Twas the day before my birthday and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the dog and the cat who were wrestling in the hallway.
I had just gotten home from work to the tantalizing smell of pot roast and roasted mixed veggies wafting from the kitchen. I was expecting one of my best friends and her husband to join us for a pre-birthday dinner. As usual, my mom handed Lily off to me and headed home. Lily and I played, and then went outside to wait for Daddy to get home from visiting his parents. After Jim got home, Lily and I resumed playing, and as we sat on the couch, with her facing me on my lap, all of a sudden a weird look came across her face… and a waterfall of macaroni, cheese and green beans cascaded into my lap. Holy projectile vomit Batman!
Let me pause here for a moment… I had heard the term “projectile vomit” before, but until this moment, when I was literally COVERED in a clearly discernable variety of lunchtime foods did I truly appreciate the horror of the term.
Three more times the waterfall hit me in the chest, arms and lap, as I yelled for Jim to get towels. We headed straight to the bathtub and got cleaned up. I prayed that this was a fluke, but because I had heard that there was a nasty 24 hour stomach flu going around, and we had just had a play date on Sunday. Keep in mind, 30 minutes from this time I was expecting company to help us eat the pot roast that was not sounding nearly as appetizing as it had when I walked in the door after work.
Melissa and Peppe arrived, gift and cake in hand, just as Lily had her second wave of sick - all over the clean shirt that I had idiotically put on. Awesome. This time, Lily and I went straight into the shower, clothes and all, while Jim helped us strip and rinse our clothes, then handed me my pajama pants and one of his old t-shirts. I knew we were in for a long night.
Best friend that she is, Melissa decided that she and Peppe would tough it out, and we all ate dinner in the living room, while I cuddled Lily on the couch, swaddled in towels. After a couple more rounds of baby-sick (caught in towels this time), Melissa put candles on my birthday cake, and I blew them out with a naked, towel-wrapped baby on my hip. After they left, I ditched my clothes, Jim covered the couch in sheets and towels, and I got ready for a long night.
And then Jim started feeling ill and had to head to bed.
To make a long story short, Lily was sick from 5:30pm to 1:00am, a time filled with feeding her water from a medicine dropper (only after learning that letting her chug water or pedialyte from her bottle only amounted to another round of vomiting) and napping. After each sick, she would rest her tired head on my chest, and I rubbed her back and whispered sweet words to her. All in all, she was quite a trooper given the circumstances. After 1am, I could tell that she was completely empty, and since I had been so diligent about keeping her hydrated using the medicine dropper, I knew she was ok to sleep in her crib.
As I headed into my bedroom to check on Jim and get some sleep, I heard him in the bathroom losing his stomach... his night was just beginning. So I slept in the guest bedroom with the baby monitor and left my poor hubby to battle his tummy.
Thankfully, Lily was able to keep liquids down when she woke at 7am, and after an hour of no sickness, I knew my birthday wasn't a total loss. I stayed home from work so I could keep her on a liquid diet of breastmilk and water all day. Poor Jim slept most of the day.
The plus sides to this whole situation are that I got to spend my birthday with my family instead of in the office, I was able to keep a sick baby hydrated through a nasty stomach flu, got a few hours of decent sleep, didn't get sick myself, and stayed completely calm and collected through the whole experience.
I think this experience only brought Lily and I closer together. She needed her momma, and momma was able to stay calm and successfully comforted her through the night. That makes me feel pretty good.
I'll call this a win.