Holiday weekend with baby didn't quite go as planned

December 16, 2010|Amy Dulebohn

I had that day all mapped out, too. We were going to go to a local shopping center for the arrival of Santa Claus, and then return home, where I was going to turn my daughter over to family members for a few hours so I could tidy up the nursery and go through her clothes (a never-ending process, it seems), to separate outgrown and seasonally inappropriate items from her current wardrobe. On Saturday, we were going to start decorating for Christmas. Our weekend would be capped by her baptism on Sunday, complete with guests at the service and a family luncheon.
When I left work the night before the holiday, I was so excited, I didn’t even notice that I was lightheaded and a little nauseous.
Once we got home and I sat down to feed my daughter, I gagged at the sight of her pureed creamed corn. But I managed to get through her meal, and was ready to eat my own dinner. I took a few bites, then realized that eating was not a good idea. I quickly whisked my daughter and myself into the bedroom, thinking that if we just lay down for awhile, my queasiness would pass.
For some reason, I thought my 8-month-old would nap with me. But instead she was rolling around on the bed and jabbering when I realized that my dinner was about to make a repeat appearance and I needed to get to the bathroom NOW. I reached out to grab her to put her in her playpen just as everything that was in my stomach came back up.
Luckily, she was out of reach. Unfortunately, my clothes and bedding were not.
The next few minutes are a blur of me scooping up my daughter and carrying her at arms’ length to her playpen. I then changed out of my clothes and into pajamas, stripped the bed and headed to the basement to throw everything in the washer.
I returned to the bedroom, still erroneously convinced that my daughter would go to sleep with me. She continued to crawl around, coo and squeal, as I wept from being sick and wondered how I was going to manage her while I was ill.
I called my mom, who advised me to take some upset stomach medication, and do the best I could with my little girl.
And she was right, mostly. After the medication and water I was sipping came back up, and my daughter finally went to sleep, I drifted off into a fairly restful sleep, minus the usual interruptions of the baby waking to nurse.
By Thanksgiving morning, I was relieved to be feeling well enough to eat some dry toast and feed the baby without any digestive malfunctions.
We made it to our dinner, but my head was aching and I had no appetite. Perhaps the lack of hunger is a mixed blessing when sitting before a Thanksgiving feast. But alas, we returned home to rest for the remainder of the day.
By the next morning, I was feeling like myself again. Ready to eat, visit Santa and tear into my work. I called my mom to make arrangements for childcare, only to learn she was now sick. I felt bad for her, but called my sister to ask her to provide some respite care for me. Not unexpectedly at this point, she was sick, too.
Disappointed, I decided to nix the trip to see Santa. I hated for us to go out alone on a dreary day. We could take her to see St. Nick another time, and save the arrival festivities for when she is older. I had a small sense of satisfaction at being able to spend another entire day with my daughter, but at the same time, was a little frustrated that I wasn’t going to be as productive as I had hoped.
Still though, my little one and I enjoyed the day together, playing, reading books, singing, cuddling — all things I cherish with her.
Christmas decorating the next day was fun. I enjoyed the festivities, but acquired a new host of worries including her knocking over the tree, eating ornaments, etc.
All the while, I was really looking forward to her baptism the next morning. The day started off smoothly, with my mother, who was feeling up to par again, assuming care of my daughter while I got ready for the ceremony. Once I was ready, I got the baby ready for her big day.
Everything seemed fine until my dad, who had sustained a fall while tending his cattle that morning, announced that he was not feeling up to going to the service. Without missing a beat, I said firmly that in that case, we would postpone the baptism. I reached for the phone to call the pastor on his cell phone. Before I was finished dialing, my dad, stubborn as I am, said that he would go after all.
Once we got to the church, the service and sacrament went off without a hitch. After the service, my dad hobbled to the altar with the rest of us for photos, and then announced that his pain level had increased, and that after our luncheon, he wanted to go to the emergency room.
We hurried through the meal and shuttled him off to the hospital — only to receive news that he had indeed broken his hip, and would need surgery and extensive rehab.
Another weekend, this time a long one with a holiday thrown in, of unpredictability, and plans gone awry.
Even with my dad’s extended hospitalization, I have somehow managed to do all the things I didn’t get done that holiday weekend. And life goes on. So does motherhood. While I would prefer to have everyone in my family be healthy and physically intact all the time, I accept my life just the way it is.

First-time mother Amy Dulebohn is a page designer at The Herald-Mail. Her e-mail address is

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