Tuesday evening began innocently enough... Nolan and I watched our guilty pleasure (Teen Mom 2. I know, I know, it's stupid, but we like it!), and eventually went to sleep. Around 4am my mommy radar kicked in to hear Maddox crying from his crib. He doesn't wake up often (thankfully), so I stumbled my way into the boys' room thinking I would just turn his music box on and lay him back down without any issue. Imagine my surprise to see him sitting in his bed at 4am, covered in vomit and heaving more out by the second. For what seemed like a full minute (I'm sure much less in reality) I just stared at him. Do I pick him up to comfort him and get puked on? Do I let him finish? It was a dilemma. In the end I picked him him and let him vomit his entire night's dinner all over my shoulder. That's love. It was also my first mistake in the days to come, and I'm quite sure was the very moment I contracted this evil virus.
Neither of the kids have ever had the stomach flu, and to be honest it has been one of my greatest fears.
I was not prepared for the horror that was to come in the slightest.
Maddox continued to vomit every hour on the hour until around noon on Wednesday. Nolan was kind enough to stay home from work because knowing all too well how diseases travel in our family, we assumed it was only a matter of hours before Jax was hurling as well. I was going to need some help!
This was our second mistake.
By evening Maddox was keeping water and pedialite down, and even managed to sleep through the night. Thursday morning brought a refreshed and healthy baby. Not wanting to miss too much work, Nolan returned to his job (our third mistake), and Jax seemed to escape the flu. I on the other hand, awoke to what can only be described as knives being stabbed and twisted throughout my gut. I kept Jax home from preschool, because in all honesty I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make the 10 minute drive to pick him back up in the afternoon.
I was facing a full day with the stomach flu, alone, with two seemingly healthy kids. What's a mom to do? Turn on Mickey Mouse, that's what! Going against my better judgment I plugged the boys into the TV for as long as they could stand it (which turned out to pretty long)! I managed to stretch cartoons out until noon, and was beginning to think I might make it until help arrived (in the form of Nolan coming home from work around 7pm). Then disaster struck. The vomiting began. Every hour on the hour I spent some quality time with the toilet, the stainless steel mixing bowl, essentially whatever was closest to me. Many times a certain three year old would be standing over me asking "Mommy, I want a snack," "Mommy, where's my bowling pins?" as I responded between dry heaves "Mommy will be out in a minute, GO OUT!"
You may be wondering how this situation can get worse.
Around 3:00pm, when I was really starting to feel my worst, I heard the words I was dreading. Sitting next to me on the couch Jax says "Mommy... my belly hurts."
"Do you have to go poopy?" I ask hopefully. Maybe that's all there is to it, just a little poop and his tummy will be back to normal!
"Yeah..." he responds and rushes off to the bathroom.
Seconds later I hear screaming. I'm still naively thinking "maybe it's diarrhea?" when he jumps up from the toilet, wraps his arms around my neck, and projectile vomits all over myself, his naked legs, the floor, the toilet, the walls, the bathtub, the toilet paper, and even a small amount into the stainless steel puke bowl. Best of all, he has been drinking a lot of milk, so his vomit consists of mainly curdled milk... anyone who has had a baby knows what that smells like. Imagine that smell has just soaked your entire bathroom, and you're the only adult home to clean it. Ad to that that you yourself are incredibly weak and nauseous and you have quite the predicament.
At about this point I was beginning to think "I'm really screwed."
I called Nolan and begged him to come home as soon as humanly possible (which turned out to be 5pm). Jax was throwing up every 20 minutes, I was averaging every 40 minutes, and Maddox wanted nothing more than to play. We were a mess. I remember looking at the clock and thinking "Two more hours, I can make it two hours. I've had babies, I can last two more hours with the stomach flu!" To top things off I couldn't imagine having the ability to clean the bathroom in my state, yet remember that diarrhea I mentioned hoping for? That would be mistake number four.
Armed with a shirt tied over my face and an arsenal of bleach, towels, and garbage bags I managed to clean the bathroom just enough to make it bearable. And just in time for my hourly dry-heave session, this time with Jax standing over my shoulder begging for chocolate milk, and me explaining between heaves why chocolate milk isn't a good idea on a sick stomach. Several hours later Nolan (our savior) walked through the door. Officially relieved of duty, I made my way to our bed and slept for several hours, awaking occasionally to hear questions like "Jax, did you fart? (yes)" "Are your sure it was just a fart? (no)" "Did you poop in your pants? (yes)" "Do you need to throw up? (yes)"
Eventually this horror story wound down for the evening. Nolan slept on the couch with Jax on the love seat (so he could help him to the bathroom in the middle of the night if needed), Maddox slept soundly in his crib, and I in our bed. Jax and I awoke Friday morning feeling weak, but comparatively speaking 1000 times better then the day before. Nolan returned to work (mistake number 5), and life was appearing to return to normal.
Around 10:30am Friday Nolan called from work "I think it's hitting me too, can you come and pick me up?"
This hellish stomach flu was not going to rest until it officially eliminated my entire family. He spent Friday (and much of Saturday) laid out in much the same manner as the rest of us.
And here we sit, Saturday evening, feeling like we have just survived the plague and lived to tell the tale. Tomorrow will be a better day! Unless of course this thing mutates and cycles back around... if there's one thing I've learned about having two kids, it's that there are just enough people in the household for germs to mutate and jump from host to host!