The holidays are warm and wonderous. This year was especially so, filled as it was with magic family time. We gathered together, eager with anticipation, and looked at one another... to see which would be the next to hurl.
The Girl started us off properly on Christmas Eve. Tucked into her bed as visions of sugarplums did more than dance in her head. They spun and spun. When she didn't join her brother's waking Christmas morn we checked her to see "what was the matter". The contents of her stomach were littered across her bed and blankets and stuffed animals and pajamas and hair. Christmas interruptus. We bathed and changed the queasy one and went about our holiday. She has never done that before so we were surprised.
Sadly, she deemed that surprise to be applause and so graced us with an encore on Christmas night. I heard her cry out and discovered more digestive displays. She was bathed and re-jamied. Our concern was only moderated by her otherwise good mood. She seemed fine with no hint of fever or continued nausea.
The next day she functioned and ate (albeit less than normal) and we felt assured the bug had passed. Yeah... not so much. Last night (Friday) she completed her nocturnal triptych with another midnight pollocking of her bed linens (the three ruined pillows are coming out of her college account). My wife (and fellow haz-mat cleaner) and I agreed that three nights equals a trip to the ER. My wife suggested, however, we wait till morning as she had just left the hospital and the ER had a three hour wait. With the girl cleaned and returned to slumber we turned in ourselves.
At 5:30 am I was awakened by the sound of regurgitation. Oh no, said I, not the Girl again. But she was sleeping soundly. No these sounds belonged to my wife who had arisen at 1:30 and in the following four hours had given her all and then some to the new holiday tradition. I found her seated on the toilet with a trashcan on her lap. She was unable to speak to me but the image said enough.
So the Boy, enviably healthy, happy and hungry, was trundled off to the neighbors (sainthood seems imminent for them) and I transported the nauseated female members of the family to the hospital. Once there I delivered my daughter to the ER, but my wife being 33 weeks pregnant went alone to maternity triage to cure what ailed her.
The Girl in a thankfully short time was diagnosed with the catch-all, gastroenteritis, and deemed sufficiently hydrated to return home. We slipped upstairs to check on her mother. Alas, mom was still ill, but now with the added complication that her substantial dehydration had triggered uterine contractions - the start of labor. They were infusing her as rapidly as they could in order to stop this stomach bug from driving the fetus out of the womb. A baby born 7 weeks premature is bad enough, but to add a mother who spends the delivery wretching and suffering uncontrolled diarhea is just bad form.
I called our saintly neighbors to inform them that not only would I not be getting the Boy but I would need to drop off the Girl (recent wreckless vomitter) into their arms. Bless them for coming to get her from me. Soon after that our midwife decided it was best just to admit my sickly mate for 24 hours as the contractions did not appear to be abating, nor was her nausea, nor her other digestive issues.
I stayed with her through 3 liters of saline, watching the contractions get weaker and farther apart (sort of reverse labor). I grew more relieved, though the blood pressure readings did not improve - 87/39 is very low. I was finally forced to leave and pick up my kids. I kissed my wife (on the forehead) and told her to get some rest.
The children returned home with me after their delightful day of fun with the saintly neighbors who played with and fed them. Of course, once inside my home my daughter immediately stood in the center of the kitchen and let loose all she had consumed today - a flow equalling Niagra poured from her. That was followed by explosive diarhea. Apparently, she's still not well.
In my absence the cat threw up as well, on my rug. The Boy informed me this evening his tummy feels funny - "kinda sick". Oh, and my stomach is doing backflips as I type this.
But I got a new bathrobe for Christmas!
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