Hello. It's been a while, eh? What's been happening?
Over here, this lady is now walking. Using sign language. Driving.
Still not talking. Unless you count emphatically shaking her head "no" at anything she doesn't want to eat/do/have touching her as talking. Which is exactly what I'm going to do at her 15-month well child appointment in a few weeks when the pediatrician gets up my ass yet again about whether or not she's said any words.
I never intended to do those monthly newsletter-type baby posts because 1) I kind of figure no one but me and my family really gives a shit about whether my kid can roll over or sit up or shove her toothbrush in the cat's mouth (EVERY. GODDAMN. DAY.), and 2) I know myself. And I knew I would get behind on my self-imposed deadlines and then feel bad about watching two episodes of Big Love during her nap instead of blogging. And I don't want to feel guilty for loving Big Love. (WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT BIG LOVE. And you people call yourselves my internet friends?)
Anyway, now I kind of wish I had done monthly posts, or recorded things in any sort of way because babies, man. They just change so fast. Not just in the big and obvious ways like walking and talking, but in the subtle little ways that no one but me would probably even notice.
But hey, we had a new milestone this past week: baby's first bout of plague!
Now, strictly speaking Hannah has been sick twice before. She woke up vomiting one time when she was three or four months old, and it was terrifying and awful and we debated taking her to the ER like a couple of n00bs. The next day we discovered that the formula we'd given her was one day past its expiration date. Surely that couldn't be it, we told ourselves, it's just a coincidence. And then we gave her that formula again a few weeks later. She again woke up vomiting that night. Soooo. She was certainly sick, but not really sick in germ sense, just in the "my parents are assholes" sense. (For the record, my lactation consultant ASSURED me that formula one day past its expiration date would not cause that reaction. You know what she failed to mention? That tubs of powdered formula need to be used within 30 days of opening them. The more you know!)
So basically, I just discounted those two little episodes when I mentally bragged about how Hannah had never been sick. Kind of like how I've never had a cavity, I fantasized that Hannah would go through life never, ever getting sick.
Until last Thursday. What we Americans call "Thanksgiving".
She started fussing at midnight, riiiight as I was about to fall asleep. As is always the case. ALWAYS. I let her fuss for a bit hoping she'd go back to sleep, and she did. Ten minutes later, same thing. And then again. Finally she escalated to full-scale, standing-up-in-the-crib crying and I went downstairs to see where she'd jammed her pacifier and put her back to sleep. The second I walked into the room I smelled it. At first I assumed Night Poop, because this wouldn't exactly have been our first encounter with the Diaper Rash Fairy. But then I saw that her face and hair were all wet and there was something on her pajamas and oh dear god, the crib. It was all over the crib. I picked her up to get her out of that festering vomit stinkhole and called for Joel to come and help me. Then I called again. And again. Because guess who was sleeping through this whole thing? Yeah.
I woke Joel from his log-like slumber and tasked him with changing the crib sheets while I got in the shower with Hannah. I'm not going to actually try to describe the way she smelled. I don't think there are words in the English language that could convey the absolute level of horror. There's probably something in ancient Latin or Hebrew or whatever language priests use to perform exorcisms.
We got Hannah re-diapered and into clean pajamas and put her back in bed. Immediately after the shower she'd been shaking and clinging to me, but after fifteen minutes of so she was clearly trying to go back to sleep and she didn't have a temperature, so... back in the crib. Look, my kid's been sleeping in her crib by herself for a long time now, and not gonna lie -- I'm not cut out for that staying up all night shit any more. It's kind of impressive how fast your body goes from feeling like four consecutive hours of sleep is a goddamn gift from the angels to needing five cups of coffee beacuse your kid woke up once during the night.
I put Hannah back in the crib, she rolled over and went right to sleep. I went back to bed and juuuuuust as I was about to fall back asleep, satisfied it was a one-time puke fluke, I heard her tiny, pathetic coughing over the monitor. I hustled down to her room and was nearly knocked over by the demon stench as soon as I opened the door. At least this time she hadn't had time to roll in it, so we just changed the sheets again and changed her pajamas AGAIN and Joel helped me set up a ghetto floor bed in her nursery (two pillows on the floor, towel draped over the front of my body, baby on top of the towel, blanket over us both). For the next hour she dozed, waking up every 15 or 20 minutes to dry heave. Thankfully she didn't have anything left in her stomach, but have you ever watched a baby dry heave? I thought I'd seen some sad things in my life -- babies who have thrown their snack cup out of their carseat, babies who have can't figure out how to open a plastic bag full of Cheerios, etc -- but this was the saddest. The absolute most pathetic thing I've ever witnessed in my life. All I could do was hold a washcloth from my arsenal of clean towels under her chin and pat her back. My poor little goose.
Finally, she dozed for half an hour without incident and I dared to put her in her crib and sneak back up to bed.
The next day we were supposed to drive to New Jersey for a belated Thanksgiving with my family. Hannah woke up with diaper loaded with the remnants of Unholy Vomit and oh, dear lord. I don't mean to belabor this point or make you stop eating your lunch, but the smell. That same impossibly awful smell. It will haunt my dreams for years to come.
We'd been planning to leave around 10am, but decided to wait unitl noon to make sure Hannah didn't start puking again. Plus, Joel said he didn't feel too great. I called my mom's house to break the news that we'd probably be leaving later in the day. Possibly not until Saturday.
Guess where this is going. Guess. Yup. Joel started throwing up. A few hours after that, I joined him. And what followed was certainly the most miserable day of our decade together. Possibly the worst day of my entire life, and I am not exaggerating. Hannah was producing diapers from hell every two hours. Joel and I could hardly bring ourselves to roll over and see why she was crying, let alone do anything about it. At one point in the afternoon I realized that she might be hungry, having vomited up an entire day's stomach contents the night before and not having eaten all day. I crawled into the kitchen, put a slice of bread and a banana on the floor, and dragged myself back to the couch. Later I saw her meandering around with the half-eaten slice of bread in her hand, picking tiny crumbs off and alternating putting them in her mouth and dropping them on the carpet.
It was a stellar day of parenting, that's for sure. I'm pretty sure we met just about every criteria for bona fide child neglect, and I might have even felt bad about that if I hadn't actually believed I was going to die for several hours.
So! Plans for Christmas? What's everyone doing? Not getting whatever the hell this Plague of Doom was ever again EVER is pretty much my only wish for St. Nick.