After a one-month hiatus ... today, I had planned to continue the rest of my pregnancy, delivery and NICU experience. But instead, I am writing about the events that unfolded at our house. Last night.
This may seem hauntingly familiar.
1 AM: Elizabeth wakes up crying. Soon thereafter, we bring her in to bed with us, but not before she threw up all over the bathroom floor. We change her pajamas, wipe her face, and after feeling confident that this was a one-time event, climb in to bed. As soon as I start to fall asleep on the comfort of clean crisp sheets, she rolls in toward me - and vomits all over my chest and pillow.
I say a prayer that this is only limited to Elizabeth.
2 AM: William wakes up crying. I scoop him out of his crib and rendezvous with Charlie who is in the family room holding a vomiting Elizabeth. By the time we arrive in the kitchen, William is vomiting. We lay down on the couch and just as soon as I start to fall asleep on the comfortable, albeit lumpy couch - he lifts his head and vomits all over my chest and clean pajamas.
I say a prayer that this is only limited to Elizabeth and William.
3 AM: Carolyn wakes up crying. By the time I arrive in her room, she has vomited all over the inside of her crib ... all over her blankets, stuffed animals, and pajamas. I bring her out to the family room where William is perched perilously on the couch and Elizabeth is snuggled up with Charlie. I quickly retrieve the trusty bed pads that we used during our last trip through hell, and spread them all around the couch and floor. I sit down with Carolyn on my right side, William on my left side and a huge Shamu bucket that the popcorn came in, when we went to SeaWorld two weeks ago.
This has got to be a nightmare. Surely, I am still sleeping.
I pray that Charlie and I don't get this and that it's limited in duration.
For the next ten hours (and counting) ... every 10 to 15 minutes, all three of our children have coordinated their vomiting so that it is entirely synchronized. As soon as one starts, the other two are seconds behind.
Fortunately, Charlie and I have not been sick.
Unfortunately, the children are not yet at an age where they know how to hold their own emesis pan. When I can hear them start to gag and I bring the pan, bowl or bucket up to them, they swat at it furiously, like it is the thing causing them to vomit. Holding a pan, bowl or bucket for three vomiting toddlers who are swatting at it - simultaneously - is one of the hardest things I've ever done.
I cannot believe that our children are so sick, they cannot tolerate slivers of a popsicle, sips of water, three Cheerios, or ice chips before wretching everything out of their system.
I cannot believe that it was less than three months ago we went through a vomiting pandemic like the one we appear to currently be experiencing, again.
I cannot believe that our little children can stand to lose any more weight. They have only barely recovered from the last event.
I cannot believe that before noon, we have done six loads of laundry.
I cannot believe that we have propped our children in front of the television all day, and thus far, we've watched an entire PBS repeat of Dragon Tales, Clifford, Curious George, Sesame Street, Between the Lion's, It's A Big World and Caillou.
I cannot believe that Caillou was even more annoying the second time. How is that possible??
I cannot believe that I have only had 3 hours of non-consecutive sleep in the past 32-hours ... nor that Charlie has only had 2.
Like before, I don't know where this was picked up. Applying my three-day rule for germ incubation, we were at Church on Saturday. The children were in the nursery. Other than that venture - and small trips to the park [where there are rarely other kids] - our children have not been around any other kids for two weeks.
I have decided that after two weeks of continuous vomiting in October ... the flu in November ... bronchitis in December (that William is still coughing from) and now, this ... we are not going to expose our children to other kids until Spring. Of 2010.
I cannot believe this is happenening again and I would give absolutely anything to trade places with them.
If this bug lasts for more than 24-hours, so help me ... I am going to crawl in to a hole and not come out again until the Fourth of July, give or take a day or two, as necessary.
OR, until I get an uncontrollable craving for chocolate.