The Very Long Weekend (or, Adventures in Teething)

Baby C had been warm to the touch for several days, but he hadn’t been overly fussy and was still willing to play. Besides, the thermometer didn’t show an elevated temperature until Friday evening: 100.5, the magic number at which to give him some Tylenol and call the doctor. But since it was Friday night, I gave him the Tylenol and vowed to call the doctor Saturday if the fever persisted.

Come Saturday morning, my little boy is feeling fine. He’s still a little warm, but no longer feverish, and he’s certainly playful. So playful, in fact, that he patiently let me go through Costco coupons while Cute Husband was in the shower. We read his dinosaur board book a few times, he chewed on the pages, and it started out as a great morning.

Then, as if someone flipped a switch, Baby C was suddenly inconsolable. His temperature was up again (100.8), so I called his doctor and reported his behavior. Dr W didn’t seem overly concerned about the baby since Baby C was, after all, still playing in between his crying fits. But, oh, those crying fits were awful.

Once Cute Husband came back from running errands, the baby was fine again. I got him dressed in one of the outfits Doug and BK bought for him, and we headed over to their house for the afternoon. He was in good spirits and even let me put him down in his play pen with some toys for a while. (I created my Mii on their Nintendo Wii and “bowled”. Loved it. I told Cute Husband that I may need to get Baby C one for his first birthday.)

Then, as more people arrived and the day turned to night, Baby C got cranky. Really cranky. Much crankier than usual, in fact. Oddly, the only thing that seemed to calm him was a diaper change, but as soon as that was over, he went right back to his unusually cranky self. At first, I thought he was really sick, but his temperature wasn’t elevated, so this behavior was just a mystery.

He fell asleep in the car and remained fairly calm for the rest of the evening. He fussed while I was in the shower but calmed down when Cute Husband brought him into the bathroom to look at his reflection and listen to the bathroom fan and running shower. He would fuss a bit to let me know he was hungry, but as soon as I offered to nurse, he settled down immediately. In fact, he was even calm enough to watch UK beat Louisville for the first time in 4 years, and he and Cute Husband even played a bit before Cute Husband went to sleep.

Sunday morning, Baby C was in good spirits. He was playful, jovial, and his usual self. I was even able to go to the grocery store and cook breakfast – a small miracle in itself. He fussed a bit to let me know he was hungry, I fed him, he went to sleep, and I left him with Cute Husband so I could run another errand. All was well.

But by the afternoon, it became quite apparent all was really not well. No, his temperature didn’t go up again, but he started fussing a whole lot more, and nothing – not even food – could console him. (And this is a boy who loves to eat.) I struggled a bit to get him dressed so that we could go to Steven’s house for his birthday, and he settled down for a little while, but as soon as we got on the road, the crying started again.

[sigh]

Off and on this went. Baby C played with A, Steven’s little boy (or, rather, stared at A while A played around him) and was perfectly fine for most of the visit. He would fuss a little, I would feed him, and things were well again. Or, he’d fuss, I’d change him, and he’d be happy. Until it was time for dinner, and my sleepy and slightly overheated (as Steven’s house is a bit warmer than ours) little boy wanted nothing more than to be held, constantly moving, and under the ceiling fan.

Cute Husband and I hurried through dinner, then rushed to thank Steven, wish him a happy birthday, and apologize for cutting our visit so abruptly. Baby C was sleeping before we got into the car and remained blissfully asleep for a few minutes after we got home. At this point, I already told Cute Husband that I was going to take the day off from work and take Baby C to the doctor the next day. My little boy was inconsoleable, and nothing would cheer him. It was awful.

So, the next morning, I checked my work e-mail for any pressing issues, called my boss (who was home sick) to let her know I was out, called my teammate to ask her to handle the one Monday Must-Do I had on my plate, then called the doctor to see when Baby C could come in (we were able to get an 11:30 appointment).

After seeing Dr W, I got good new and bad news. The good news? Baby C’s lungs are clear (no fluids), his throat looks good (despite the cough caused by post-nasal drip), his ears are healthy (yay!), his tummy is soft (no abdominal problems), and he’s doing very well sitting up and standing (with support), too. He also gained a pound in four weeks, which is good because it means he’s still eating well. In short, he’s healthy and doing just fine developmentally.

The bad news? He’s teething, and there’s really not a whole lot I can do to help him out on that end. I can cuddle him and hug him and try to keep him distracted. I can nurse him as much as he’d like to nurse and keep him well-hydrated. I can also surround him with teething toys and give him an occasional dose of Tylenol or Motrin as needed. It may take several weeks for his first teeth to appear, but no doubt about it, Baby C is teething, and this will only get worse before it gets better. And the most awful news of all: I can look forward to many months of this as more teeth start to come in.

Oh, Joy, thy name is Motherhood.

I know teething is a part of childhood, and I’m well aware that every mom has to go through this. The toughest part is knowing how uncomfortable he is and knowing there’s not much I can do to help him through this process, either. And then to know that it will get worse as the teeth come close to erupting?

I would give anything to suffer whatever pain he’s going through and is about to face so that he doesn’t need to.

Oh, my poor baby. My poor, poor Baby C.

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