Poor Li’l Penny

Happy (?) Monday, folks!

The end of last week turned out to be a bit of a doozy — our precious little Penny got hit with her first bout of real sickness! Sure, she’s been congested before, been a li’l less spunky than usual, that sort of thing, but this was the real deal. We’re talking fever, chills, sweats, loss of appetite, total exhaustion… the works. It was tough for all of us — toughest for her to get through, I’m sure, but it was also admittedly hard on Sean and me to watch, witness, and only be able to do so much. 🙁

It all started on Wednesday — she slept in pretty late (and, in retrospect, she had actually been sleeping a lot the day or so before as well so she was probably trying to fight something off before we noticed). But she was still her happy little self throughout most of the morning and drank like 5 ounces of milk (I normally nurse her first thing, but actually had to pump and give her a bottle that morning since she slept later than me!) so I had no reason to think anything was wrong.

While I worked, she spent time with our nanny and her daughter, enjoying the beautiful weather outside (and giving me serious FOMO when I was stuck inside working), but she started getting increasingly more fussy as the day went on. She’s generally a very chill, happy girl, so fussing for no reason is very out of character for her. She also didn’t seem to want to eat or drink much, and kept tugging at her ears. The ear-pulling is something that she often does when she’s tired, but combined with her lack of appetite and increasing irritability, I started to worry.

Then, around 3 PM I was coming out of a meeting when I got a text from our nanny saying that Penny felt warm, so she took her temperature and it was over 100 degrees. I called our pediatrician and described what was going on, and they asked me to come in for a last-minute appointment, so off we went!

The doctor checked her out and eliminated both the flu and an ear infection — which was good news! But on the flipside, the bad news was that she was definitely sick and there wasn’t really much he could do, either. We’d just need to “let her be sick” for a little while. Which is definitely a lot harder than it sounds when you have a sad baby who can’t communicate what’s hurting or how you can help. The doctor told us to keep an eye on her temperature, that her not wanting to eat was very normal (which of course, did not stop me from fretting about it constantly), to monitor her wet diapers (also warning us that there would probably be slightly fewer than normal), and that things might get worse before they got better, but to call back if we were concerned.

I was hoping that another night of solid rest would help her kick this thing, but alas, it seems that Wednesday afternoon really was just the beginning of her being sick.

I slept in the nursery that night so I could keep an eye on her, and her temperature actually spiked up to 102 overnight! I kept her home from daycare on Thursday and tried my best to make her feel loved, comfortable, and cared for. I gave her some Tylenol sparingly (I’m always so torn about whether doing so is good because it makes her so much more comfortable and brings her fever down, or if it inhibits her ability to fight off the illness) and we spent most of the day doing this:

With her also sleeping a TON (she seriously slept like 12 straight hours overnight and SIX more hours during the day!) and me trying to get her to nurse and drink milk. She pretty much refused all bottles, but did nurse for short bursts on-and-off throughout the day, so that made me feel a little better that she hopefully wasn’t getting dehydrated (and I can’t lie, I kind of loved all the snuggles… which in turn made me feel guilty for liking it since she felt so crummy, but that’s #momguilt for ya…)

Her fever finally broke Friday morning, and her mood seemed to immediately improve, although she was still feeling puny and continued being very sleepy through Saturday. I am counting my blessings that she was still sleeping so well overnight, despite being sick, since I feel like all that sleep was crucial to her recovery, and I understand that many kiddos have a hard time sleeping when they’re feeling bad. So far, Penny doesn’t seem to be one of them!

Thankfully, when she woke Sunday morning (after sleeping for a whopping THIRTEEN HOURS!!) she finally seemed like she was back to her old self: happy and hungry! Hooray!

So, hey, we survived our baby girl’s first bout of true illness and all came out the other side. Although, who knows, underneath all this purple hair dye I may have just sprouted a few grey hairs from the experience. And, yes, I know full-well that this absolutely will not be the last time that I have to watch my poor baby be sick, but there’s just something about that first time, y’know?

Now let’s just hope she doesn’t pass her illness right back to her dad and me (my guess is that we gave her the sickness that we got hit with a couple weeks ago ::sniff::) and that the cycle of sickness ends here. I mean, hey, a girl can dream, right?