Monday, February 25, 2013

When Your Baby is Sick

Cora and I have spent the past several days quarantined from the outside world, tucked away on an air mattress on the living room floor in our jammies, growing weary of Signing Time (on my part, at least) and having some marathon nursing sessions.

It's a nasty cold/flu.  Cora hasn't eaten more than a few bites a day, and her little arm rolls are starting to shrink.  My own appetite unfortunately hasn't suffered, although the rest of my symptoms are like mirrors of hers.  Even our temperatures are identical today.

I took her to the doctor on Saturday morning, concerned that she still seemed to be getting worse 5 days into it.  I knew it wasn't anything really serious, but it's hard sometimes to keep the worries away when it's your baby.

So far we've been lucky with her strong immune system.  But the health scares we have had have been life-threatening.  And even when your analytical mind knows that things aren't heading in that direction at the moment, it's hard for your heart not to go there... hard to keep that fear completely at bay.

Daddy can still elicit those smiles...  

I imagine that all parents have felt that fear at one time at least.  A high fever, a surgery, a rush to the Emergency Room, an accident, or even a more insipid nightmare like cancer.... these are the things we all fear deep inside.  And they are things that too many families have to face.

We've been following the story of a beautiful little girl a couple months younger than Cora who is fighting for her life in the hospital as I type.  Literally thousands of people are watching and praying for this sweet baby, hoping together that her life can be spared.  Another friend had a scare after her toddler took a fall last week, resulting in seizures and an ambulance ride, although thankfully her daughter is okay.

These things happen too suddenly.  Too easily for anyone's comfort. 

We try to push away the images of our own babies in their places, but there are moments when those fears seem like possibilities, when even the biggest love doesn't seem like enough to keep out the monsters.

A couple of days ago Cora asked me to read On the Night You Were Born.  By the end, I was sobbing.  My sweet girl looked up at me with concerned questioning eyes, and jumped into my arms for an embrace, arms glued around my neck and patting my back as I cried.

This kind of love feels unreal sometimes.  This biggest, most intense love feels impossible to sever... yet at the same time it can feel so precarious.

And so I hold tight to my coughing, sneezing, weak little girl.  She is safe for now, here in my arms. How I wish I could keep her that way.


  1. Beautifully said, Leah. You're such a good writer and an even better mother. I hope you and the Bean are feeling better soon. These bugs floating around town are persistent little buggers.

  2. Aww, poor Cora :(. I hope she feels better soon. One of the best decisions I made for Charlotte was to continue nursing until she was almost 2.5....nursing got us through a few really nasty illnesses and I was so grateful for it!

  3. "This kind of love feels unreal sometimes. This biggest, most intense love feels impossible to sever... yet at the same time it can feel so precarious."--oh how I identify with this and I am ever so thankful that I have been able to experience this love. May it never go away for either of us.

    Oh sweet Cora and poor Mama Bear. Feel better soon! This crud seems to hit everyone hard. Ellie is the same way--wick strong immune system but when she gets sick, ooh she gets sick. I have been following that little girl's journey too--rooting and praying for her. As for the second person in that paragraph--I didn't mean to freak you out and trigger that mama fear! I am investing in bubble wrap!

  4. Aw, hope you guys are feeling better there.

  5. I'm a week late reading this. Hope you two are both feeling better. Give us an update soon!

  6. You are right! When our children are sick, the best way for us to feel secured is to take them to the doctor. Doing this will give us peace of mind because the doctor could tell the exact condition of our child. Also, we are confident that our kids will be given the right intervention.

    Malachi Cates

  7. When my son gets sick, he always suggests a visit to the pediatrician. He believes that his pedia knows the cure for his headache, stomach ache, and body pain. It's just so overwhelming to see my son as he talks comfortably with the doctor. Well, I think that's because he has a good pedia. :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!