On Tuesday, I woke at 1:20AM to Elizabeth asking to be fed. As I got her back asleep, I noticed her breathing was laboring and it sounded like her sinuses were getting congested. Just as I was beginning to go back to sleep, James brought Felicity to our bed. She had a fever and was crying and congested. She clutched my arm and begin pinching me to soothe herself to sleep. As I lay between my 2 month old and my 19 month old, trying to get one to sleep without waking the other, I began to get very warm. Feverish Felicity was like a heating pad on my back while Elizabeth provided her own source of heat. By the time I had both asleep, I was sweltering. I got up and went to the bathroom. Refreshed a bit with a cold drink of water, I tried to get back into bed but, sensing my absence, Elizabeth had woken up. I got her back asleep. By now it was between 2:30 and 3:00AM. Having been up an hour and a half, I became very hungry, but refused to get up. I tried to simply shift positions. I lay on my stomach for 45 minutes trying to cool down and get back to sleep but sleep remained distant. Felicity coughed and awoke crying again. Her crying woke Elizabeth. I spent the next 20 minutes getting both back to sleep. Around 4AM, I shifted positions again and tried yet again to get back to sleep. By now, however, I was awake and my mind was wandering ... through the day yet to come ... through the world of Jane Eyre ... through whatever should whirl itself into my head. 5AM brought another wave of coughing and crying from Felicity which also stirred Elizabeth, and I spent 15 minutes returning both to sleep. I managed to doze in and out of consciousness between 5:30 and 6:20AM, when I got up to begin the day, as Cecilia and Felicity were already downstairs and James had to leave.
While Elizabeth slept in until 8:30, it was not an easy day. Felicity was miserable no matter what she did, no matter what she ate, regardless of the circumstance, she cried. I fared better than I would have expected. Despite about 3 hours of sleep and having, basically, been up since 1:20AM, I never got super tired and didn't really lose my patience all day. I was planning on watching Hell's Kitchen at 8PM and then getting to bed. But parents do not always decide their own fate.
Elizabeth's cold came in full swing. She had trouble going to sleep and it wasn't until after 11PM that both of us met Mr. Sandman. While Felicity had a better night, only waking twice and always sleeping in her own bed, Elizabeth's was worse. She woke half a dozen times coughing and gagging and struggling to get back to sleep. I feel the drain in my energy throughout my limbs much stronger today and have officially entered "survival" mode.
My stack of tissues mounts as I alternate wiping Felicity's nose and Elizabeth's nose. Fortunately, so far, I do not feel sick, just very tired. Unfortunately, James confirmed this morning that his throat was sore and he believes he is next.
We were hoping to maybe get to the Baltimore Zoo this Friday. With the increased expectancy of rain up to 50% and the increase number of those who are sick, I think it may be best to wait until next Friday.
One last problem which I am encountering pertains to Cecilia. She, so far, has shown no signs of sickness and seems to feel fine. She is also, by personality, an energetic and active little girl. Sitting around the house for several days while I am exhausted and caring for two sick little girls and her primary playmate cries over her cold is trying her patience and making her antsy. To make matters worse, it has been rainy so that she cannot even burn any energy outside. This makes her anxious and cranky.
Put all of this together and I can only thank God for holding me together as well as He, undoubtedly, has. I'm not cleaning or getting much "done" but I've averted meltdowns on every front, including my own, and sometimes that is the very definition of success.