Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not quite how we planned it...

In case we needed another lesson on how having kids changes things, the Thanksgiving holiday provided it. Regardless of everything that happened, we still managed to have a nice couple days and two awesome meals. Jacob was quite entertaining when he was in a good mood, and we had a nice time hanging out with both sides of the family. That said...

Jacob's fever stuck around until Thanksgiving night. It really didn't seem to bother him too much, but he probably didn't eat as much as usual and it was painful knowing how warm he felt. Still, he seemed to do pretty well. We kept him medicated with Tylenol, and that seemed to keep the fever at bay. The first night away he did ok, just waking up once, I think. Nothing too bad. The second night was a little worse, with him waking up twice. I fed him a bit both times because nothing else seemed to work. Craig slept with him on his chest for a bit, and later on I slept with him cradled in my arm. Far from ideal, but considering he was sick and we just needed to sleep, it worked out ok.

He seemed ok in the morning, but by the evening he seemed a little cranky and uncomfortable, so I tried Tylenol again in case he was having pain from an ear infection or teething. He seemed ok after that. We put him in bed around 10, but he woke up around 12:15 or so screaming. I've never heard him scream like that. He stiffened up, arched his back, threw back his head, spread his arms, and screamed bloody murder. Nothing seemed to calm him. After a while I think he started tiring himself out, but it took a long time before he was calm enough to fall back to sleep. In the meantime, we called the doctor and talked to the nurse. She didn't have much to say except to keep giving him Tylenol if he seemed uncomfortable. He woke up again around 3:30 for another half hour of painful crying, and I think for the rest of the night he slept on Craig's chest. Needless to say, Craig is napping as I type. We got up this morning and got on the road by 10 so we could make it back to Rochester before the doctor's walk-in hours ended at noon. We had planned to stay in NT until at least this afternoon, to hang out with my parents, maybe do a little shopping, and whatever else. Not so much.

The doctor didn't have much to tell us. No ear infection, at least. She chalked his discomfort up to congestion, which he has had a lot of, but he's been congested since his bronchiolitis episode in August. I'm not sure what would make last night turn so ugly compared to any other night with congestion, but it still may be that he's teething. We can't feel anything yet, and although he's been chewing on his hands and fingers a lot, he does that quite a bit anyway. I guess if it happens again we'll have to try a teething ring or a cold, wet washcloth. I have a feeling, though, that if it is teething pain, it may be the teeth inside the gums moving around. For anyone that's ever had braces, I think it's probably like that...just an ache you can't do anything about as the teeth migrate around your mouth. Who knows.

I will say that the crying fits were probably among my scariest moments as a parent. The fever was scary on Tuesday night, but the way he was crying so inconsolably was truly frightening. When attempts to soothe him didn't even register, it just seemed like he was completely consumed by pain. He was oblivious to anything going on around him and just screamed like crazy. As a parent you want to take away your child's pain, even if it means bringing it on yourself. But even more, you just want your baby to be okay. You just want to know that whatever's causing the pain is temporary, that it won't permanently harm them. You want answers...desperately wishing that you could read minds or that your baby were extremely advanced and could point to where it hurts. Jacob wasn't giving us many clues, so it all just felt very scary and out of control for a while.

He seems better again today and is taking a nice long nap right now. Hopefully he'll be in a good mood when he wakes up and will be ready for some running around as we attempt to brave a few stores in the midst of the holiday shopping season's opening weekend.

We hope everyone had a very happy thanksgiving, and hopefully we'll get to see more of you at Christmas!

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