When your baby is sick
…Doesn’t it just break your heart?
This week, as you know, I’ve been alone with Baby G, so naturally she had to come down with a cold. This is just the second time in her little baby life that she’s been sick, and I knew it wasn’t anything serious, so I wasn’t really worried or anything. But that didn’t stop this gray cloud of depression from hanging over me for most of yesterday. I could barely look at her glassy eyes without tearing up.
This is a phenomenon I’d never be able to explain before I was a mother. I thought people just said stuff like that to sound, I don’t know, noble or dramatic or something. But the hurt I experienced yesterday was real and physical, like someone knocked the wind out of me.
You mothers of older children are of course going to think “that’s nothing, just wait until she [insert other painful milestone for children].” But can I ask you to remember what it was like when you had your first little one? Think back to that first cold… Didn’t it rip you up that you couldn’t snap your fingers and make your tiny creature feel all better? We’ve already talked about how motherhood is giving your heart away forever. My baby didn’t feel good and I was literally depressed about it.
An old friend came down to visit me this week who happens to have a girl almost the same age as Baby G. It was the first time the girls met and they had great fun together … until Baby G came down with her cold. She probably infected my friend’s baby (we can hope not!) but the two had some nice quiet “sicky” times together yesterday.
One thing that cheered me up just a little was NPR’s recent report that an infant’s body might actually “allow” itself get sick now and then to build up a microbe collection for a healthy immune system down the road. Here’s to collecting microbes!
Lucky for both of us, she seemed to perk up last night and by this morning she seemed about 75 percent better. So the world is slowly coming back into color for me and we are both smiling again.