10 Days of Mama

It’s been 10 days. 11, I guess. Today is the 11th day.

He had the flu about a week and a half ago – 11 days ago, I guess – and we did all the usual things through a day or so with a sick little boy. I wore my Mama Who Has Been Barfed On badge again with pride and enjoyed the cuddles – warm and soft and in the normal range of worrisome. Which is to say not terribly.

Then the abdominal pain started and by 4 am a week ago Sunday we were in the ER. No parents want to learn their child’s appendix has burst the hard way.

The ER was quiet that morning. No one else in the pediatric area but us. Waybuloo is only slightly less weird at four in the morning; those Brits were definitely on something.

No appendectomy required. A bit dehydrated, even though he drinks Pedialyte like it’s juice, and home we went.

That was only the second in a series of sleepless nights.

Tonight will be the 11th night. We have pushed through a brief road trip (if a very long drive – there and back in six days – can be considered brief), a house purchase, and a few quick visits.

We are home, but he is not better. He has been, off and on. Enough that we felt it was okay to make the trip. Enough that he played in the snow on Friday. Enough that he went to school yesterday.

But he is not better, and the morning at school was apparently weepy with repeated requests for Mama. When Grandma and Grandpa picked him up, he went home with them and slept. For more than an hour. (Very unusual.) Daddy had to go and pick him up.

Mama came home, and the pieces of velcro connected again. We have been this way – attached – for 10 days. Or 11 now, I guess. He wants me and stays close, his soft hair tickling my chin and his small fingers rubbing my wrist.

This is what I know:

His toddler tummy fits right in the palm of my hand.

It is warm and soft and it soothes me.

Rubbing his tummy only sometimes soothes him.

He has a spot – a specific place he likes to be. Between my chin and collarbone, shoulder tucked under my right arm as it wraps around him.

This has been his place for months now. It’s where he comes when he wants a cuddle. It’s where he sleeps when he’s sick. It’s where he fits.

Except he doesn’t. He’s getting tall, and his gangly limbs struggle to find a place to land. His head bumps against my chin as he looks for his spot, refusing to acknowledge that he doesn’t fit the same way as before.

He wants me to fix him, except I can’t. He’s blocked, I think, so nothing terribly worrisome now either except that my baby’s in pain. We’ve tried the usual remedies – applesauce, prune juice, warm baths. We’ve tried worse, and had it work, except not fully. And now, on the 11th day, he doesn’t want any of that.

He just wants Mama.

Tomorrow Daddy will take him to the doctor to see if she can help. Mama will go to work, again, and turn on the bright lights, again, in hopes they will keep her awake. She will take ibuprofen for her shoulder – the one that loves holding her boy but is tired, and is sending waves of stabbing pain running up and down her neck between her ears and her shoulder in protest.

Tomorrow is day 12. He might still want Mama, but hopefully, for everyone’s sake, he won’t need her quite so much.


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  1. Poor Connor, and poor Mama. So sorry to hear that he’s still not 100%. It’s so hard to see our children sick.

    I know exactly what you mean about their spot, where they find comfort most, where they fit snugly in our arms. (or in your case, not as snug anymore) I hope things get better real soon!

    (Have you tried dates for the blockage? It worked for Monkey)

  2. I know these days. They are difficult but it’s part of life as a mom. I hope he gets better soon and you get some rest.

  3. I remember when my son was almost three, he had a virus for 10 days. He barely ate for the entire time and became incredibly thin. Luckily, I had a wonderful doctor who helped me understand that children will get sick; it is part of their development. He checked in regularly to make sure my son’s symptoms weren’t worsening and he prescribed. . . mommy love.

    BTW, now my son is almost eight years old and sometimes he still tries to sit on my lap as he did back then. I’ve had to develop new hugging skills to cope with his weight! I hope your shoulder is allowed to heal as you develop yours.

    Wishing you healthy days and peaceful, sleep-filled nights.

  4. Oh, again you write so beautifully and with so much love. And again, parallels between us: last night i mourned to Gideon that Ari’s head no longer rests comfortably on my shoulder when he sits in my lap because he is so much taller. We too spent time at the ER, and the appendix is fine. Proons seem to be working in the path last couple of days, but his cough is getting worse. We are supposed to go to Torronto tomorrow, but dad might have to travel by himself, we’ll see. Sending health vibes and so much love to both of you.

  5. I hope the doctor can help him!

  6. Natalie @Mamatrack says:

    I’m so sorry for all of you. It’s miserable when your baby is sick. Hang in there. And hugs.

  7. Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry he’s been so sick and you’re all so tired. That is not fun. You’ve written about it beautifully and with such love.
    Love to you

  8. Here’s hoping everyone feels better soon. I think tummy troubles are the worst to deal with because there’s NOTHING you can see of the symptoms. Kieran’s had his share, and it’s always so rough.

    But I will admit that I do enjoy the snuggling that accompanies them. Just wish he didn’t have to feel so icky to slow down enough to want them.

    (I assume by the “worse” that you’ve tried you mean glycerin suppositories? They worked a treat the couple times we’ve needed them for Kieran. Here’s hoping the Doc can provide a workable solution.)

    • Yep, those were the “worse” we tried. It helped a little, but not a lot. (Didn’t really have time to work.) But a little was better than not at all!

  9. I hate when my babies are so pitifully sick. Makes my heart hurt….oh but the cuddles. The endless cuddles are so sweet. I hope everyone is well soon!

  10. Poor Connor and poor you! Hope the doctor can help. xoxo

  11. I know these days..Sometime I even don’t know who is the sick one – he or me:( But it is inevitable. In order to feel better I keep repeating on myself – this will strengthen our bond:) Trust me, it helps!

  12. Poor little guy tummy, and poor Mama heart. i hope they’re both soothed and back how they should be soon! xo

  13. Poor Connor, and poor you! I know these days, and it breaks our hearts. I do wish he starts feeling better soon and that you can all get some rest again.

  14. I’m finding it hard to believe I can’t curl around Lilibet anymore when we’re snuggling for her nap, and she’s only 18 months. Sunshine (3 yrs) still wants hugs when she wakes up, and she sure fits differently on my lap than Lilibet. :) Hope Connor feels better soon. My doctor recommended mango juice when Sunshine was blocked.

  15. I am so sorry to hear this. I hope everything gets better real soon!

  16. Oh Robin.
    This stabbed at my heart and I have a lump in my throat.
    I know this feeling.
    The instinct that something is wrong with your child but know one can figure it out.
    Wanting to hold your baby close but your baby is growing and isn’t so tiny anymore.
    Having to go and do adult responsibilities when all you want to do is snuggle.
    I am so sorry Connor isn’t feeling well.
    I am thinking of you all. xo

  17. Oh, poor little love. I hope Connor is feeling better. Little man.

    The singular comfort in having a sick child is that they would rather be tucked safe in your arms than anywhere else. There is some peace in holding them – especially when you can do precious little else to help them feel better.

    Huge hugs, Mama. xxx