Alexandra turns two in April, so it's not like I'm trying to say "Hey I finally feel like a mother!" Although I will still admit that I marvel over getting pregnant in the first place, I marvel that the little bug in her swaddling blanket, all 9lbs of her, has turned into this little girl running around in sparkly pink shoes with a collander on her head. I still can't believe Todd and I are parents. I still can't believe that little girl is ours.
Despite all that wonder and disbelief, I have definitely settled comfortably into my role as a mother. I love being a mother. The good times send me over the moon, but even the bad stuff doesn't bother me as much as it would have, pre-Alexandra. Pee and poop are run of the mill, even on my clothes, blowouts are hilarious, nonstop crying only phases me when I'm sick or utterly exhausted, and what used to send me into bouts of anxiety (picky eating, I'm looking at you) now just make me shrug. I'm here. I've Arrived.
But last night was Alexandra's first time throwing up, ever. Not since spitting up breast milk and that so doesn't count. When I came home from work, determined to go for a run after a week of being ill myself, Alexandra was in a very strange, needy, cranky mood. She wasn't happy lying with mommy or sitting up, she didn't want a snack or water or juice or anything, she was just miserable. Todd told me to just go for my run, that she'd been in a weird needy mood since she woke up, and I might as well enjoy a workout. So I did.
I came home, happy after three miles, especially since I did not crap my pants, to be greeted at the door by Bingley, always looking for a way to sneak out, and Alex, wearing a shirt and only a diaper. She's been going through a slight nudist phase so I said "Ah, managed to get free of your pants, huh! Good girl!"
Then Todd came to the door with a face like this:
And I said "Oh my God did she crap everywhere?" thinking of my stomach flu from the days before. He shook his head. "Alex threw up all over herself in her room." Apparently she had been really upset, wanting to be held, while Todd practiced his violin (that is another post entirely). Then he came in to her room and found her covered in barf. By the time I came home, the carpet had been scrubbed and the first of what was to be several loads of laundry was already in the wash.
Cutting to the chase, she threw up well over 10, 12 times last night. After our beloved Wheel of Fortune, it was all bile, and the look on her face during each incident was of disgust and mortification. "Why is this happening? I am SO OVER THIS" was written all over her distraught little face. We stuck it out though, the three of us, on the sofa, covered in towels, while Todd and I took it in shifts to eat Los Betos burritos and drink water behind Alex's back ("water! water! WATERRRRRR!" was all she'd ask for).
A bonus though is that I taught her to throw up in a pail, so the laundry-doing stopped around 8:30pm, after the final bile bomb hit her last clean blanket.
She finally fell asleep, and only had three tiny incidents in her crib afterwards, but luckily, I had laid towels down so her crib was always clean. We checked her diaper and were delighted to find she had peed during the whole ordeal and wasn't dehydrated despite her repeated requests for agua. She finally fell asleep for good after about 12:40am, and woke up this morning chipper, and happy as a clam, and thirsty as a horse or whatever other animal is super thirsty. Patton! He's always thirsty. Or else we just always forget to put water back in his bowl.
Today she's drinking water and eating Cheerios, chirping away like our little Lexi-loo coo bug always does. It's over, the storm has passed, the darkness is over, blah blah blah. My little girl is okay again.
The whole incident really nailed home the motherhood role though, even moreso than it had prior to last night. I've always loathed the idea, thought, action, aftermath and of course odor of throwing up. Some people can just go do it to feel better when they're sick, but I'd rather be miserable all day and all night than spend even 5 seconds throwing up. It had actually been something I'd been dreading: Alex sick to her stomach, Todd having to do all the work, while I sympathy-barfed out in the backyard, unable to cope with the mess inside.
When I came home after my run, senses on overload, the mere idea that someone had thrown up turned my stomach. But twenty minutes later when Alex threw up all over me, and again 20 minutes after that, and a third and fourth and fifth time after that, it never once phased me. It wasn't about "OMG there is throw up on me!" because it was all "My poor baby girl is sick." Ok, one time after her bath when she gagged up bile all over herself I too gagged and had to look away, but that was the only time!
And halfway through the night I realized that I had overcome a critical fear, a personal repulsion, in order to step up to the mom plate and hit it out of the park. I cried last night, so sad for my thirsty, miserably baby. I snapped at Todd a couple of times. I panicked and was scared. But I never once cared how many times she puked down my boobs, over my shoulder or into my lap. It's funny what makes mothers proud, or makes them feel like they've done a good job, isn't it?
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