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Waiting for the Babysitter

by The Next Family March 16, 2011

By: Stacey Ellis

Monday morning – our nanny showed up on time – albeit with a cold.  Tuesday, same.  But by Tuesday, we had made our decision.  Our baby had a runny nose for about a week at this point and we were told it was probably teething since she had no fever at all.  But now she was sick.  She still barely had a fever but she had green gunk coming out of her eyes and a cough.   She was definitely sick.  The doctor gave us eye drops for her and she really didn’t ever get too fussy.  But by Tuesday, I too was feeling funny.  I went to bed at 5PM that night hoping to sleep off whatever it was.  Oh, I slept, all the way til 6 am the next morning.  But by then, that funny feeling turned into a 103 degree fever.  My doctor who always fits me in just couldn’t get me in until Friday.  Apparently whatever this was – it was going around.  So for two days I downed Dayquil, did nasal washes, took Tylenol and toughed it out.  An hour and a half after taking a morning dose of Tylenol, my temp was measured at 103.5 on Friday morning.  Yep, I was sick too – the flu with an added bonus of a bacterial sinus infection.  And I was highly contagious so the doctor said, “Stay away from the baby or you’ll just be passing it back and forth.”  I was tormented not being there for my daughter, but at the same time, I was so miserable and so whiny in my own right, I knew I had to get better so I could get back to being mommy.  I knew my husband would pick up where I couldn’t help.   That went out the window 24 hours later when my husband came down with it.  With no family in town, and no babysitters screened yet, we were both sick and juggling trying to care for a sick baby.

Our daughter wasn’t as bad as we were.  She appeared to only have a nasal drip and cough but that cough alone would have prevented her from being taken in by a daycare.  Her cough still remains today – two weeks later.  And every day our nanny showed up, with a cold herself, but she still showed up.  What would we have done for two weeks if we didn’t have a backup to the daycare option?  At least if the nanny calls in sick, we have 25 days of backup daycare through my work or a few friends who may be able to fill in – maybe.   But if we put all of our eggs in the daycare basket, then if our baby is sick, what would we do?  And with that, our decision was made.  We were staying with the nanny.   That and we realized how messy our house was over the five days the nanny was off and how lucky we are it’s so clean when she’s here.

So, how do two sick adults who are coughing to the point of not sleeping at all care for an infant?  Well, it’s not easy.  And it certainly put the need for babysitters in perspective.  My husband had to work on Sunday.  He had a client in town and I had known about this meeting for weeks.  So here I am, barely able to stand or stay awake, and I have a nearly six month old who wants mommy’s attention the entire day.   I went from feeling bad to feeling worse.   I made it through the day, barely, but I made it and the second he walked in the door, I was in bed.

We are all on the mend finally, and our coughs are finally not keeping us up at night.  But then, I lost my voice.  Not fun.  As I write this, I am still drinking Gatorade G2 and tea, hoping it comes back before work tomorrow.   I try to look at the positive to all of these trials and two miraculous things came out of this illness:

First, I lost 8 lbs. I had gained 30 lbs from all those infertility drugs I took for a year.  I just started to try to lose it over the past two months and it was coming off slowly at about 2lbs a week, thanks to Weight Watchers.  Well, now I’m back in my size 10 pants.  Whoopa.  Hopefully it wasn’t lean muscle mass.   Certainly boosted my spirits and encouraged me to continue losing (more slowly) when I feel better.

Second, we joined care.com and started screening babysitters. Granted, I coughed through most of the interviews, but I still did them and we think we found three wonderful babysitters.   We would know soon enough because we have standing plans on Saturday night to go out to dinner and see the Beauty and the Beast.  So, we’ll have to pick one of them for our big night out.   And, it’s our first night out for a long period of time (six hours) without a close friend doing us a favor and watching our daughter.  In fact, she’s such an easy baby, we usually just take her with us so we had only gone out twice without her since she was born.

This is the first date where we become husband and wife again – not mommy and daddy.  Are we ready?  We’d have to be.

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[Photo Credit: obo-bobolina]

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