Welcome to the life of a working mother! Bennett was at daycare for a week before getting his first illness. RSV is a common virus with cold-like symptoms of coughing, congestion, and general lethargy. It can be more serious in young babies, like Bennett.
Over the weekend, he had a stuffy nose, but acted like his regular young self. When I picked him up on Monday at the sitter's, he had that crackly cough that I had heard the first day when I dropped him off. Tuesday night, he woke up a couple of hours after going to bed hacking. It was awful. He had this sad little wail, struggling to breathe through the cough and stuffy nose. It was so scary. The on-call doctor gave us predictable tips, steamy shower, elevate his head when he sleeps. There were no magic pills or potions. Miraculously, he's in a very good mood, all things considered. He's napping great, sleeping through the coughs, and more smiley than ever.
Healthy, three month old Bennett seems so big and strong. Yet, sitting in the steamy bathroom with my limp baby I was reminded by how dependent and fragile he really is. He was so sweet and smushy sitting on my lap as I pounded on his tiny back. In just three months, I have managed to take for granted that he needs me for food, shelter and a clean butt. Caring for a sick kid has turned into a bonding experience. It makes me feel like a real mother. I'm good at getting those coughs broken up, wiping his nose, and making funny noises to distract him from the evil bulb syringe.
I've stayed home with Bennett for two days and it's only my second week back to work. I feel guilty for missing the hours at the office. I feel guilty for feeling guilty because I know I am where I need to be. I feel guilty for not walking right back out of the babysitter's when I first heard that cough. When I mentioned that last part to the doctor, he told me I wouldn't have been back until April. Knowing we have months of doctor's appointments, sick days, and the ick still ahead is overwhelming. I just want to wrap little Bennett in a hypoallergenic bubble.