Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On Vomit and Confession

My past week has really been something.  It's the kind of something that I'd choose never to experience again if I were in control of such things and I'd certainly go back and delete it if that were even a possibility.

Last Friday afternoon Anthony started spitting up huge amounts.  So much that I started to question whether there might have been oatmeal in his new box of rice cereal since he was reacting the way he does when he has oatmeal.  The spitting up, which we later realized was vomit, kept happening, and it wasn't until he vomited about two ounces of baby food that I was still in the process of feeding him for dinner that we realized there was something other than just regular spit up going on.  Almost immediately after the disturbing dinnertime display he began vomiting a lot and his color quickly turned very sickly looking.  He was starting to remind us of how Katie looked when she dehydrated from her bout with pneumonia so Bryan ran out and got him pedialyte and we began hydrating him every ten minutes with a few MLs of pedialyte.  After an hour or two he was seeming a bit better, but it was obvious that he wasn't feeling well.

Neither of us was comfortable with the idea of putting him to be in his room, so we set up a playpen in the family room and decided he would stay down there with us until we were certain the vomiting had passed and he was hydrated.  I had kept telling Bryan that I thought I felt sick, too, but he kept telling me that I was just worried about the baby and his impending business trip to Denver.  I figured he was right since I do stress out to the point of feeling ill when he goes away and I was also stressing out about the baby.

Around ten or eleven at night I started getting sick.  By midnight I was vomiting all over the bathroom floor because I had no other choice.  Within minutes Bryan was also sick and once the next wave of feeling sick came around Bryan and I were practically doing synchronized vomiting.  Then Anthony got in on the action and woke up wanting of all things, to be fed and held and neither Bryan and I were in a position to tend to him.  Nursing a baby while succumbing to a nasty stomach virus just isn't possible.

We ended up having to wake Madeline at 1AM and have her come down to take care of the baby and help us as we tried to clean up two bathrooms that were covered in vomit.  An hour or so later Katie woke up and had vomited all over her bed, herself and her carpet.  So Madeline had a new patient.  I tried as best I could to help clean up the mess, but that's not easy when you're also throwing up and running to the bathroom every few minutes.  We got Katie settled and an hour or two later Ellie fell victim to the same horrid fate as the rest of us [except Madeline].

I don't think Madeline got much sleep the rest of the night as she helped her younger siblings and did her best to get the loads and loads of vomit laundry through the washer.  She came through for us in a huge way.  I'm not sure if we would have survived without her.  She kept the baby hydrated, made sure Bryan, the girls and I had drinks, saltines and orange slices.

I'm amazed that the didn't get hit with the stomach bug, too, but we think she may have had it last month.  The day after Christmas she was sick and had very similar symptoms to the rest of us.  She was the only one to get sick with it then.

The timing for this virus was not ideal.  Bryan was getting ready to leave for a business trip and I had loosely planned out my Saturday.  Once I had gotten sick I realized that heading to Mass for the feast day of St. Francis de Sales who has become one of my favorite saints over the past year or two was out.  And going to confession was also out.  Soon enough I realized that there was no way I was able to teach my CCD class on Sunday and there was no way we could go to Mass and share our grotesque stomach bug with everyone else.  Even though we all stopped vomiting by early Saturday morning the fun of horrible body aches, fevers and dizziness were just getting warmed up for their two day stay.  I laid on the couch thinking to myself that labor, strep throat, ear infections, and possibly hand foot and mouth disease were all less miserable.  Of course, that last one is a misery in itself and I'd rather have the stomach bug for a few days than relive a day of hand, foot and mouth disease.

We were mostly all on the mend by very late Sunday night or Monday morning.  Katie and Ellie had some lingering effects for a day or two after, but were doing much better by today.  Anthony, on the other hand, will seem like he's doing just fine and out of nowhere have an explosive diaper.  That I could handle.  But this evening I fed him dinner and then loaded the kids into the car so we could go to confession.  All was going well.  We were there right at 6:00 when confessions begin and I was hopeful that we might not be at the end of a long line since the parking lot hardly had any cars in it.  Then I opened the door to get Anthony and was met with a baby sitting in a puddle of vomit that consisted of all the freshly pureed peas I had just fed him.

