This is a picture of my adorable daughter at the end of a trying two weeks. Since two weeks ago today, she has had pinkeye, three different rashes, a diaper allergy, RSV (a respiratory infection), broncialitis, upset tummy, raging fever, projectile vomit, and a double ear infection. By the end of the day today, "pitiful" does not BEGIN to describe my 5 month old. I will say that she IS a trooper. The only time she's SHOWN how bad she feels is when the fever has gone above 102 (which it has done WAY too much). She didn't cry with the pinkeye drops or rashes. She didn't cry at the emergency room when they did nasal swabs and a catheter for a urine sample. She really didn't cry much at all. She just wimpered for about 3 straight days through the fever, coughing, and throwing up. (She DID cry big time when given an antibiotic shot for the ear infections today, however.)
It has been a hard week. But it has been hard for a much different reason than I ever expected. Having a sick baby isn't hard because you have to take off work and find babysitters. It isn't hard because you don't get enough sleep or even because you've been snotted on and thrown-up on. It's hard because you can see the misery in this tiny baby's eyes and there's just NOTHING you can do about it. You can't make her feel better. You can't even explain to her that this pain is just temporary and will go away very soon. All you can do is hold her close to you and whisper love in her ear and maybe even cry along with her.
Who knew someone else's sickness could hurt you so much. When I tell mother of this motherly pain, she says, "Imagine how hard it is for me when I hear MY baby hurting this much and she's in Georgia, so I can't even hold her." When I tell Munner of this motherly pain, she tells me of one of her "children" who is over 50 being hurt recently and how it still hurt her. She says, "That connection never goes away."
Look at that sweet thing curled into that blanket (which she did herself). I just want to do anything I can to make her feel better and comfort her. Who knew that parenting was much more about helplessness than about control?!? (I guess probably most of you knew that, huh?)