Sunday, December 19, 2010


Our Advent had been going very well. James had finished writing another chapter of his dissertation, I was on top of all the Christmas presents, both that we had gotten to give as well as ones that had been sent to us.

And then Thursday, everything became unpredictable.

My dad had called from his office to tell us he wasn't feeling well and that if he wasn't doing better by lunchtime, he might want us to pick him up and drive him home. It certainly would have been no problem, but it didn't sound serious either. So we continued getting the girls dressed to head to the movies. On the way to the movies, my mom called my cell to inform my dad was being taken by ambulance to Howard County Hospital.

All plans were cancelled. James dropped me off at the hospital and took the girls for lunch at the Columbia Mall, which wasn't far off. When he got to the hospital, my dad was light-headed, nauseas, parched and had the chills so badly that he was shaking uncontrollably. Throughout the late morning and afternoon they ran blood tests, x-rays and EKGs but, thank God, everything came back normal and looked good. They gave him 2 liters of fluid via IV and, fortunately, he was able to nap a little.

While he napped, James picked me up and took me to my dad's office so I could get his things and his car. Unfortunately, Maryland, like in so many instances, was not prepared for the 1-2 inches of snow it was getting that day. The snow was sticky and slick and his car got stuck while I was trying to leave the parking lot. Being pregnant, pushing the car was not even a consideration, so I just sat in the road waiting until someone wanted to get by badly enough to push me. It took two big men to push me up the hill (100 feet or so) before I could leave. I also hadn't eaten and his car was down to 1/8th a tank of gas, so I made a detour to fill both tanks. :) Meanwhile, given the weather and the circumstances, James took the girls home.

When I got back to the hospital and my dad had napped, he was feeling better and was finally feeling warm and had stopped shaking. By the late afternoon, he stood up and walked without feeling dizzy and his nausea had subsided. They released him from the ER with the guess, by ruling out most things based on the information available, that dehydration and a virus had been the cause.

In the dark, we drove home slowly as the roads were still not very good. My dad managed to get down some soup but was physically exhausted. He had been shaking from about 10am until around 2pm, which would take a lot out of anyone.

We spent Friday taking it easy. He was still a little weak but definitely feeling better. On Saturday I decided we should get our Christmas tree. My dad was feeling much better and decided to test himself and come along with Cecilia and me. We got our tree, got it up and got the lights on. It seemed like my dad was doing fine and things were getting back to a state of normal, as normal as any house is with a pregnant mommy and 3 little ones.

Just as I was putting Cecilia and Felicity to bed, Cecilia began complaining her throat was hurting. I told her to drink some water and we'd see if it was still hurting in the morning. Then, after James and I were in bed, around 10:30, Cecilia crawled into our bed crying. She said she'd had a bad dream, but as she curled up next to me, I suspected she had a fever. She lay next to me about 15-30 minutes and when she was calm, we took her back to her bed and gave her some ibuprofin.

Around 4:30am, Elizabeth woke up crying. James tried to put her back to bed but she was having none of it. Her top two canines have just broken through and we knew we all stood a better chance of getting more sleep before it was time to get up if we just brought her to our bed. Needless to say, pregnant mommy only slept so well after that with a 1 year old curled up beside her. Around 5:45, we awoke to Felicity crying in the hallway. She seemed to think Daddy had gone downstairs without her. James calmed her and brought her to our room. She got a tissue and climbed into bed on the other side of me.

Shortly thereafter, just before 6am, my dad knocked on our door to tell us Cecilia had thrown up in her bed. At that point James, Felicity and I all got up. My dad got Cecilia changed and I took care of the sheets, two tainted stuffed animals and dirtied baby pillow. Fortunately Elizabeth continued to sleep until 7:25.

I went to the 7:30am mass at our parish and James went to the 11am. While James was at Mass, Cecilia threw up two more times. She is now resting on the sofa. I am hoping she can take a nap this afternoon, but I don't know if she is past the worst of it yet.

Needless to say, what had been a very pleasant and routine Advent has become a bit of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kindof end to Advent. Fortunately, my dad is on his way home to Florida and seems to be feeling just fine. We will definitely be taking it one step at a time this week though. Once Cecilia is over the worst of it, will anyone else get it? Will we be able to get the girls to the movie we had been going to take them to on Thursday that we promised them we would take them to? Time will tell, but if I don't post much before Christmas, you may be able to guess why.

UPDATE: Cecilia continued to throw up in the afternoon. In the evening she managed to keep two crackers and an arrowroot cookie down so at bedtime we gave her some ibuprofin. She slept from 7:45 until 5:15 this morning, when she came to our room and threw up again. She continued to throw up until around 8:15. Elizabeth had a 10:10am 18 Month doctor check up. She and I picked up gatorade for Cecilia before her appointment. Over the course of the late morning and early afternoon, Cecilia managed to keep down the gatorade she drank. She was even asking for chicken and french fries at lunch (um, no!). She kept down some saltines in the early afternoon and, later, some bread with a little butter. She began getting upset she couldn't get up and play like Felicity. I think it is safe to say the worst is behind us. It seems to have been a 36 hour virus thing. Thanks for everyone's prayers. Now I am just hoping no one else gets it and we are all clear for Christmas.


  1. Prayers of healing for everyone! Shelby had her first real stomach virus a couple weekends ago while Jeff was on his way home from work for the weekend. While it's never fun having a sick child, having a sick autistic child who doesn't speak, I found out was terrifying, she couldn't tell me how she felt, and just clung to me shaking. Poor Joey alternated between trying to rub her back and trying to clean up the mess on her floor for me both of which I was trying to discourage him from doing lest he get sick too. Thankfully, she was better in 24 hours and no one else caught it. I am praying you have the same good fortune at your home!

  2. Kristen, I can't imagine what poor little Shelby and you went through when she was sick. It was so helpful having Cecilia able to tell me how she felt and what was wrong, etc. Glad it was short-lived and no one else got it. Now I'm just hoping none of us get it and we can get back on track for Christmas.