I thought maybe the spit up wasn't as bad as I thought but a quick attempt to clean him up with a burp cloth revealed that there was no way I was getting this child out of his seat and standing in a line for confession.  We would have had a slimy green trail following us.  It was that bad.  It was so bad that I took pictures when we got home so I could show Bryan.

As I stood in the cold parking lot completely defeated, I told the girls to get back in the car.  They were more than happy to comply.  I was just left with the feeling that if I didn't need to go to confession when I pulled into the church parking lot, I certainly needed to go now.  Patience had officially left the building.  Inside my head I raised my little white flag of surrender to God, all the while grumbling that I now had a phenomenally bad mess to clean.

When we got home I made the unhappy discovery that Anthony needed bath number two in four hours. The kid was covered in green pea vomit.  Can I shock all of you and tell you that I've bathed Anthony three times in the past two days which is more times than I've bathed him in the past month.  Bryan is much better at washing babies than I am, so I usually propose to him that I'll dry and dress the baby if he washes.  So yes, he's cleaned regularly, just not by me.  I will say that I'm feeling more confident washing him after the last two baths I gave him today.

Once he was cleaned I set about getting his clothes sent down to the laundry room only to discover that the dog decided to try washing them.  Arrgh!  Why are dogs so gross?

The real fun began when I had to pull the carseat out of the van.  That cute cover that can be pulled off for washing so you don't have to remove the harness is a load of crap for people who don't live in reality land.  When junior pukes all over the harness and there's so much vomit that it dribbles out of the car seat and onto the car upholstery, the easy remove seat pad is worthless.  I had lots of choice words and thoughts about the engineers and designers of the Britax Marathon 70-G3.  Ignore my 5 star review of it on Amazon.  I obviously didn't have real world baby disaster experience with the seat when I wrote the review.  My recurring thought was "What genius makes a car seat where the *@&%@*$ harness cannot be removed?!"  It's covered in green pea sludge and the omnipotent owners manual is telling me to "sponge clean" the harness if it needs to be cleaned.  Ok, Britax manual're drunk, you probably don't have any children and have never had to clean up green vomit; it's time to pack it up and go home.

So picture me dear readers at the kitchen sink with a giant car seat sitting on the counter top with the harness, dripping with green oozy grossness hanging out of the bottom of the seat and into the sink so I can wash it with mild soap.  The seat and the fantastic design that does not allow the harness to come out is an occasion of sin, my friends.  Plain and simple.  On the bright side, I kept all the expletives that I had regarding the seat, and it's designers in my head so the kids were at least spared that nice little show.

Madeline had very kindly offered to clean the puddle of green slime off the car upholstery, so that was a huge help.  I was really impressed to see that the got it all up.  I guess she gained some practical life experience this past weekend.

I was going to attempt to put the carseat cover back on the seat tonight and get it back out in the van, but it's not dry.  I hope it will dry sometime this evening so I can get everything back where it belongs.  I'd really like to get to Mass tomorrow morning.  This is one of those times where I wish I didn't keep our spare carseat in Bryan's car.  Since he's out in Denver until tomorrow, my spare seat is sitting over in the Philly airport parking lot.  Some days it just seems like nothing can be easy.  Too bad this happens to be one of those days, right?

I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  Bryan will be back and I don't know about you, but I'm confident that it's going to be a vomit free day.  If it's not, I'm going to go and eat a lot of chocolate and have a glass of cranberry wine.

If you made it to the end, thanks for sticking with me.  I promise not to talk so much about vomit next time.  Maybe I'll talk about the upcoming name change for the blog.  Oh and how happy are you that I didn't share any pictures with this story?  I almost did.  Sure they aren't something anyone really wants to see, but the watermark on the picture would have revealed the new name for my blog.


  1. That. Is. Horrifying.

    I am SO sorry. That just sounds awful! :(

    And Madeline deserves whatever the preteen equivalent is of a gold star for that performance. (A Frappuccino and a pedicure...?) Seriously, what a great kid! Sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with her.

    As to the carseat...this OCD gal would burn it. With gasoline. And possibly lighter fluid. You know, just to be sure. ;) (No, probably not, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't have been very tempted indeed to do exactly that.)

  2. Praying that today is vomit free for all of you! And I'm suddenly much more thankful that the stomach virus we all had was spaced out over a couple of weeks. It felt horrible at the time but I can't imagine if we'd all been sick at once!


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