The Mama Confessionals: That Time Our Family Had The Stomach Flu

The day started out like any normal day but by the time all the kids were down for their afternoon naps my stomach wasn’t feeling quite right. Thankfully my husband was home and not working at the fire station this particular afternoon.

The house was quiet and peaceful but my insides were anything but. And soon I found myself making a mad dash to the bathroom as my stomach heaved up everything I had eaten that day. As I lay curled around the toilet I was so thankful I had given the bathroom a good scrubbing earlier. It is truly the little things friends.

After I had expelled what I assumed was the entire contents of my stomach another round of cramps, spasms, and intestinal distress hit my body. After it was over I slowly lowered myself back down to the cool tile floor. This happened for another two hours. My husband entered the bathroom to check on me and discovered me in the fetal position hugging the toilet with my pants around my ankles. Basically the most flattering position ever.

He asked if I needed anything, let me know he was taking the kids out for dinner, and that he would be picking up a prescription of Zofran for me at the pharmacy. And with that he earned himself the best husband of the year award.

As my family left, I managed to crawl my way out of the bathroom onto the carpet and waited. A few more trips back and forth to the bathroom to continue to empty my already empty stomach was how I spent my time waiting for my family to return. Shortly before the kids bedtime my husband entered our master bedroom with a water bottle and the anti-nausea medication. Hallelujah!

An hour later the cramps and nausea had started to subside and I decided a shower would be a good idea. After getting cleaned up and smelling much better I was looking forward to crawling into bed for the rest of the night when I heard a commotion happening outside the bedroom door. The kids had been asleep for 45 minutes at this point as I heard my daughter retching in the hallway and I knew the night had only just begun.

On the other side of the door I had no way of knowing that my husband was frantically carrying our daughter into the hallway as she continued to be sick. In a panicked rush to get her off the now soaked carpet he placed her on the tile in the bathroom where she proceeded to get sick on the floor, cabinets, and into the baby bathtub. Picking her up again he finally decided to place her in the bathtub which is where I found her.

There was no way to prepare for what I saw when I opened the bedroom door and followed the trail of vomit from the hallway into the bathroom. It was everywhere. The horrible stench filled my nose and made my eyes water. I carefully got her out of the tub and set her on the floor and went to work quickly cleaning. With the bathtub clean I filled it with water confident that she wouldn’t get sick for the short amount of time I needed her in the tub to rinse her off. I was wrong.

While my husband stripped the sheets off her bed as quietly as possible in hopes of not waking her two brothers I tried to clean her up best as I could. The clean bathwater quickly became not so clean as she continued to get sick and all I could do was praise God for Zofran.

I cleaned her up to the best off my ability and set her in front of the television with a garbage can. I then went to work trying to clean the large chunks of partially digested food out of the carpet in the hallway. I came up with the brilliant idea that I would vacuum the vomit up out of the carpet. It worked amazingly well and I then sprayed carpet cleaner all over the offending odor and stain that remained. I scrubbed away until the hallway looked fairly decent. I went to lay on the floor next to my daughter exhausted. Thinking I had at least 15 minutes to rest before she became sick again I heard my husband trying to get our oldest out of the top bunkbed. Which could only mean one thing.  And yes friends, he was also sick.

After cleaning up the bottom bunk bed my husband decided to check on our oldest and the baby one last time before closing the door. I am not sure how both boys slept through everything up until this point. As my husband checked on our oldest sleeping he discovered a mountain of vomit piled perfectly on his comforter. This child does not liked to be disturbed from his sleep and was reluctant to move until my husband told him he could come watch a movie with his sister. How the baby slept through all this amazes me. I now had two kids with me, with garbage cans, watching a movie while my husband started to clean up our kids bedroom in the dark so he didn’t wake the baby.

It wouldn’t be until the next morning when we discovered the true aftermath of what had happened. The wall had taken on a new texture and color and was covered in vomit as was the kids bunkbed. Upon examining the crib we saw that there was a small pile of vomit that had landed within inches of the baby’s head while he slept.

