Last night I was so tired, my body hurt. I fell asleep. Not 10 minutes later (actually, it was about an hour and a half, but it felt like 10 minutes), I am awakened to Andrew's voice saying, "Steph! Eva threw up." I stumble into the bathroom where Eva's screaming and the smell of vomit just about knocked me out. I got her a bath, and even got in with her. Not sure why - she asked me to, and I was too tired to reason with myself that it was 1am and not time for me to be taking a bath.
The rest of the night is a blur. There were about 6 more vomiting episodes. Andrew did a lot of laundry. There was hardly any sleeping. Apparently throwing up is a learned skill, because Eva kept fighting it back and swallowing it. Not that I will be one to teach her - I never breathe when I throw up and always break all the blood vessels in my eyes and face. (Sorry to be graphic.)
I realized that I'm not a nurturer, in my soul. Andrew was the one who laid by her most of the night. Although neither of us slept much - I laid awake listening for her to start gagging again - he was probably awake more than I was. The smell of vomit left on my skin from when she laid on my shoulder was enough to keep me at a distance from the poor girl most of the night. I felt horrible when she would feebly lift up her sippy cup and cry for a drink of water. I knew she couldn't have any, and she didn't understand why. And I berated myself all night for not getting her a flu shot. Just because she doesn't go to daycare doesn't mean she's not exposed to germs. (Hello, nursery?)
It was our second flu experience here. (At least, I think that's what it was - I guess it could have been food poisoning from clementine oranges. Is that even possible?) I wish I could say it was our last. It's a horrible experience, watching your baby be sick like that. And there's really nothing you can do but wait it out. There is no medicine to make your body stop its internal battle. It made for a very long night.
Whenever I would throw up when I was little, my mom could never be in there with me. It was usually my dad who would hold my hair and stroke my back. Or I would be by myself. I never knew why. But now I get it. I think I inkerited that from her - the inability to be around a vomiting person.
Eva is sleeping peacefully now. She hasn't thrown up since about 7am, so I think it's safe to say we are out of the woods. But now I'm left with thinking about what a crappy mother I am. I should have been the one laying by her, stroking her hair and ignoring the stench of her breath. I shouldn't have been thinking about how tired I was, but about how terrible she felt. I shouldn't have kept praying that she would stop throwing up, but praying for the patience to deal with it until she felt better.
Some days I think being a mom is what I was born to do. But sometimes, like this morning, I think maybe my kids would be better off with someone more compassionate as their mother. Someone less easily frustrated with the situation. Someone willing to stay up all night scrubbing the house and doing the laundry if needs be. Someone a little more like their father.