I DO NOT do vomit!
I HATE vomit!
-Dr Seuss (probably)
The smell is enough to send me over the edge and vomit myself. It’s also a terrible word, so I suppose it fits. Vomit reminds me of the time I worked as a night janitor at the University of Alberta. It was about 5 am and I was on my last set of bathrooms. I walked into a ladies room and the second the door opened and I was hit by that awful telling smell. I moved my shirt over my face and headed in to assess the situation. It was much, MUCH worse than I could have imagined. It was in a sink, up the sides, on the counter and splashed on the mirror. One look and I turned and made a quick exit. I thought about how to proceed. I knew there was no way I was going back in there. The bathroom itself was rather clean, so I made the decision to leave the vomit where it was and pretend it happened after I had already cleaned the bathroom. Yep! I did that and I have no regrets! Who knew this blog would be a place to confess my deepest darkest secrets…but there you have it. I left a sink full of vomit and pretended I had never seen or smelled it. But I did. And I’ll never be the same. But I digress, I really did have a reason for talking about vomit!
I knew the risks of vomit becoming a regular part of my life once I had kids. Sadly there is no hazard pay in parenting, although there probably should be. I had always hoped when the time came that my husband would be around to deal with it. My oldest will be 3 in August. She actually made it 2 years and 2 months before she ever threw up. Even then I would barely qualify it as such. We were in the car headed to the pumpkin patch and she was coughing after drinking an entire sippy cup of milk and we think she coughed a little too much and her milk came back out and all over her and her seat. It was pretty gross but not normal vomit gross.
Fast forward to May 1st 2017 and my vomit-free lifestyle ended. Ohhhh lordy did it ever. Lauren was sound asleep in her swing and Audrey in her bed. I was upstairs folding laundry enjoying my only hour or two of quiet for the day. My quiet ended with what sounded like a gagging noise coming through the baby monitor. At first glance everything seemed fine…until I noticed the glistening on Lauren’s chin and then it hit me.
It was only 4 PM and I knew Chris wouldn’t be home for hours. I was alone. I made my way downstairs. It was so much worse than I could have imagined. She was covered. Her hair, face, arms, shirt, and legs were covered. It was everywhere! I stood there trying to come up with a battle plan, trying to figure out how I would get her out of the swing and out of her clothes without getting it all over me and the floor. She was looking at me with a look of confusion on her face and probably wondering why the heck I was just sitting there staring at her instead of helping her. First thing I did was run and grab something to tie around my face. I carefully tied a t-shirt around to tightly cover my nose. I then laid dish towels on the floor next to the swing. There I was…looking like a bandit armed with baby wipes. I carefully picked her up and placed her on the dish towels. I slowly removed her onesie and wiped her down from head to toe. Next, I carefully took the swing seat apart and immediately threw it in the washer with her clothes. We made it upstairs, put on the washing machine and threw her in the bath. For someone who had just threw up probably all of the liquid and food inside her, she seemed in a pretty good mood. In that moment I felt hopeful it was a one time occurrence, haha I am such a vomit rookie. Thirty minutes later she threw up again all over our bed, sheets, pillows, comforter and me. She threw up 2 more times that night and for the next 5 days I lived in fear. Fear of vomit, fear of having to clean it and fear of wondering who was next. We made it through until morning with no more episodes so we started to think that maybe we were in the clear. She went all day Tuesday without vomiting and through the night and into Wednesday.
That was great, but as the hours passed we realized more and more that she wasn’t peeing. We called her Dr’s office and they had us bring her in that evening. They weren’t overly concerned and sent us on our way telling us she should have a wet diaper by the end of the night. Well, she didn’t. So when she still hadn’t peed into Wednesday afternoon (and had thrown up 2 more times that day) they sent us to the hospital for some potential fluids. By this time, whatever horrid virus had invaded my baby it was now invading me. I didn’t vomit, we will just leave it at that. A little immodium and peppermint candies to curb my nausea and it was off to spend a lovely evening at the hospital.
We were all checked in, both kids given popsicles and Lauren given some Zofran for nausea. Both girls were having the time of their lives. When the doctor observed the fact that Lauren looked like she was ready to hold an all night rave in the hospitals atrium, he made the decision not to give her fluids. At the time I was super annoyed because that was the whole reason our pediatrician sent us there. Instead they brought her juice and wanted to see if we could get a wet diaper before we headed home. We settled in to watch a movie.
And then it happened.
Audrey was its next victim. She was sitting with Chris and all of the sudden she vomited all over the place. On a stool, the bed, the floor and the sink. IT. WAS. EVERYWHERE! She had no idea what was happening, she was visibly shaking and scared. I immediately grabbed Lauren and went to let them know at the nurses desk. This–of course–was my excuse to be in the hallway away from the horrid, horrid smell. Not my greatest mom moment, I will be the first to admit it. But once Chris and the nurse cleaned some of it up and gave us these peppermint scented air fresheners, it was much better. But man…my girl Audrey was in a bad way. For some inexplicable reason we had like two changes of clothes for her so we got her changed and laid down on the bed. Chris went to check her in so she could also get some Zofran. We asked if there was a family discount or a 2-for-1 special….ha! Doubtful. Audrey threw up 3(!) more times at the hospital, burned through ALL her changes of clothes, and ended up wearing OHSU-provided toddler pants home. Oh and that’s not to mention she puked twice in the car on the way! That night we all slept in our room, I figured if there was going to be any more vomit I wanted it all contained in one place! Haha! And even though Lauren didn’t end up with fluids we were so SO thankful we were the hospital when Audrey did all that vomiting, since there already was enough vomit in my house from Lauren.
Over the next few days my little sickies were pretty mellow and clearly not feeling well. We ended up having to reschedule Lauren’s first birthday party. But slowly and surely, my loud, spirit filled littles were back to themselves.