Friday, March 19, 2010

Breathe on me, when you're not strong

I had a hunch my son was not in the greatest health when, on Wednesday morning, his breath didn't smell right. Whenever he gets a fever, his breath has a metallic or medicinal smell. I get the impression his body is heating up and detoxifying.

But it's hard to justify keeping a child home for funky breath when you've got a lot of work to do. So off he went for a full day of preschool. When we got home on a gorgeous afternoon, I was ready to walk him down to the library and finally get some exercise. He was whinier than usual (which is saying a lot these days), but we eventually made it out and back home in time for a quick dinner before I headed off to an ICAN meeting to watch Pregnant in America.

I didn't get home until 11 p.m. and had to find a source for a statistic for this piece on the NIH conference on vaginal birth after cesarean that was to be published by Mothering. I was exciting about the work and about having really gotten my head into this pregnancy at the meeting. My 20-week sonogram was scheduled for the following morning at 8 a.m. It seemed like perfect timing.

Except that it wasn't. I heard my four-year-old crying like a baby and wondered where the heck my husband was. Turns out he was right next to the boy in bed, as he had been for a few hours since the wakings and squirmings had started not long after he went to sleep. Something was up, and my husband, who had planned to work all evening while I was away at VBAC Central, was exhausted.

I told my son I was going to get him some water, dashed off the email I'd started, and went back up to more tears. I decided we were going to be together all night and that his wimpy IKEA bed was no match for my almost 20-pound-heavier-than-normal body. I suggested we move to the guest room, and he perked up at the idea and obligingly went to the bathroom before we headed downstairs. I didn't really know what his symptoms were, but I knew he'd be happy to take some "Curious George pellets," or Calms Forte, and I put some Rescue Remedy on his wrists and forehead.

He slept pretty well after that, until we plucked him out of bed Thursday morning to go to the appointment, which I did not want to reschedule or have my husband miss. E was clearly a little feverish and flushed, but that had faded within an hour or so. He was disappointed to have to cancel our playdate at the farm, but he acted pretty normal the rest of the day with, sadly, no desire to nap, even though I was dozing off on the couch right next to him.

I'm not sure when he crawled into our bed last night or this morning, but, right after my husband got out of bed and into the shower, I felt a little hand poking me and chirping, "It's morning time!"

I decided then the bug had passed.

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