This week we received a call from the Professor’s mother. It was the kind of tearful call that you never, ever want to receive. Out of respect for the family, I will be vague. There is some concern over his aging father’s health. Something is not right, be it depression caused from an aging/failing body, outbursts because of a life-time of chronic pain or worse.
We are heading to Arizona to see them on Tuesday, which means we can better assess the situation with his health and their home. My in-laws are quirky and eccentric people and I like that about them! I come from an odd lot, too, so it feels homey when we visit. My in-laws are also the most generous people I have ever met. Long-time readers know that we call them “The Investors” when talking about Sabine and our IVF cycles, as they paid every ridiculous cent of it.
They helped us get setup in New York and continue to help us make ends meet so their son can get the awesome experience that comes from a post-doc at a prestigious university. I love my in-laws, complicated as our relationship may sometimes be. I do not wish this kind of ailing on them, or anyone.
Christmas is usually my holiday. I wait all year for Christmas and don’t get much sleep the nights heading up to it out of excitement for the big day, even though I know Santa does not exist! Now that I have a kiddo to infect with my abundance of Christmas cheer it is even more exciting. Having to deal with a potentially sick parent over Christmas just does not feel very jolly.
But it is absolutely necessary.
And not optional.
Because the Professor is an only child. There is no one else.
And that, dear readers, opens up a can of very complicated, very ugly and very dark worms.
I thought for sure I ovulated a little over three weeks ago. I was senselessly randy and then came a disgusting wad of egg white cervical mucus. I was dead certain I had ovulated. The next few weeks passed with much day dreaming about how I would tell the Professor I was pregnant. I thought about how we could rearrange our tiny apartment to fit two. I was walking on air.
Nearly four weeks later and the pee stick is still stark white with no period is in sight. I silently cry in the bathroom regularly now, mourning what could have been and what was not. Mourning the fleeting peace I had felt with an only child just a month ago.
I do want another baby. I want Sabine to have a sibling bond with someone she shares genetics with (crappy as they may be). I want her to have someone to invade her space on car trips. To play board games with when it rains. To have a secret code to keep parents from knowing what they are up to. To have someone by her side if or when one of us starts to falter, especially when dementia runs strong on both sides.
But the professor and I are both solidly in the “no more treatment camp.” I can’t stomach the thought of more needles. Of more bad news. Of more ultrasounds. Of more anguish and negative tests. Of embryos that fail to thrive. Of… you know the list.
Ultimately, I’m sitting here like an idiot waiting for the fabled “surprise” pregnancy that so many IVFers find themselves with after their miracle baby. Every month that my cycle fails to return, though, promises otherwise.
I’m not sure the point of this post. I’m not looking for encouraging stories of so-in-so who got knocked up after 8 million IVFs. I guess I’m just publicly acknowledging that sometimes one and done does not feel like enough.
I tried to take Sabine’s Christmas card photo today. It did not go well. We are in the throws of some serious temper tantrums and big emotions lately. I was going to write a big post about this but I think these photos do it a better job!
While we were in Kentucky Sabine got a stomach bug and threw up all over her crib, all over our bed (and me) and all over the carseat. Please don’t hate me, but this was my first time dealing with kid puke.
That’s right folks. My kid might be small and a slow walker but by God she is TIDY! I can recount only five times she spit up. She has had a few poo-splosions but never any of the fabled projectile poops that hit walls and curtains. Up until this weekend she had never vomited and she has never soiled her bed. I’ve had a spare mattress protector hanging around for 17 months waiting for a gnarly display of baby fluid. Sabine is a tidy little wonder to behold.
So this weekend’s mass vomitous was both unexpected and poorly handled. I did not realize she had vomited in the crib at first. The wet lovie was suspicious, but I assumed drool from teething (dumb). The foul smell completely failed to register at 2 a.m., too. It was not until I had nursed her back to sleep and laid her back in the crib with the wet lovie that I realized, GASP, my very tidy child had barfed!
Since we were in a hotel there was no readily accessible change of sheets. Since we were in a $44 a night hotel (don’t judge) there was no one to come clean the room at 2 a.m. so we brought poor pukey baby into our bed.
Mistake No. 2.
Don’t bring a pukey baby into your bed. Sabine snuggled into my arms and fell into a heavy sleep. Five minutes later she rolled over to face me, burped and then threw up in my face. She projectile vomited several more times and then sat looking very dazed. If you are easily nauseated you should skip the next paragraph.
Then she reached in her mouth and handed me a still intact noodle. She handed me a noodle. That had been in her belly since 8 p.m., and was still clearly a noodle. Horror.
The next morning she seemed better. She nibbled some toast at Cracker Barrel and then played happily in the Cracker Barrel kid corner. We assumed the vomiting had been teething related (cause you can blame everything on teething) and got ready to head to head out for a day of visiting.
Mistake No. 3.
Don’t put a previously pukey baby in a carseat.
A few minutes down the road we heard the now very familiar burp and a third round of ridiculous, horror movie style projectile vomit. She sobbed for 30 seconds and then passed out in a puddle of her own filth. The Professor and I stared at each other in disbelief. Did this just happen? In our new car? In the new big carseat?
We turned around and went back to the hotel, vowing to spend the next 24 hours keeping this kid as still as possible, and away from any expensive upholstery.
The rest of our visit was free of excess bodily fluid, which was a relief. Sabine reverted to newborn levels of nursing and refused all other food for several days. Totally ok with me. Warm milk is full of good nutrients and antibodies and the boost in nursing made my saggy boobs perky again for a few days. WIN WIN!
Mistake No. 4
Nursing at newborn levels after having a stomach bug will produce newborn consistency poop in big kid quantities. Diapers will fail.
An hour into the first day of the drive home the car got stinky. I often voice, loudly I have been told, that my unshowered husband stinks. I’m sorry, an unclean man is ripe and my nose is sensitive. These observations are viewed as offensive, though, so on this occasion I kept my mouth shut. For the next TWO HOURS I kept thinking that my husband sure did stink like baby poop.
In hindsight, I don’t know what I was thinking. Dirty husbands smell like BO and man toots, not baby poop. I think I’ll blame teething again…
So two hours after the stink surfaced I had to pee and the hubs was hungry so we stopped at another Cracker Barrel (we ate a lot of Cracker Barrel on this trip). I ran off to the bathroom and left the Professor to get Sabine out of the car. While peeing I received the following text:
Baby Poop Explosion. Come Quick.
Sabine was covered in poop. Her pants were a total loss. After two hours of sitting in the poo her tooshie was raw. Her carseat was saturated. I cleaned the baby while the Professor did the best he could with the carseat, but honestly there is only so much you can do when you are on the side of a highway in rural Maryland.
This was on Friday morning. We did not make it back to New York until Saturday evening. No need to do the math – that is too many hours in a poo/vomit smelling car. Saturday morning we had Sabine all cleaned up and in nice clean clothes. By the time we stopped for lunch the stench from the carseat had left her smelling positively rank. I was embarrassed to bring her into the mall to play, but alas, a kid’s gotta wiggle!
So now I’m facing the daunting task of cleaning the carseat after it had plenty of time to fester. We have tried Lysol and then completely washing it in Dawn dish soap and it is still stinky. Tonight I will spray it with Nature’s Miracle and cross my fingers. Luckily we have a Maxi Cosi Pria, which has a removable cover, but the instructions advise against putting it in the washing machine. So I come here, to my smart, and baby-poo-puke-savvy readers – what would you do? In return for your expertise, I promise to never again write about my child handing me a still intact barfed up noodle.