The busy weekend continued yesterday. After my short but sweet date night Friday night, I had a jam packed day to follow. I had two parties to attend, with baby girl. But I was going it alone, no trusty husband by my side for companionship, but more importantly, for help!
Off I went to the first party, chipper and happy. Husband packed up the car for me and then headed off to his cousin's bachelor party. The first party was a breeze, Evie slept through it. I put clicked her back into the carseat and off we went. Next stop, my mom's house.
I picked up the two trays of desserts I made (and had dropped off earlier) for the next party. I was starting to feel a bit tired, but I pushed any thoughts of fatigue out of my mind. We arrived to the most adorable 1st birthday party ever. Little Greyson probably won't remember it, but thank goodness our family took about 1,000 pictures to jog his memory later!
With my mom's help, managing Evie was a breeze. Chasing after my nephew, was a different story! The kid has energy! The party was at a huge (and gorgeous) local park. My sister, 8 months pregnant and riddled with thyroid issues, was in no position to climb, run, and chase after the tireless Danny. So my mom and I took turns, with my sister joining in for a shift when we could no longer dissuade her.
While running after Danny, I noticed I felt weird. Still, I told myself I was probably getting tired...after all, I'm not used to this! My baby is stationary, silently napping, and sweet. Danny was a ball of energy, but just as sweet as ever. While pushing him on the swings he looked up at me with a big grin and said, "Aunt Jennie, I love you." Melt. My. Heart.
You can see how a strange rumbling in my tummy was easily ignored.
At about 4am, there was no ignoring whatever was attacking my insides. Getting sick from both ends, husband had to step up big time. But we needed more help.
We called in the best and cheapest healthcare in the country, my wonderful Aunt. She is a nurse of 30+, specializing in maternity care and newborns. Um, jackpot. After some sound advice over the phone and some soothing words...Brian took care of his brand new family. This was not her first session with us. She has given us countless hours of over the phone care, and even more impressive, house calls (we live an hour away!)!
Figuring out that neither of his girls had fevers, husband got right to work. He knows I love the smell of fresh sheets and so he changed everyone's bedding for me (typically my chore since he hates doing it). He kept insisting that I drink plenty fluids, did all but pour them down my throat, and did all the dirty jobs associated with baby girl. He encouraged me when I felt too week to nurse to keep doing a great job. He held out a barf bag for me and didn't back away once and the sight and smell of things.
Now that I'm feeling good enough to sit up in bed to type and think, I am remembering so much of the beginning with Evie that used to be just hazy memories. The first few days my medical team consisted of my Aunt and my husband. What a team. My Aunt, and her infinite knowledge and wisdom in the field, helped us tremendously. I would not be breast feeding today without her. She taught me how to get baby girl to latch on properly, how to encourage good feedings, and how to relieve cracked, bleeding, and sore nipples. She saved me from reaching for the can of formula, which to me, appeared to be the easy out.
This is how great my healthcare provider is...she blamed herself for not arriving sooner to the hospital to prevent my nipple issues (despite knowing I was receiving care there). She stayed with me all night our first night home from the hospital. She held my hand each and every time I winced during the first few latch ons. She told me stories about raising her son, and about helping my cousin's go through this too. She reminded me how lucky I am to have a little girl, she always wanted a daughter. She held my baby close and told her how much she loved her. She did the same to me. She served as a liaison for me and the hospital staff. She asked them intelligent questions I would've never known to be important to check about for Evie.
When has a doctor or nurse done all of that for you? I know my experiences with doctors and nurses have been both good and bad. We are fortunate to have so many wonderful people out there in the healthcare profession. I know I have encountered many of them in my life and have felt incredibly grateful for their time and talents. I have also encountered the not so good ones...um guys and gals, we do need more bus drivers, and bakers, and engineers and what not...just saying...think about a switch. :)
But nothing beats family. It really is the best healthcare on the planet. You are literally being treated with love, genuine love.
And who are we kidding? In a country with screwed up healthcare systems and outrageous costs, nothing beats the family treatment. A tiny giftcard to the Olive Garden was the co-pay to my Aunt. She insisted it was too much. And here I am feeling badly that it's from the Olive Garden and not a swanky hotspot like she deserves...but my tired self could only get to the grocery store around the corner and their display of generic giftcards for sale. Yet she insisted it was far too much.
Something I've learned as a new mommy is that there are lots of people around you willing to help. You should let them. Typically, my pride squashes that notion, but in this brand new world of parenting, I am taking all the help, advice...and love that I can get! Lucky for me, I blessed with a generous amount of all. If you are not as lucky, please...reach out to me here...I am happy to help any possible way. I do not know much, that is for sure, but I am a great listener.
To all the mommies out there who are also sick...get better. I'm praying for you. Stay strong, this too shall pass.
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