With the washing machine working overtime late into the hours of the early morning the house became quiet once again. The television was turned off, the kids weren’t getting sick as frequently, my stomach was doing better, and the three of us camped out in the living room with hope that Josh would be spared from getting sick as well.

But alas, that was not to be. Our entire household became sick with this horribleness. And our poor daughter had it off and on for 4 days. As awful as this was at the time sometimes you just have to laugh. Which is what we did over the course of this weeklong battle with the stomach bug. Being upset wasn’t going to help and when we think back over how we must have looked and acted during this weeklong illness we can’t help but giggle. In the back of my mind this scenario had always been one that I had hoped to never experience. But we all survived, minus a few pounds.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, don’t vacuum vomit up off the floor with your vacuum. This incident happened several weeks ago and after disinfecting our entire Dyson it has just recently stopped smelling like vomit each time we use it.


The Mama Confessionals: What No One Tells You About Motherhood

I can remember the summer before our oldest went to preschool. I continued to second guess myself in the weeks leading up to his first day of the twice weekly class he would be going to for a combined 5 hours a week. Were we making the right choice? Would he be ok? Would I be ok? And many more anxiety filled questions that were very similar. And here is a little spoiler alert for all you parents with little babies. These questions, at least in my experience, continue to happen for each new milestone. I don’t think you can really understand this emotional roller coaster if you aren’t a parent.

At the time I was just 6 months out of counseling for postpartum depression and anxiety after the birth to our daughter. During the second week of preschool, I entered a room of 30 women+ women who I had never met to attend a weekly bible study that was held at the church where my child attended school. Clutching my Bible, I felt scared, my anxiety was choking me, but I knew I needed to be surrounded by women who I could learn from, lean on, and laugh and cry with. But most importantly I knew I needed to be fed and nourished with God’s word as often as I could.

As the months went on I found myself actively engaged in reading my Bible and more importantly being convicted by the Holy Spirit. Upon looking back at my sons preschool years I am discovering that he is not the only one who grew up. God has wrecked me. And I mean that in the best way possible.

My mama heart is bursting with love, joy, and goodness when I look at all my kids and see how much they are learning and growing, and changing. And these feelings have me either smiling or crying. The tears are happy but there is also this weird grief element that goes along with it too. It is like I am trying to enjoy these moments because I know they are fleeting by being as present as possible, but by doing this it also causes me this weird heartache.

You always hear other parents tell you that “It goes by so fast.” And that is totally true, it really is, but nobody tells you about this wonderfully horrible wave of emotions that happen each time your child reaches a life milestone.  Based on what I have already experienced I am guessing that each milestone gets more wonderful but equally more gut wrenchingly intense.

Over the past year I have made it a daily priority in our home to be intentional about reading and helping our kids understand the significance and importance of Jesus and the work that was done on the cross. These feelings that I am having as I watch my babies grow up only intensifies my desire to consistently share the gospel message with them. This life is so short. Based on this I have begun to ask myself 3 questions.

  • Have I been consistent in spending time in God’s word on a daily basis? If I can’t commit to daily reading the Bible on my own I don’t know how I can expect to be able to do it for my kids consistently.
  • Am I looking for ways to continue to grow in my knowledge and understanding of the culture and context in which the scripture was written?
  • Can others around me say that they have seen Christ centered change in my life?

With these questions in mind I can then look at what I am feeding into my kids and nourishing their minds with. And let me tell you, I am not sure when it happened but the two oldest have stopped loving veggies and only want hamburgers and pizza the majority of the time. Truly, their souls might be getting better nourishment at this point.

All jokes aside, I am so grateful. The privilege to be a parent isn’t lost on me. Frequently when I lead my kids daily bible lessons and catechism I pray that the Holy Spirit convicts them to turn to Jesus and that they will be called to repentance as they acknowledge that their sin is separating them from the Lord. With very few things for certain in this life I can rest assured knowing who I have placed my hope and faith in and I will continue to pray my children come to know God as their personal Lord and Savior.

