our towels that we had to call my in-laws [well past midnight mind you] to drive over with some of their towels to rescue us from the vomit pool. Crazy I tell ya (they did it happily, only wanting the baby to feel better. Thank Gd for the loving, sweet people they are. They took my laundry and washed it and brought it back. I stayed home with the baby and held him for days on end while he purged the contents of his stomach too many times to count per day. He cried as he sat there dry-heaving long after the liquid had come up. I sit there too, arms wrapped gently around him, every fiber of my being crying along with him. We'd sit and rock together; him in my arms, as the tears gradually subsided and the vomit dried where it had fallen from its trajectory. I didn't care. All I wanted was for him to feel better. Heck, I'd give anythign for it to be me who was sick. But it didn't happen. The poor little guy had it for longer than I thought it possible for a baby to vomit. The doctor said to let it run its course, there was nothing to do other than keep him hydrated (easier said than done. He nursed exclusively and wouldn't so much as take a bottle or sippy cup. Trust me, we've been trying for months! He'll take a look, shake it, then chuck it over our shoulders). After each vomit episode, I'd wearly gather him up and go back to feeding him. I think I got out of the house 3x in 2-weeks. I knew he was losing electrolytes too and Pedialyte seemed to be the way to go..but on closer inspection of the ingredients..guess what I found?! Acesulfame potassium (an artificial sweetener. It's used in dietetic foods to mask the unpleasant aftertaste of other artificial sweeteners like sucralose and saccharin). Yuck! I understand that they couldn't add regualr sugar to sweeten the electrolyte-balance that it had in order to make kids want to drink it [bec. in some cases it would exacerbate dierrhea], but plying my child with laboratory-made chemicals made me want to vomit. Back to trust 'ol google and after a half hour I found that coconut water (not the milk), has a natural electrolyte-balance and is natural/no added sugar to boot! Woot! I emptied the supermarket shelves (by this time my husband was feeling the nausea too, so I bought extra for him) and bought apple juice to mix the coconut wtaer with to give it some taste.