It happened. We have been through so many little colds and aches together as a family of four before Autumn arrived but then the stomach bug hit our family of FIVE, with three kids four and under.
I’m not gonna pretend I got through this looking pretty, people. It was ATROCIOUS. The advice will be coming from my heart though and I want you to not picture any other this in your head if possible, hahaha! Can I give you a brief timeline of it hitting us? At Creative at Heart (five hours away in Annapolis, took us 8-9 to get there because of stopping for the girls, mainly Autumn) — the last night we were there Autumn got sick…over, and over, and over. It was rough…but we thought she had bad milk or something from what I had pumped maybe not being cold enough in the fridge. We had NO idea what was about to happen.
The day arrived where I had to get up in front of a room of amazing creatives and talk to them about work/life balance. How hilarious that I am literally getting thrown up on over and over the night before and hoping for the best, BUT..alas my friends..that’s the topic and that’s the fact of the matter! It’s ALL so unpredictable!
I spoke, loved every second of it, went back to the hotel room, packed my family up and we started to head out but as I was taking Autumn in to feed her and take care of her…she threw up all over me again. We hauled it outta there so fast because I knew she was just this little ticking time bomb at this point. SO– take OUR bad experience as a warning sign that you may about to get hit if you see this time of non-stop behavior! It’s probably NOT just the milk or an allergy!!!
On the way back I didn’t feel right. Why did I have this anxiety but my talk was over? That’s not me at all, usually I’m bouncing off the walls relieved I did it and excited to head home…but I felt like something was off. Let’s just say by hour eight on the way home, my head was almost pressed all the way up against the MAX COLD A/C blowing out of our car vent because I was desperately trying to shock my body out of getting sick in the car. We pulled up home, I ran in..and it all went downhill from there.
So first Autumn in Annapolis, then me right away at home..hours later, Ellie walking into our room getting sick. Then an hour later, Cammy. Then Mike. HERE is what we learned!! Take notes, you wanna live through this!
1. DO NOT…..I repeat….do NOT carry a child to the bathroom while they are getting sick! Mike Hedgepeth I love you and your valiant heart trying to rescue us but he would pick the girls up if they were getting sick and rush them to the bathroom. Do you know what kind of a scene that makes? Let’s not go into detail, but if they throw up on their bed/sheets, just let it keep happening….you have to clean it anyway…why add to anything else along the path to the bathroom?
2. TOWELS….cover your/the kids bed with towels. It’s a good protector and way easier to rinse off and throw in the washing machine than an entire bed spread.
3. The typical works……ginger ale, saltines, Pedialite, popsicles, water, Gatorade, because your body needs SOMEthing! I personally am the one who can’t hold it down at all…but if you can attempt even some crushed ice…TRY it!!! It’s better to get a little something in than to get stomach pains from being hungry and become MORE nauseous!!
4. Sleep sleep sleep. Seriously, sleeping is the one thing that helps the most because the bug is there, you can’t shake it…but sleeping helps rest your body between semi-violent episodes of getting sick and can actually help you get better sooner! Don’t stay up entertaining yourself with TV and movies if you feel tired just because it’s day time, if there is any time to be super lazy..this is it!!!! Your kids will most likely sleep way more, hopefully, so you will have to take advantage of those windows of time, too!
5. Camp out in the same room, parents. It’s tempting to put a kid in their room and let them sleep and rest and all of that, but if you’re sick, it’s that much harder to get up, run upstairs and take care of them getting suddenly sick. Bring out the trashcans, the trash bags and maybe the air mattress, too and stick together if possible…especially with LITTLE little ones!
6. If something isn’t right and you’re not coming back up the way you usually do, GO to the doctor/urgent care! As a parent, we will spend less time recovering and repairing and more taking care of the other sickies. I knew something wasn’t right and thank gosh I went to Urgent Care because I was dehydrated to the point of needing three bags of IV fluids to come back to life basically. If I didn’t have this taken care of, I would have had a way worse time packing all five of us the next day and driving the girls to Nana and Pops and us to a hotel for a wedding the following date! It’s OKAY to need a little extra help after something like this!!