She's got a fever.
She's been coughing so hard she vomits.
It's been a week. A cold, the pediatrician said.
She has a whine, a sort of coyote howl/wookie noise. Her voice breaks halfway through, and she somehow manages to make two noises at once, a dissonance that grates our ear bones and drives to our cores. We wince, grumble, cringe, sympathize, try to comfort.
Snot running out of her nose, she can't breathe well, so she doesn't sleep well.
Last night it was sleep for fifteen minutes, get up and rock the baby, get her settled, lie back down, repeat. Hours on end. Finally, she threw up in her crib. Too tired to think straight, I didn't wake Someone and have him hold her while I changed the crib sheets; I just cleaned her up and brought her to bed with us where she slept fitfully and I didn't sleep much at all.
She was hot to the touch. Bad Mama, I don't have a working thermometer, but even when I did I relied as much on the kiss-the-neck method of fever detection as any contraption. Yeah, yeah.
She vomited in her sleep again, coughing and choking as I got her up and caught it in my cover sheet, held her until she was quiet again. Later, we went into the living room so Someone could get some rest. I can lie on the couch with her...mostly. My butt sticks out over the edge and I have to balance myself carefully so I don't fall off but she is safe between me and the back of the couch, and as long as I don't move, she sleeps.
Of course, it is Sunday. A holiday weekend, no less. Of course the pediatrician's office is closed. Of course she does not seem sick enough to warrant an ER visit...yet...so it has been a worrying sort of day. What to do...
Late morning, Someone was up - he finally got a few hours of good rest - and I handed her off for the sake of a shower, of washing spit-up residue and snot and fever heat and sweat off of me, clean for a few minutes any way.
I came out of the bathroom to silence. Cautiously crept into the living room.
Nestled in her Papa's arms, limp and warm, she was asleep. Her cheek rested on his shoulder, his cheek rested on her soft little head. His eyes were closed, just being in the moment. I listened to her breath, soft, wet, rapid, almost panting.
I found the infant's ibuprofen. It helped a little - she drank some juice, ate part of a graham cracker, played a little, napped with me.
I am still debating whether we should drive to the ER. She's limp, listless, more than she's active. This child who runs, plays, babbles, laughs, and cries relentlessly through the day has been still and silent. It's the fever - it takes the fizz out of a body. I hate to use the ER as a doctor's office. If she's not much better by later tonight, I'll make the drive.
I hate it when my kids feel puny. I love it when she takes comfort in us, cuddled up close, wet little breaths rattling across our cheeks.
I need to go get more ibuprofen.