I have mentioned before that Brian and I have two (adorable!) boys – J, who is 2 1/2, and C, who will be ONE YEAR OLD (I’m still in denial!) in a little over two weeks.
When J was born, we were the typical first-time parents: worrying over fussiness, sleeping too much, not sleeping enough… you get the idea. Health-wise, though, J never gave us a scare. He rarely got sick, and when he did it was always something pretty mild.
C came along 20 months later, and by then we felt pretty seasoned, at least with the newborn stage. We were expert swaddlers, we could change diapers without getting sprayed (definitely something we didn’t know how to do the first time around), and we could calm fussiness like the experts we were.
Then, when C was about one month old he started having episodes that scared us half to death, and taught us pretty quickly that there were still things we hadn’t dealt with before as parents. He would cough, but then would start turning purple as he coughed, because he was having trouble coughing up whatever was bothering him. It would only last a few seconds, but that’s a few seconds too long! We took him in to the doctor, who didn’t really seem concerned. She said some babies just have a harder time coughing things up. Gee, thanks. We started using a humidifier regularly, and the bulb syringe became our best friend. Poor C probably hated it. Eventually he grew out of it, no worse for wear, thank goodness.
Next, when he was around 3 months old, C started having ear infections, which was also something J never had a problem with. C had five double ear infections overall. His right ear drum ruptured – TWICE. So, at 7 months old we had to get tubes put in his ears. Those helped the situation immensely, but we still felt awful that he’d had to go through that at all! Babies being sick is just the worst, because not only are they pitiful and helpless, they can’t let us know what’s wrong! We were so glad to find a solution to his ear infections and especially to stop the ruptures, which I’m sure were pretty painful.
Last night was yet another moment where we felt like first-time parents. I woke up at 2 in the morning to hear C coughing in the boys’ room. I got up to go get him a drink, and once I walked past their doorway I could hear it – wheezing. With each breath he inhaled, there was a deep, throaty wheezing noise. It sounded to me like something had gotten caught to block his airway, and that he was choking. After checking him, I realized that wasn’t the problem, but the wheezing hadn’t stopped – and C was screaming (also odd for him), which seemed to be making it worse. We called the on-call doctor from our pediatrician’s practice, and went ahead and got in the car to head toward the ER just in case. I’ll totally admit that all the worst-case scenarios were running through my head, and I wanted to be close to the hospital in case the doctor called us back and said we needed to go.
Minutes later the doctor called back – he could hear the noise C was making and said it sounded like severe croup. He called in a prescription for steroids, and said we only needed to go to the hospital if C had trouble breathing. The prescription helped pretty quickly, and before long C was calm and seemed almost back to normal – but Brian and I were definitely shaken.
Situations like that are horrible and not anything a parent would ever wish to go through with their child, but I know for me they also provide reminders. Last night I was reminded that:
• I’ll never be an expert parent (and that’s quite alright).
• I should never take time with my kids for granted.
• I’m extremely thankful to have Brian as my partner in parenting. He is calm when I am not, and together we make a great team even in the rough moments.
• God is in control even when we can’t be.
I thought I’d share a photo of me and C from the park the other day to close out this post. Check out our little strong man – he’s totally holding himself up, of course. I’m just there for moral support.