After School Special: Hell Week

Poor Baby.

Hello old friend. While it has only been 4 days since I last sat down before you to crack wise and make cat calls, I stand before you today a completely different person, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Allow me to start at the beginning.

Hell Week

Friday evening, Angry Baby started pacing in a circular pattern and began to vomit. Lover Fo’ Life and I instantly went to work cleaning and calming our little vomiting rainbow. She was fine for the rest of the night and went to bed without incident. Toddlers are gnarly little creatures that sometimes ingest things they shouldn’t (dirt, grasses, insects) and hurl said things up. Life goes on.

But when she awoke Saturday morning and yacked the 2 bites of banana we were able to get her to eat? I knew this was at the very least, a “little stomach bug.”

All Saturday Angry Baby was her normal, silly self. Save a few ralph sessions, she was a-ok. Just to be safe, I called her pediatrician’s office and spoke with the nurse. After a 15 minute conversation, I was well-schooled in what I needed to do and look for. Unfortunately, a wicked little virus is running rampant and there’s little to do other than hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I followed the instructions to the letter and got back to caring for my sicko.

Sunday, our little moon beam slept almost all day. She conked longer than she did when she was an infant. My “mom genes” knew something was up. I called the pediatrician on call, he told me to wake her. If Angry Baby was playful and perked up, then she should be fine. He re-stressed the need for hydration and wished me a good evening.

And a good evening it was! Angry Baby’s granny came by to check on her. We had dinner and even Angry Baby ate! Of course, they were french fried potatoes (fried foods are a no-no with a stomach bug) but hey, we would have fed the kid caviar off of Elmo’s navel, if it meant she would eat at that point.

Sunday night, Angry Baby developed a rocket-like case of the chocolate milk sh*ts. In 2 minutes she managed to vomit all over the living room and “went to the bathroom” all over our bedroom floor (thank GOD for no carpeting in the entire house!)

Lover Fo’ Life got to work mopping up the sick and feces and my mother in bathed a very traumatized baby.

Sunday at 3:00am, it began to be my turn. I was up sick and moaning, twisting in my covers for the rest of the night.

Monday I awoke feeling much better, Lover fo’ Life left for the day and I went about trying to coax Angry Baby into eating something while I worked the prescribed rehydration process.

After a few rice puffs and a couple of drama-free hours, Angry Baby and I were playing when she crawled in my lap and unceremoniously up-chucked all over me.

“It’s ok, baby. Let it out, you’re fine.” I instinctively instructed. She followed through by shooting a massive load of water vomit through her nostrils directly into my face.

I know, it’s f*cking disgusting that a person would openly invite being puked on. All I can offer in apology is this: when a parent is dealing with a truly sick kid, nature momentarily stops all boundaries, hangups and gag reflexes. My kid was sick. Very sick.

When Lover Fo Life, came home to help take care of the limp little Cowpoke, he arrived just in time for lunch. “Get in the truck, we’re going to have some lunch and drive Angry Baby around town in the cool truck.” She loves riding, it was a great idea. After lunch, I started feeling a familiar lurch in my stomach, I was going to be sick.

“We need to go home, I’m in a bad way.”

I instinctively locked eyes with my daughter to calm myself. She appeared to be in the early stages of a nap. Her eyes fluttered open,with a chilling, bleak look.

“What, you don’t ever wanna smile again for your mommy?” Ever the ham, Valor gave me a quick grin and went back to nodding off.

We pulled into the driveway and I made a run for the restroom. Lover fo’ Life took a now awake kiddo out of her car seat, she proceeded to walk into the house where there was a paused episode of Sesame Street waiting for her on the television screen.

Once settled, L4L went to check on me, sick in the other room. I assured him that I was fine and no less than 10 sec. later… I heard L4L’s voice raise.

“Valor? What’s wrong? Valor!?”


I dialed 911.

“911, what’s your need?”


“Address? Hold, I’ll patch you through.”

“Ambulance dispatch, what is the emergency?


The operator began walking me through what to do. Luckily L4L, an Eagle Scout, had Valor in his lap upright, he was holding her chin up to keep the airway free.

I surveyed my daughter for the first time. She was rigid, and lazily staring at some point off in the sky. Her mouth was foaming and twisted, speaking of her mouth: the eyes and mouth were a shade of blue I wish I could rip from existence. Her breathing was ragged and shallow, like something was cutting her lungs every time she inhaled.

The total time that had passed from L4L’s horrific discovery to this moment was only 2 minutes.

And then, a ray of hope in a desperate situation.

Valor gasped and screamed a high-pitched peel that I’ll never strike from my memory as long as I live. Her screams were a welcome relief from the foaming rigors and unresponsive trance. She was starting to come to.

Simultaneously, EMS workers entered and began asking a litany of questions. It was fast and overwhelming. I was in shock, and as they began treating Valor I became hysterical. I have no excuse for crumbling under the pressure, honestly…as a mother I owed it to Valor to stronger, but I wasn’t. I became a quivering mound of blubbering hysteria. I made Susan Lucci aka Erica Kane look understated.

While it’s not an excuse, the best explanation I have is this:

In less than 3 minutes I went from kneeling before a toilet to pleading with a complete stranger to save my child.  Too much. Too quick. I’ve got chops, but at the time I didn’t have those chops.

Anysobbingbuffoons, one of the EMT’s began to talk to me. He was kind and reassuring. “Ma’am, I know this is scary, but I promise, little kids spike fevers all the time and seize. She will be ok. Just so you have some piece of mind.”

