Everyone warned me about creche lurgy, and all the bugs my baby would pick up, but I never realised it would hit us so fast and that I’d be so floored.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
After two weeks in work I was really looking forward to the long bank holiday weekend with my baby, but on the first day I noticed she had a bit of a cold. At first it didn’t seem to bother her much, she was still her usual smiley self. The worst thing was she wouldn’t let me wipe her nose. When I tried she blocked me with her hands and ended up smearing snot all over her face. Then when she got tired she rubbed her eyes so she was literally covered in snot (which isn’t the perfect accompaniment to her Halloween pumpkin outfit).
Then by the Sunday I noticed it was starting to impact her a bit more . She was crying a lot more, and finding it hard to nap. Then on Monday she was worse again, and looked very red in the face, and even looked as though she had two black eyes as the skin was so dry and dark. It was hard to tell if that was from the cold, the snot irritating her skin or teething as I suspected she might be getting a third tooth right at the same time.
I checked the symptoms that might indicate she needed to see a GP, but she didn’t seem to need to be seen. She didn’t have a high temperature. She was breathing and eating normally and certainly didn’t seem listless. If anything she was more lively because she was needing distraction and constantly on the move.
Instead we tried out best to manage the symptoms, which is hard when she can’t tell you what they are. We bought a Calpol lavender and menthol diffuser for her room which helped keep her nose clear for sleeping. We gave her Calpol to ease any pain, and used some teething gel, just in case that was hurting her (we didn’t really know so were trying everything). I also put some nipple cream on her cheeks and chin to protect them from the snot and dribble. Not a conventional treatment but I figured if it is safe for nipples that go in a baby’s mouth it should be safe on her skin. We also made sure she got plenty of fluids from breastfeeding and water. She was generally still happy and smiley, but just needed constant attention to keep her occupied. My husband was due to be playing golf but luckily stayed home, so together it was easier.
On the Sunday I was saying I wish I had the same cold, because at least then she would get some antibodies from my milk to help her recover quicker. By Monday I got what I wished for and developed a really bad sore throat and earache. It’s no surprise really, it’s hard not to get her gerns when she loves sticking her not covered hands in mouth. I was feeling very sorry for myself, but it also made me realise if she was feeling what I was it was a miracle she wasn’t crying more.
Although colds can be weird like that. I used to share a house with a teacher who picked up lots of germs in school. Each winter she would lose her voice completely, but not be in any pain, and would gets lots of sympathy. I on the other hand would get the same germs and have no outward symptoms but I’d be in loads of pain. Sore throats just seem to be my nemesis. In the last 10 years in work I’ve only taken a handful of sick days but they have all been for sore throats. So I was hoping maybe she doesn’t take after me, and wasn’t suffering the sore throat too.
On the Tuesday I woke after a sleepless night. She had been awake 6 times, and I had been having trouble getting back to sleep because of my sore throat. My throat felt like it was on fire and I realised there was no way I could go into work. I hated calling in sick on just my third week back, but it had to be done. I also decided she wasn’t fully recovered either, so we stayed home together.
When I took sick days in the past it was always a day of staying in bed, eating comfort food, watching tv and not much else. A sick day with a baby is a whole different ball game. I was constantly looking after her, so I didn’t have time to look after myself much. At one point I was making her breakfast porridge and she was crawling around on the floor, when suddenly I realised she was about to pull on the iron cord. I stopped her in time and put it away, but it really scared me that I wasn’t concentrating properly and that could have resulted in an accident. I was feeling like a terrible mother, whilst also suffering from pain, shivers and aches. Despite that the best way to keep her distracted was singing song and putting on a happy face. Luckily she was pretty tired and had a few naps so I managed to get some sleep and that helped a bit.
By the time bedtime came around she was looking much better with much less redness, and was happily babbling away in her cot. I swear she said daddy and night night but I think it was just random sounds instead of her first words.
The next morning she was looking much better, and we’d had a better nights sleep. My throat was still feeling really sore, but I wasn’t feeling so exhausted, so I took her into creche, and got a few hours on the sofa doing proper sick days things (like eating the Halloween candy).
Hopefully we won’t have too many more incidences of creche lurgy, but I suspect we might. And if we both get sick at the same time again it will be tough going, so I’m off to eat some vitamin C to keep my immune system up.
Have you any top tips for avoiding the crèche lurgy?
I’m taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out
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