Let’s just assume if it can get worse, it will.

To understand the title of this post let me take you back to Tuesday night…

Last Tuesday night my phone rang. It was late, I was almost asleep and didn’t get to the phone before it went to voice mail. It was my dad and I thought – “I bet it’s about Grandma.” I didn’t call him back since there was no message left and I figured if it were an emergency he would call Rob too.

Wednesday, I had a meeting with my adviser that went all day, so I never called my dad back. But he left a message for me while I was on the subway, that grandma was in the hospital. I called him at 5:30 when I got off the train, and he had just got a call that Grandma had died. She was 89 and in declining health, but an hour before she passed she had been awake and talking to my uncle.

My coping mechanism is to make plans. So as soon as I get home I start working on flight possibilities which are further complicated by the fact that Rob is leaving at 6AM on Thursday for a business trip to Toronto.

I spent two hours on the phone with various airlines. Some airlines have bereavement fares (only 5% off the ticket price). All of the direct flights were just too expensive so we went with connecting flights. I booked my flight and half of Rob’s online, but to get Rob from Toronto to Indiana he took a different airline and I had to book on the phone. I get the $9 off, then the agent says “and there is a $25 fee for booking over the phone” (cue me about to yell) “but I’ll waive that since it’s for bereavement.” And she SHOULD because otherwise the discount costs money. So now we have tickets and Rob is leaving for Canada.

Thursday – nothing bad happened this day. I packed and did tons of laundry. I had an appointment in Manhattan near St. Patrick’s, so I went to the church and got to be sad for awhile. I lit a candle to St. Andrew (my grandpa’s name) and it felt right. I finished packing after Simon went to bed, booked a car for 4:45AM and went to bed early.

***Here is where it gets worse.*** Friday at 2:15, Simon wakes up screaming. Really screaming, usually he does this when he is cold or stuck. So I go to get him and he is wet. “Great, his diaper has leaked…Fine I’ll change him and he can sleep with me…” I turn on the light and he is COVERED from hair to waist in chunky banana vomit. It was gross. This is the first time he’s been sick where he doesn’t smell like a baby. So I get him cleaned up, enough, and know that I am going to have to give him a bath before we leave, which means I need to get up at 3:55 to give myself an extra 20 minutes. (I had planned on just putting him in the car in his pjs and getting him ready at the airport) I clean up the mess in the crib as Simon stands next to me crying and saying “uh-oh.”

We lay in my bed and I nurse him and he falls asleep and I rub his back. After 40 minutes or so it seems like he is out, so I roll to my side of the bed (the one plus of Rob being gone is there is plenty of space for me and baby) and just as I’m about to go back to sleep, I hear the cough followed by more vomit. Liquid this time, so at least there is that. I peeled Simon’s clothes off and pulled the sheets down. I wrapped him in a clean part and moved him to my side of the bed. It’s 3:15 and I know I’m not going back to sleep…. And again. This time he says uh-oh and tries to use the towel I’ve been wiping him with to clean it up himself. Pathetic and cute. I wrap him in the last clean spot at the foot of our bed. It’s 3:30. I send out a Facebook plea for prayers that this stops before the flight then decide to just take a shower and get ready to go. About a minute after I get in the shower I hear little feet. Simon is up.

And he seems ok. A little whiny and clingy, but not sick… At 4:30 we are packed up in the carrier and walking out the door. And then it gets much worse, as the vomit stars spewing. All over Simon, the carrier, me, the floor, everything. I start peeling off clothes and cry a little. I had called Rob a couple of times, but was sent straight to voice mail. This time I left a message “you can’t turn off your phone.” (except that he’s in ANOTHER COUNTRY – I seem to forget this about Canada – so he can to avoid international roaming charges) Then I called the pediatrician. Hating to wake someone up at 4:30, but really not sure if I should get on this plane. The doctor said, other than the unpleasantness of vomit on a plane, it was fine to go and to give him benedryl and hope he sleeps.

So I get us cleaned up and changed. Send a prayer of gratitude that I have a second carrier (we travel sans stroller these days) throw multiple changes of clothes into the suitcase (just in case) and get in the waiting car. At the airport check-in and security go smoothly. I get a coffee and learn the airport doesn’t carry children’s medicines. Simon seems happy to play with his trains in the very empty gate area. I text my mom – please pick up children’s benedryl Simon is sick. Then I text her – Can you bring me black cardigan to go with my dress (I had been wearing mine during the last “episode”). Then I text – at this point let’s just assume if it can get worse it will.

But we have good plane karma. Our flights weren’t full, so we had a row to ourselves. Simon slept. On the second flight, same thing only he ate some breakfast and played trains. We get to Indiana and I find out my mom didn’t have her phone all morning, so had received none of my texts or the two voice mails. It’s ok, we stop and get me some lunch and buy a sweater and some medicine.

I get to the church for the wake at 2:15. I’ve been up for 12 hours. Simon has a fever now, but also has medicine in him. I’m too tired to be sad. I can barely stay awake. The visitation was nice, as these things go. Many people from my childhood came to say goodbye to Grandma. I feel like I need to apologize for me lack of making any conversations – oh the tired. I finally got to sleep at 9:30. Simon woke up at 11:57. Rob got in at 2. Simon woke up vomiting at 5:30…

We made it to the funeral. Simon’s fever broke and there have been no signs of sickness since. I never want to travel alone with a sick child again. I was so close to not getting on that plane – I’m glad I did and that it all worked out.

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One thought on “Let’s just assume if it can get worse, it will.

  1. Holy crap. You are a CHAMP for going (although I know it was clearly very important to you). I would have been terrified that he would start vomitting on the plane and it would be a hellacious journey. I’m glad, at least, that the actual flight was ok.

    Also, I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Losses are never easy, even when you know they are on the horizon, and grandmothers are special people. It sounds like your relationship with yours was unique and wonderful. What a gift that was.


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