Thoughts on Having a Sick Child

When you have a child in the hospital, time stands still. Your entire world comes to a halt. Your to-do list suddenly looks ridiculous. Emails go unanswered. Laundry piles up. Food spoils in the fridge. You forget to tell your spouse you love them after communicating the details of the day when trading shifts at the hospital. When you have a sick child, it’s weird to see life carry on around you. People still commute to work and post selfies on Instagram. Unknowing coworkers email you about that thing you promised them by end-of-day.

Our lively little man came down with a nasty virus over the weekend. I thought it was just like every other cold he’s picked up at school, but when his fever hit 104 while on both Tylenol and Motrin, I knew it was more than that. Convinced it was the flu, I whisked him to Urgent Care thinking they’d swab him and send us home with some Tamiflu. But after taking Noah’s vitals, they sent us straight to the ER for respiratory distress.

We’ve been in the hospital three days now — three days of crazy fevers, restless nights, and supplemental oxygen. This time it’s RSV, but unfortunately, we’ve been down this road before. Noah spent a week in the hospital in Ireland fighting pneumonia when he was just 10 months old. We may not be in Ireland this time but having a baby at home adds a whole other level of complexity. I’ve been doing the day shift at the hospital; the hubs spends the night. I pump while Noah naps so Inès can continue to get all the benefits of breastmilk while I’m here with her brother. We’re praying she stays healthy.

Noah’s made good progress in the past 12 hours, so we’re hoping the worst is over — but that’s also what we said two days ago. With these viruses, it seems you take two steps forward and one step back, so right now we’re thankful for any improvement, no matter how small.

Its been a long three days but, as I said the other day, all I can think about are the parents with seriously sick kiddos who have to do this day in and day out for weeks, months, years on end. Having a sick child is both mentally and physically exhausting. I can’t even imagine how hard it is for single parents, parents with jobs that aren’t as flexible as ours, parents with no insurance or access to good healthcare. Our situation pales in comparison. We feel incredibly blessed to have two healthy kiddos and the most amazing family and friends who’ve kept us afloat the past few days. For all of you who’ve reached out through Instagram and email, we’re grateful to be in your thoughts, prayers and well-wishes. It really does take a village, especially during times like these.

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  • Sending thoughts and prayers your way that he gets well soon and the baby stays healthy as well. Like someone else mentioned, try to find a few moments to take care of yourself as well. I tend to come “crashing down” once everyone else is “back to normal.”

  • Oh Ell, my heart and prayers are covering every single of you. I am so sorry to hear of Noah’s sickness. Being a mother who lived in and out of the hospital with one son who suffers from epilepsy was intense. It’s a whole other world, cold and chilling. And then to have to go home and do nights with your princess, my heart grieves for you. Big hug, Beautiful!

    You’re an amazing mom; don’t ever forget that. You will look back once this passes and will recognize what a Superwoman you are. Just please take care of yourself. Us moms have a tendency to collapse once all is well.

    Hugs and prayers, Tammy

  • Every time either of my two kids get a bad chest cold I am so stressed out. I grew up with asthma and I had a rough time whenever I got a cold. I’ll be thinking and praying for healing thoughts for you all. I hope Noah’s lungs continue to strengthen as he gets older. Do the docs have any suggestions on what to do for a kid that is susceptible to lung issues?

  • Thinking of you. Im know you’re an amazing mom and as you know that means so much for a sick child. Sending you wishes a prayers for the normal crazy of two small kids to come back soon.