Friday, 30 March 2012

Sick Children


What is it with kids and throwing up? Admittedly, vomit is perhaps an unlikely subject of a blog post, but nevertheless, I have sent a surprising amount of time dealing with it in the past three years, so it warrants a mention. Children are sick a lot. This is a fact that had gone undetected by my former childless self. I’m afraid I was rather unprepared for it.  I don’t throw up much (at least not compared to my kids). Even a year in Damascus, I managed to remain vomit free (which was no small achievement, what with regular bouts of food poisoning and being pregnant). Infact I remember the last time I threw up, -it was during the birth of my first child. It was brought on largely as a result of misguided advice (that you take first time round because you don’t know any better), in my case that ‘you must eat to keep your strength up in labour…’. As I weighed in at an extra 4 and ½ stones, I expect I could have managed a day and a half without a meal. God knows there is certainly enough bodily fluid involved in birth without adding a lot of sick as well. But I digress.

My children throw up a lot. And it almost always starts in the car, which  presents its own set of challenges. Son number 1 has thrown up so much (it started with reflux as a baby) that he is now pretty stoical about it. We were on our way to school earlier this week, when his previously ignored claims of a tummy ache suddenly bore fruit in the form of cascades of sick. He struggled to breathe because of the volume of it. But after I screeched to a halt, wiped him down, gave him a new set of clothes and a drink of water, he was good to go. A second episode later in the day followed much the same pattern. He sitting on the sofa waiting for Toy Story 3 to start, I said ‘are you feeling ok now?’, Son number 1: ‘Yes mum, I’m absolutely fine’. Two minutes later the room is covered in sick again. He then reclined back on the sofa, still covered in sick to watch the rest of his movie. That is stoical. Either that or he has an unhealthy obsession with Toy Story 3.

The baby has also contracted the vomiting bug, although he does seem to have suffered rather worse than his older brother. Dealing with a baby choking on vomit in the back seat of your car as you drive on a motorway does give you some rather specialised skills, albeit ones that I would never have expected myself to develop. I do wonder whether they are all that transferable however. And to be honest, it will be quite a relief to have a job were I am not required to use them. On a serious note though, breastfeeding has been a saving grace in times of excessive baby vomiting –  during a week of continuous vomiting by son number 1 (at 7 months), we managed to keep him out of hospital only because of breastmilk. And in times like that, you are very grateful for anything you can do to help them.

Time to go clean the carseats, and then I think a call to the car hire company is in order. Time to exchange for a new model. 

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