Monday, April 14, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Parenting More Than One - When Sickness Hits

I am at a loss.  As a parent we want to do everything we can to ensure that our children are safe and protect them from whatever we can.  This includes trying our hardest to make sure we are being safe about bacteria.  Washing hands, sneezing into arms and generally not sharing stuff even with their siblings when they are sick. Personally, I do all of these things and yet here I am on infection god knows how many for my littlest man.  I swear this child has the immune system of a fruit fly.

If it is going around he is going to catch it and he is going to get it worse than anyone else.  I have three older kids that attend the biggest germ factory on the planet, school.  Now I get that kids gets sick and if my kids just have the sniffles I will send them to school.  I do have the luxury of being a stay at home parent so if my kids are really sick, I can keep them home.  My problem is, how do I protect the baby (who has not yet been immunized fully due to his age) from everyday illnesses that continue to plague my household?  Unfortunately, everything that goes around at the kids school, he will get.  Right now we are dealing with Fifths disease, which for my other kidlets, it's not so bad but for baby it's awful.  He is cranky and doesn't want to be put down but doesn't really want to be held either.  He won't play on his own for more than 2 minutes before he starts getting upset again and for me I have never been able to be the "cry it out" type and his crying makes me sick to my stomach and I have to go to him immediately. He is really not sleeping (add here I'm not sleeping as we co-sleep and every move or fuss he makes wakes me immediately) and I miss my happy little man.

Earlier in his little life, he contracted a UTI and viral meningitis from a simple virus that my kids came home with.  All of them only had the sniffles but baby ended up in hospital for 4 days.  Fast forward a few weeks and now he has an upper respiratory infection, a round of antibiotics and a puffer. Another couple of weeks and we are battling yet another cold.  Stuffy nose and can't eat properly, barely sleeping unless he is upright and (insert here once again no sleep for me, unless you count the 6 minutes I got sleeping upright in a chair with babe on my chest) coughing.

I want to protect him but staying home all the time with a mask on really isn't an option. So where does that leave baby and I?  Well I figure he is getting it all out of the way now, so he will be the healthiest older child I've got.  His adulthood will not be plagued with anything more than the common cold.  I could just be kidding myself and he will continue down this path for longer than I would like or I could just place him in a bubble and keep him safe and germ free for life.  But really what kind of life would that be?

So everyday we battle on, taking all the sick-free days we get, enjoying everyday we have.  I'm lucky, my kids aren't battling something much worse or even life threatening.  For those of you parents who are, I send my hugs and my love to you.  I can't even imagine being in that situation.I don't want anyone to think that for one minute I am not completely thankful for what I do have. I just want a little more than 2 weeks of a sick free house.

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