Being a parent is hard.

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Being a parent is hard.

On the good days it's hard and on the bad days it's hard. There is no escaping it. 

I do my best to remain judgement free towards other parents, because of how hard parenting really is, and of course we are all trying our very best every damned day. The only thing I could never shake was wondering how parents let their kids get dehydrated to the point of hospitalization. I just never understood how that was a possibility. Until this week.

My youngest had a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy this week. The key to recovery is fluids. 8 ounces every hour they say. The day of the surgery made the recovery seemed do able, and I thought I was prepared when they said, it gets worse before better. 

Day 2 came.

My youngest was drooling constantly, and whenever he tried to drink it came running out of his mouth. He was trying to swallow but nothing was getting down. The medicine they sent home he fought to take because the taste was horrendous. Even with trying to force it, he still was struggling to get even half of it in his system. 

We tried syringe feeding him water, again- came running out his mouth

A few calls to the doctor and then his fever spiked. We were sent to the hospital for fluids. From here it was all a blur. I am thankful I was with it enough to document what I could. I am thankful my kids and hubby know that my camera is my way of staying grounded. 

The hospital stay was rough. He was miserable, but within a half hour of fluids he was starting to perk up. He was still drooling and refusing to drink or talk. This whole time my stubborn little boy, with tears in his eyes is denying that he's in any pain at all. 

We spent the next few hours getting monitored, examined (by three different doctors) and watching Lego Ninjago while begging, pleading, bargaining with him to drink something.

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Overnight the call was made to give him an anti-inflammatory and something strong for pain. Within minutes of the pain meds, I felt his little hand finally relax in mine. I never felt more relief than knowing that for a little bit, a least, his pain was gone. 

With the morning came glimpses of the little sassy boy we were used to. He was still denying his pain, but he finally started to drink. By lunch time that day, he had already consumed more liquid than he had the entire day before. 

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We were told to expect to stay another 24 hours since he still was refusing to drink as much as he should be. Somewhere around this time my kiddo decided there was no way he was staying another night and he started drinking. Sprite, apple juice, capri suns... and then his energy spiked and he wanted to play. Soon enough he wanted to eat. 

This kid has to do things his way. He sure as hell proved it to us. With this renewed energy, appetite, and his drinking, they let us bust out early. I am forever thankful for the care he received while we were there. Thankful to not feel judged. Not once was I made to feel that my husband and I didn't do everything in our power to prevent this. 

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Lessons learned:

  • My kid is more stubborn than I ever dreamed possible. 
  • When a kid is sick, why is Dad expected to be the strong one? Why do the Doctors and nurses lean towards mom to answer the questions? This is not ok. Dad is as much a part of the story. Dad is struggling as much as Mom. 
  • As much as I try to remind myself that as parents we all do our best, I've been guilty of letting judgmental thoughts into my brain. 

And for that, I am so sorry. 

I am sorry for ever wondering why a parent would let their kid get that sick. Dehydration is preventable after all, right? I am sorry for how wrong I was. I get it. Parenting is hard without the pain, stubbornness and sickness. Of course we all work our asses off to keep our kids healthy. I know I never voiced my judgments, but nonetheless I feel just as guilty with them even crossing my mind. 

You are an amazing parent. You are an awesome caregiver. I see you. I can see that even when it's hard, you have done everything in your power to help your kiddo. Don't let anyone else tell you that you haven't. 

Erin BerryComment