Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Luxuriating in Illness
First, an update: I am already over the disappointment of having a boy. I think that was pretty dumb on the whole. Much like those of my daughter, my reactions to things are huge, over-the-top, and ultimately fleeting.
In addition, I have worse things to deal with. Like a pernicious virus that has swept through this house like the Asian tsunami, kept me out of work 2 weeks, and left nearly lifeless bodies in its wake. Charlotte succumbed first, running temperatures of 105, and worst of all, sleeping fitfully, an hour at a time. Usually her illnesses, once I determine they are not life-threatening, work to my benefit. She practically slips into a coma. On the rare occasions she is awake, I feel completely justified sticking her in front of the TV because that is all she has energy for. All I have to do is check to make sure she is breathing every now and then. Now, she has never had a vomiting illness, those are a different story entirely. I honestly don't even know what you are supposed to do in those cases, it's not like you can instantly rubberize your entire home. But this recent illness was bad enough. It was like having a newborn again, and once again, it was scientifically demonstrated in the laboratory that I can go exactly 2 days on little sleep without basically becoming a mental patient. It was also once again proven that if I were a stay at home mom, both Charlotte and I would become horrible people. I always instruct her that if she is going to get sick, she needs to do so Thursday-Sunday, days which I am home anyway and have no child care. But this time, she chose to get sick Saturday-Wednesday, meaning I missed an entire week of daycare/work and was home with her for 11 days straight. By the end of that time, her mommy addiction had been fed to the point of complete overdose, like she was coming off a massive crack bender or something. I mean, she was a little terror. And so was I, quite frankly. There is something about being locked in a home with a rabid toddler that starts to wear on a person.
So, when I fell ill with the virus that next Saturday, I was more than a little bit relieved. True, I felt like crap, and I was still pregnant, which makes everything worse. I even vomited twice, something that is so traumatic for me, I cry uncontrollably over my certainly impending death every time it happens, which is mercifully rare. As you might imagine, I've never been a binge drinker. On the other hand, I had the perfect excuse--and for a mom, such a rare experience, like meeting a nice French person--to go in my room, shut the door, and expect her other parent to fully take care of Charlotte. Because, unlike Charlotte, I timed my illness perfectly for once. I had Kevin on the weekend--and workaholic though he is, he could not fail to come to the aid of his sick, PREGNANT wife--then daycare Monday-Wednesday. Things do not always work out like this, and I maintain that there are few experiences in life worse than having to take care of a small child while you are deathly ill. Breast feeding while deathly ill, or even while perfectly well, is the only one I can think of. Perhaps being forced to watch an Olsen twins movie.
But if you have someone to take care of your small child, being sick as a mom is kind of like checking into a spa. Other than the vomiting, of course, although I'm sure there are "cleansing" spas in LA where people pay thousands of dollars to be induced to vomit. This is now Day 4 of laying around in my bed, sleeping, watching a bunch of crap on TV (although if I see one more interview with the Twilight stars talking about their kissing scenes, I believe I will vomit voluntarily), and having your husband wait on you hand and foot, when he isn't keeping your child out of your hair. Which you don't even have to wash. And best of all, I lost a bunch of weight, which I shouldn't be happy about, given I am pregnant, but since my doctor is unconcerned, neither am I. That is why women have piles of cellulite anyway, right? So they can feed their babies even when starving to death? Glad it's finally doing more than preventing me from ever wearing shorts again. At this rate, I may actually stay within the recommended weight gain limits according to those stupid books and only be mistaken for a dolphin instead of a whale in the third trimester.
it's pretty sad that a mom has to contract a violent viral infection to catch a break, but no matter, I'll take it.