His assurance was the kick in the pants I needed. Still weeping I went about collecting her belongings and the supplies we would need at the emergency room. They wheeled Angry Baby off to start an IV of fluids. L4L volunteered to ride with her, I followed in my truck. As the Ambulance slowly made its way to Texas Children’s Hospital, I got all of my crying out.

Mom-Jello entered my vehicle, but the steel-drivin’ warrior would emerge at the emergency room. My time to lose it and act like a baby was over, I had a baby who needed me to suck it up.

As they parked the ambulance, I was already waiting. Supplies in hand (including L4L’s wallet) I met the team. The kind EMT greeted me with a warm smile, “Well you sure look like you’re doing better!”

“Thanks to y’all’s help, I am. Gave myself the car ride over to get all the tears out. Now, I’ve got to be a mom.”

Lover fo Life and Valor emerged from the vehicle, she was strapped down, covered in vomit and thrashing in rage. As they wheeled her, I was filled in on the ride over, “We tried to start an IV,” my EMT friend said. “But she was just so Angry.”

I smiled. “That doesn’t surprise me at all.”

As we answered questions and gave information out in the hallway, my Mother in Law came bounding through the double doors. I started running her through what was going on and rather than listen she grabbed me in her arms and hugged me. It’s amazing how Mom-Genes never fade. They always know what their children need, (in-law or other wise.)

The next few hours were spent holding a screaming child in a tiny room with more equipment than floorspace. Doctors examed and consulted, tests were run, extensive blood work was done, oh…and remember that little’ ol IV my kid got out of? Well, she wasn’t so lucky again and screamed the entire time it was in, for HOURS. And by screaming, I mean: she thrashed and tried to pull it out every chance she had. We were assured by the staff that this was a GREAT sign for a child in her situation.

Since my MIL was there and more than happy to rock a screaming Angry Baby, this afforded L4L and yours truly a small break from the overwhelming aural assault.

As we walked to the cool of the lobby for fresh air, my guts twisted, reminding me of the carnival of horrors that awaited both ends of my being. After a few moments in the quiet and peaceful lobby, we went back to the fiery depths of Angry Baby’s personal torture chamber. Labs were back, she was not dehydrated, nor was she running a fever, her blood work looked good and the doctor explained the next steps.

They were letting her go home, and arming us with 2 prescriptions. One to help keep food down and another to shove up her buns in the event she had a seizure that lasted longer than 5 minutes.

In addition to scripts, her physicians ordered an in-depth pediatric neurological exam and further tests. We were scheduled at the main campus the next day. All that was left to do was go home and rest.

As the three of us rode the short way home, Valor began softly singing in the back seat. As usual, her tiny vocal stylings buoyed our spirits immensely. My MIL suggested sleeping over to help us out, and we declined. It needed to be our sweet trio that night.

The great news is this: because of some AWESOME meds she got while in the emergency room, Valor was HON-GRAY. Per the doctor’s orders, we let her eat whatever she wanted. Thankfully, our house was previously stocked with foods we were trying to bribe our sick baby into ingesting. Nilla Wafers, Vanilla Creme Sandwich cookies, peanut butter crackers, Gerber graduate cheese puffs, it was a smorgasbord of toddler delights.

Our evening consisted of watching Angry Baby stuff her chipmunk cheeks full of goodies. Not only did she hold everything down, she also drank 3 glasses of water. As she laughed and threw cheese doodles, the stress…the monumental and soul crushing trauma of the day became a distant memory.

When sleep approached, L4L quietly posed the question we both wanted to avoid, “What if she has another one in the middle of the night?”

She’ll need to sleep with us.

Angry Baby is well-known for being an anti-snuggler. We literally can count on 2 fingers the nights she’s slept all the way through with us in our bed. Homegirl likes to have her own space. I completely identify, as I’m not known much for cuddling myself. But invade and take over our bed she did.  How our little child could take up an entire king-size bed, is a feat of physics that will be studied at MIT for ages.

While this isn’t the end of our saga, it is my stopping point for now. Recounting the events has been surprisingly draining. How can writing a bunch of dumb words on a dumb blog drain a fully grown woman?

Easy. I’ve been shocking the bathroom with sick and awful since Tuesday. Real Talk: I haven’t puked this much since I was in the 4th grade.

Thus concludes the sad and scary portion of our saga. Please stay tuned for the uplifting and far more entertaining conclusion. But before you go, know this: Angry Baby is fine and all the news so far has been positive.

I can’t express how grateful I am to Dr. Joseph Yang Allen M.D and his wonderful team in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

Thank you to our friends and family who, loved, prayed, wished, cared, helped and supported us during this time, if you do not believe in the power of positive people in your life, you’re a fool.

Also, it must be said:

I have missed you, my darling reader, terribly. Providing an absurd escape from the hum-drum and jerks, is one of my greatest joys. Writing this has been tough, and slow-going, but now that I’m back and done with the most unpleasant part, I promise We’ll get right back to fart jokes and eye-rolls.

But now?

I’m sustaining myself on Coconut water, and baby chuckles.

People, I’m one cigarette and large coffee away from being a cracked out runway model. I’ve got to get my hands on some rockin’ junk food and riteous booze soon.

Your friend forever,

The Crib Keeper


After School Special: Hell Week — 5 Comments

  1. Oh holy hell, woman. You’ve effectively made me tear-up and giggle in the same reading. I am so glad to hear that things have straightened up for you guys. Hugs, man. Hugs.

  2. Pingback: After School Special: Through The Fire and Flames | grouchymuffin

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