October 14, 2012

Sick Baby

Remember how I sterilized everything in the house when baby was spitting up more than usual? How cute was I in my naivety. Nicki has her first cold. It started a week ago and I can assure you baby colds are every bit as bad as it’s rumored to be.

Nicki surprised us by waking up in the middle of the night a week ago Wednesday. Something she never does anymore. I thought I had jinxed her wonderful sleep habits by talking about them here! She had coughed herself awake, but other than that one episode she seemed fine. She had no other symptoms. Then Domingo got sick Thursday night. Sore throat, aches, the whole shebang. He kept his distance from the baby Friday, but by Saturday morning both she and I were showing the same symptoms. By that Saturday afternoon, all three of us were in full blown cold mode.

We all had sore throats. Trouble is, Nicki would cry to let us know she was uncomfortable. The crying made her throat worse, so she’d cry louder, which made it even worser. We were trapped in terrible feedback loop so we called the pediatric advice nurse. The nurse told us to run the humidifier, saline drops and steam baths. Since Nicki was three months, we could also try some acetaminophen. Luckily we had just been to the doctor, so I knew her weight and we could figure out the right dose. The acetaminophen seemed to help.

Getting her to suck on a pacifier also seemed to help the sore throat. Timing being what it was, though, she had started rejecting the soothie pacifiers. She’d suck on the pacifier once or twice before loosing patience with it. So we were off to the store again to try the brand her day care recommended.

Her cold got worse through the weekend. She was so congested she couldn’t breathe threw her nose with all that congestion. She woke up every three hours screaming. Poor baby was exhausted. At 3 a.m. Sunday I just decided to stay up with her. I sat in the nursing chair and held her upright so she could sleep on me until morning.

We had a little reprieve during the week. My parents were visiting, so after Domingo and I did the “night” shift, they’d get the morning shift and give me a chance to nap. Poor Domingo had to go to work on very little sleep. (Have I told you he’s the best Dad, ever?) Nicki was such a trooper, smiling during the day through the sniffles.

When her cold didn’t abate after a week, we decided to call again on Thursday to see if there was anything else we could do. Nope. Saline drops, bulb syringe, steam rooms, and wait it out. She tolerated the bulb syringe, as long as we didn’t try too many attempts to liberate the snot. The drops were tantamount to baby torture. She started crying as soon as she saw the bottle. Not good. Not good at all.

I called the advice nurse for a third time again yesterday. Nicki’s coughing fits seemed to be getting worse. Sometimes it sounded like she was chocking, and often didn’t end until she had spit up. One time it seemed like she had spit up the entire bottle. Since she had been sick over a week, I was getting very concerned. The advice nurse set us up an appointment with the weekend doctor since Nicki had been sick for over a week. He listened to her chest to make sure it wasn’t something serious, and checked her ears for signs of ear infections. Just a cold. Just a cold. He told us it could last 2 to 3 weeks and the average is 6-10 colds in the first year.

10 colds lasting 3 weeks would mean Nicki would be sick 58% of her first year of life! Even 6 colds at 2 weeks a piece would be 23%. Here’s hoping she gets better soon. Two and a half more months until she can get a flu shot.

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