My middle baby was sick last week.
As in, we went to her pediatrician for a 105 degree fever and were sent to the hospital ASAP and holy-shit-that’s-scary-and-I’m-not-prepared. She’s had a bladder infection & truth-be-told some real troubles with fully potty training. We’ve had a great many accidents and while I know that’s common, it was strange in that she would make it to the potty fine…and then pee in her pants 10 minutes later. And? TMI maybe, but it stunk. I only know this because now that she’s been to hell & back and we’re working on fixing her issues- it doesn’t stink.
So what started out as a bladder infection in December, treated with a round of oral antibiotics, has now been diagnosed as a kidney infection. My stomach almost literally hit the floor when I heard that. My three year old. A kidney infection. Tears stung my eyes and I felt the saliva thicken in my mouth. And then, like every good mother does, I smiled at my daughter, pleaded with my eyes toward our supportive paediatrician & steeled my emotions for the next 4 hours of our lives at the hospital.
May you never, ever have to watch your child get an IV. This, my wish for you.
She was so brave, never shed a tear while being picked FOUR TIMES with a needle. She grimaced & growled and I attempted to distract with pinwheels and Waybuloo (WTF is up with that show anyway?). Eventually I gave way to the fact that my daughter was tougher than me and simply wanted me to be honest. So I acknowledged that it hurt really bad, that it was not fun, but it would be over soon.
And when we finally made it back to the spacious room with it’s hopelessly tiny bed for my equally tiny daughter, she slept peacefully as I cried in the corner like a wounded animal. And when I had to tell her upon waking that she couldn’t take that IV out of her arm and would have to wear it home and keep it for 4 days- I wanted to cry again. And she just shrugged and jumped off the bed, asking for her Dora flip flops.
Four days of IV fluids & antibiotics, administered by nurses in my home. Five days of my daughter refusing to eat. Five days of touch & go fevers reaching as high as 105 degrees. Five days of my normally ambitious preschooler asleep on the couch/bed/floor…
And now, we wait. She’s had an ultrasound & an x-ray and what we DO know is her kidneys are functioning normally. Oh dear me, thank you. What we don’t know is what caused a kidney infection in a young girl, how it got so far gone so quickly and if it will be cured by a full 15 day round of antibiotics.
Here is something else I know: I trust myself. I trust my instincts. I know my daughter & knew the moment she woke up that morning that something was off. I did not once falter in her care, I advocated for her when she could not do so for herself. When one nurse did not show up on time to administer her medication, I was on the phone with her & both her bosses in 25 minutes. I listened to my gut & the trusted medical staff. I was persistent, firm, gracious and strong on the surface. I earned my Mommy Badge & I’m darn proud of how shiny it is.
My friends, family & coworkers could not have provided me more support. We were never without a helping hand and we appreciate it so much. Annika is very loved, and she knows it. To everyone who called & wished her well- we felt buoyed by your support, and we can’t thank you deeply enough.