So Harper got a stomach bug the other day, and it. was. bad. I mean, BAD. She went to bed fine, acting like she felt completely normal. At 1 am, I woke up to hear her fussing so I checked the monitor. At that moment, I watched her throw up and it was like all in one second I felt sad for her, grossed out by the throw up, and sad for me that this was about to become a very long night...
She continued throwing up every 20 minutes from 1-4. Then she slept from 4-6, and then threw up every 30 minutes until 8. She finally stopped throwing up just in time for us to see her doctor. Her doctor said she seemed better and that hopefully it was all done. She was definitely tired, fussy, and sickly the rest of the day, but she was done throwing up and was starting to feel better.
So I had hours of time to think about all of this while Harper was continuously throwing up, and I decided that I wish someone had told me a few things before I had to learn them the hard way. Let's just say I had to change my clothes 4 times, Harpers' clothes 4 times, used 8 washcloths, 10 hand towels, 4 bath towels, and dirtied 2 sheets and 2 big blankets. So if you haven't experienced this yet, here are some words of advice.
1. Don't assume they are done throwing up. When you stop expecting it, it will happen. Always be on guard.
2. Don't put them back in their crib, thinking they are done throwing up, hoping you can get a little sleep. They will just end up throwing up again, all over themselves, their clothes, their hair, etc. Plus, you'll just have to wash another sheet.
3. Your husband, who probably has to work in the morning, is going to be grumpy and need sleep. But it's hard to clean throw up off yourself, the baby, the room, and console your sick child all at the same time. It sucks, but it's life.
4. It will take at least two showers and a full day to get the throw up smell out of your head.
5. Saltines are a good choice of snack after they are feeling a little better and need some food. It makes them thirsty so they drink more water, and the salt helps the body absorb more of the water. Plus, it's funny to watch them try to talk with saltines in their mouth.
6. The first time they throw up on you, you'll be grossed out. The third time, you'll just be annoyed. The fifth time, you might just ignore it.
7. No matter how hard they fight you while they are throwing up, hold them as still as possible. If they flail about, you'll just end up with throw up in your hair or down your back. It seems mean, but it's not. It's saving tons of time and energy.
8. This day, it is 100% acceptable by all people, that your child can sit and watch cartoons. All day long. There are few times when most moms will allow so much tv, but this is it.
9. As soon as your kid gets the stomach flu, immediately send the husband to the store to buy a huge bottle of grape juice. 100% grape juice - no cocktail, white grapes, or any other added element. Many people swear by this remedy for preventing you (the parent that is having to clean throw up and cuddle your germy kiddo) from getting sick too. Crazy enough, it worked for us. And it reminds you of being 6 and taking communion and Jesus and helps you not be so angry that your sweet child just threw up on you again.
10. Just accept that the next 24 to 48 hours are now gone. Don't try to go run errands or visit family thinking that they are better. They still feel gross (it really took about 48 hours) and they will be crabby and needy. Stay home, relax, and you'll be back to your normal life in a few days.