On Friday night I lost my vomit virginity. Or rather, my getting-vomited-on virginity.
I remember when my anxiety was at its peak, when my life was most hopeless and restricted, crying on the phone to my mom. I was crying that I couldn't possibly have children with this kind of anxiety, that I would be a horrible, cold and distant mother too afraid of throwing up, especially away from home, to engage with her children, and to properly care for them when they're sick. Everyone knows that kids throw up at the drop of a hat.
My mom told me that if I had kids I would be a fine mother, and that chances are my anxieties about myself throwing up would be replaced by the bigger and more important anxiety of keeping my kid(s) safe.
In the early days of Swee'pea's life outside the womb, the midwives showed us how to take his temperature every day, or maybe even every few hours, I can't remember now. A fever could alert us to a life-threatening infection, which would require immediate treatment, and the midwives went over what to do if Swee'pea developed even a slightly high temperature (the first step being to take off a layer of clothing).
I think that was the beginning of my hyper vigilance. Swee'pea was one of those babies who spit up a lot. That didn't bother me so much because I knew it was normal, except I was terrified that with all the usual spitting up I might miss an actual vomit, which could cause dehydration. My mom, a nurse, kept telling me that vomiting is obvious and I couldn't possibly miss it, but I was unconvinced.
Well, after Friday night, I am convinced. Vomiting is unmistakable and totally different from those gentle little gurgles and occasional spurts of spit up. I'm guessing you guys already know that, so I won't go into details, except to say that Swee'pea threw up all over me and the floor and himself and it wasn't as bad as I would have thought back in the days when vomit was one of the scariest things in my world.
But I did feel very awkward. My first concern was to make Swee'pea feel comfortable and safe and to clean him up but I found that was easier said than done. So I'm turning to the Internet for suggestions of how to improve my technique. What do you do and in what order? Do you whip your kid to the nearest toilet, risking spreading the vomit throughout the house, or just let him (or her) vomit on one section of floor (what I did)? What position do you hold your kid in while his (or her) stomach forcibly empties itself, kneeling? standing? sitting on you? over your shoulder? I'm looking for specifics here people... sequences and methods of disrobing to minimize vomit spread and maximize child comfort? Sequences and methods of cleaning your child, yourself and the floor? Luckily Sugar D was here so we could divy up the jobs, but it was still a very awkward and inefficient affair.
Of course, I'm hoping I won't have a lot of opportunity to refine my technique because although getting puked on wasn't as bad as I would have thought, it's not in top 10 fun things to do on a Friday night.
p.s. Thanks once again for the supportive comments. I do need to hear it over and over again that it will pass and other parents have also been at their wits' end and now their kids sleep. I promise not to whine again... at least for a long time. I've been able to watch lots of Lost because Swee'pea has been sleeping quite a bit since he threw up. Poor kid.
Oh yeah - on Friday my friend asked me who my favourite Lost character was, and I had to think really hard. What I love about the show is how complex the characters are. I like them all, but there is at least one major thing about each of them I don't like. I said that Locke was my favourite but now that I've gotten several more episodes in, I have to change my mind. Said also came to mind, and that's who my friend said was her favourite. I just want to make it clear that he was in my mind before she said it. I like that he can be so kind and sympathetic and yet really hard and clear-headed too. Who's your favourite Lost characters?
Stop Worrying and Start Living
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