Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sickness and Nursing a toddler

First, I will say that Asher is doing much better now, but over the course of five hours he went from perfectly healthy to shallow breathing to vomiting all over himself and me to 102 fever to EKG to chest x-rays to absolutely lethargic to giving a weak little smile and asking for "nack" in a quiet little voice. If you know Asher, you know he isn't much for quiet little voices, although he does love him some snack.

I was working on a sweet little post for today. It'll have to wait. I know there are kids who are sick every day. And as a mother and a human that just breaks my heart. Kid is sick. Mama needs to make it better. That's just how it should be. And it really, really, really sucks when it doesn't work that way. Like, more really sucks than I could ever write.

Today Asher woke up fine and dandy, had a fine and dandy breakfast, and was fine and dandy as we dropped Audrey off at co-op. Then he started to look really tired and I asked if he wanted to sleep and he said, "nigh night." Again, this is not normal behavior. I brought him up to rock him to sleep and I noticed his breathing was really shallow and fast. With a family history of SVT, I felt his heart and it was going fast. I know baby's heart rates are faster than grown-up's, but this was fast. I held him and he fell asleep, but his breathing never slowed down to that deep, slow breathing we all know and love and associate with a baby sleeping peacefully. He woke up a half hour later and Isaac went up to get him. Asher didn't raise his hands up to get held and just sat on the floor when Isaac brought him to the basement. I went over to him and he was grunting with some of his breaths and still not getting deep breaths. I told the boys to grab something to eat because we were going in to urgent care.

I was trying really hard not to freak because that's not helpful. Asher threw up during the short car ride there. We got in right away and they took his temperature, pulse, etc. The doctor came in and he threw up a few more times. He could hardly keep his eyes open. He was whimpering my name and clinging to me. He didn't care when they took his blood pressure or stuck stuff up his nose or hooked up the EKG. HE was just so out of it. He didn't talk much, but he did say, "milk." "milk, mama."

Now, there are times I wish we were done nursing for the convenience factor and for the having my body back to myself factor. And I'm sure there are plenty of people who will read this and wonder why I'm still nursing a 19 month old. I won't get into all of the reasons, but I will say that our life has been in enough turmoil since Asher was 11 months old and this is something he knows. It helps comfort him and let him know he is safe. He feels secure and loved. I know there are millions of ways for children to feel that and he probably feels loved and safe for about 999,999 of them, but nursing is one of the ways and it is has been part of our relationship since day one. We will stop when he wants to stop or when things are more settled in our lives and I want to push the subject a bit more.

But I will also say that I have never been so glad to be nursing this toddler than today when he was hooked up to an EKG and puking up breakfast and getting checked for pneumonia and flu and asked for milk and it calmed him. His cheeks pinked up a bit after being pale. He looked up at me and didn't whimper. He was calm.

After ruling out a lot of things at the doctor's office, we got home and I sat next to my boy while he took a bath to get cleaned up from EKG stickers and blueberry puke. We don't know why he got so sick so fast. He will be on Tylenol for 24 hours and given a mild diet. If anything changes we will go directly to Children's ER. We have a follow-up appointment with the same doctor tomorrow to assess the situation.

For now I'm sitting on the couch. My three bigger kids are watching a movie and I'm nursing Asher as he drifts off to sleep with the clicking of these keys, my breathing, and some of his favorite songs sung softly acting as his lullabies.

happy pictures taken on a calmer day

I'm celebrating the fact that Asher smiled.  After a scary and overwhelming morning, that makes me smile, too.


  1. Love love love, keep being strong mama, it sounds like you're doing absolutely everything you can for him. And continuing to nurse makes sense, when one of you is really really ready, you'll make that transition, it will be good.

  2. Such a sweet post. I'm still nursing my almost 16 month old with no plans to stop. :)