Looking back over the last three years, I am not surprised that my son grew and changed. What I had not anticipated was that God had such plans to grow and change me. As our oldest enjoys his final week of preschool I am appreciative for the love, support, teaching, and guidance he has received. I am thankful for the friendships he has made and in turn the friendships our family has made. And lastly as Josh and I continue to raise these little ones into adulthood, I am grateful for my relationship with Jesus who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

PS…To our preschool family, our family has been blessed by being in community with you all!


The Mama Confessionals: My Baby Swallowed a “Foreign Body”

Well here I sit at my laptop and resurrecting my series The Mama Confessionals. What is funny is that 8 hours earlier today I had decided it was time to do this. My plan had originally been to write about how horrific postpartum periods can be. I seriously feel like I am in junior high again, and really, who wants to relive that awkwardness. Lets just say that my washing machine has been doing double duty lately on my jeans and I am saying thank you for dark washed denim.

Additional Reading: I Locked My Kid in the Car & Opps..I Peed My Pants.

But instead of writing about all that, life decided get interesting last Tuesday evening around bath time and gave me some new material. Bath time is usually one of two things.  A celebratory event that cultivates imagination and fun for 10-20 minutes before the full on bedtime routine starts or a rushed 5-10 minute wash up that usually ends in tears, most of the time it is the kids crying but sometimes I can feel like shedding a few tears myself. Kidding. Sorta. Not really.

So with three kiddos ages 5 years, 3 years and 9 months, I have the two older ones in the tub and little one in his Snuggle Bath Tub <—-Best baby tub EVER! I bathe the baby first and then get him dressed right outside the bathroom door so I can still see the older ones. My little guy had only napped for an hour because we were at Bible study this morning and had preschool drop-off/pickup.

He has been teething like crazy and chewing on everything. Even me. Nursing mama’s you know what I am talking about. Yikes and ouch. He was tired and upset while I was attempting to diaper him and get him dressed and I handed him a plastic comb. The comb or as it is referred to in the emergency room “foreign body” became a chew toy and the next thing I heard was a crack. I quickly removed the comb from his mouth and saw that a few plastic bristles were missing.

After sweeping his mouth and removing the bristles I saw that there was still another in his mouth. I couldn’t get it out and in between attempts he swallowed it.

Mommy guilt is real.

So there I stood. Naked crying baby in my arms and two other naked kids in the bathtub pondering what I should do next. I called Josh at work, trying to sound like I had it together, and explained what had happened.

In the span of 20 minutes, Caden and Maisie were out of the tub and in pajamas, Jesse was dressed, I had a bottle of milk pumped, and Josh was walking out the door with Jesse and taking him to the hospital.

A few hours later Jesse was home, sleeping in his crib, and Josh was back at work. The hospital staff didn’t seem overly concerned. Which was a relief. The x-ray didn’t show anything and so we were told to watch his poop and be on the lookout for any behavior that seems out the ordinary like, slobbering, painful cries, and also refusing to eat. Some of which is just typical behavior for a teething baby.

Less than 24 hours later we found ourselves trying to console Maisie after she fell off a toddler play structure face first at an indoor playground. First let me say that if you are a business owner who operates an indoor playground you might want to think about having mats or padding underneath your play equipment and secondly it would be so helpful if first aid kits were available to your staff members.

We were unable to see where the blood was coming from because their was so much blood in her mouth. The decision was made that getting everyone to the car would be our best option at this point. Caden wanted to stay and play and was upset that we were leaving and Jesse started to join in too. With three crying kids, we loaded up our family and were heading out the door as front desk staff tried to get us to fill out an incident report.

As politely as possible we declined and Maisie began demanding through tears that Josh fix her tooth and make it feel better. An urgent care and dentist visit later Maisie was on the road to healing with no permanent damage done to her face, tooth, or mouth.

All of this to say that there is never a dull 24 hours to motherhood. Each day is different even when it feels like you are doing it on repeat for the 100th time. Be thankful for those ordinary moments because seriously in a blink of an eye you might just find yourself being excited to go on a treasure hunt digging through poo.