Last Sunday, in the very early morning, Pete woke up to the sound of Hannah coughing…and vomiting. We cleaned her up, changed her clothes and the crib sheet, and put her back to bed, all for her to have round two an hour later. She slept soundly the next few hours and woke up wicked hungry around 4:30 so I fed her a small bottle of formula. Instant throw up. Another wardrobe change and Hannah fell asleep. When she woke up hungry at 7, I mistakenly tried formula again with the same results.
The rest of Sunday was spent trying to entice Hannah to drink Pedialyte and checking to see if she had a wet diaper. The pediatrician’s office was incredibly unhelpful, telling me that Hannah would surely have a wet diaper when she woke up from her nap. Well, after nine hours without a wet diaper we called Grandma’s friend who’s a rock star nurse and she suggested taking Hannah to the children’s hospital. Apparently Hannah just needed a little motivation because as I took her upstairs to pack a bag she gave us the wet diaper we were waiting for.
Unfortunately we repeated the waiting game again in the afternoon/evening but another call to the pediatrician’s office had better results. The NP said we could try any liquid at that point, even formula since Hannah hadn’t been sick since the morning. When I mentioned that Hannah was going more than eight hours without wet diapers the NP said that timeframe is a guideline but we should follow our gut and take Hannah to the hospital if/when we were uncomfortable with the situation. I gave the formula another shot and Hannah kept 2 oz down at 8 pm and another 2 oz at 11 pm. At that point I felt better that Hannah had some fluid in her and decided to see how she was in the morning before making a trip to the hospital.
The next morning, thinking Hannah’s belly was back to normal, I gave her a small bottle, which she chugged and threw back up. Thankfully Grandma was able to watch Hannah and meet me at the pediatrician to check Hannah for signs of dehydration. The doctor said Hannah looked fine – her mouth was wet, lips weren’t dry or cracking, and her capillary refill time was good. This doctor said a wet diaper every twelve hours is acceptable and warned us that the stomach bug they’ve seen starts with vomiting and ends with diarrhea. He suggested offering Hannah white grape juice or watered-down Gatorade since she absolutely hates Pedialyte, and then binding foods like applesauce and bananas once her appetite was back.
Even though she hadn’t been sick since Monday morning Hannah stayed home with Grandma on Tuesday too because she still wasn’t eating or drinking much. She was back on formula, starting to eat more food, and back to being a happy girl. When I got her home Tuesday evening I thought we were finally back on our normal schedule…and then the diarrhea started.
Hannah had to skip daycare again on Wednesday and we lost our backup childcare because Grandma caught the stomach bug from Hannah. I called out of work to stay home with the poop princess, which wasn’t too bad because it gave me a chance to fold all the laundry produced over the last few days. Hannah seemed to be feeling alright until she would eat or have a bottle. Thankfully I learned the schedule quickly and was able to minimize the number of dirty pants.
By Thursday morning Hannah was 100%. She was eating and drinking her normal amounts and the vomiting and diarrhea stopped. Grandma was feeling better and said she could watch Hannah (since she should be out of daycare 24 hours after the bug stopped). It was a good thing Grandma was free because Pete and I were both sick with the same bug. I tried so hard all week to contain the messes and wash my hands but there was no escaping it. At least we learned that Hannah knows how to share and we’re all healthy for the Easter family gatherings today.