This is a story that has been told over and again by all mothers since the beginning of time.
It’s 4 am. I hear coughs coming over the monitor, but I’m not alarmed since baby boy has been getting over an ear infection. I glance at the monitor screen, and I see something odd. Baby boy is curled up at one side of the crib and there is a dark pool in the center. I get out of bed, thinking that perhaps it’s just a shadow. No such luck. It’s beet and oatmeal vomit.
In my half-awake stupor, I contemplate moving my sleeping infant to the other side of the crib and going back to bed. That’s disgusting!! I can’t believe I actually just thought that. No. Must scoop baby up, and change sheet. Yuck.
When I pick him up, I notice that he too is covered in beets. It’s on his hands, his cheeks, his hair, and even in his ears. How on earth did it get in there? And furthermore, how is baby boy is sleeping though all of this?
He mumbles a bit as I clean him up. His eyes open slightly. His brows furrow as if to say, “Mom, what are you doing? Don’t you know it’s 4 a.m.?” I place him back to sleep on clean sheets.
In the following 2.5 hours, Baby boy wakes up for first and second breakfast. I typically give him second breakfast in our room so he can cuddle with me and daddy before we start the day in full force. He nurses sweetly in my arms. His tiny hand reaches for me and grabs my hair. We snuggle, and I am happy.
Suddenly he unlatches and oddly throws his neck back in discomfort. Then BLEHHHH! The milk barely reaches his tummy before landing all over me, my pajamas, and the bed. His daddy is luckily spared and looks on in astonishment.
Little boy smiles. It doesn’t seem to bother him.
On the bright side, he needs a bath anyway; I always shower before work; and this is a good time as any to wash the bed linens. In the bath he goes.
It’s 7:30 am. Baby boy looks so cute in his green alligator jumper, and he smells good too. He is playing on the tile floor of the bathroom, curiously rubbing the bath mat as I put on my make-up. I hear a wet, gurgly sound emanating from his rear end. Uh oh. Must change his diaper, but I’ll give him another moment to finish his business.
Bad decision. Without a moment’s notice, the clean white tile is transformed into a pool of brown goo. To add insult to injury, my very mobile son decides to not be deterred by this muddy obstacle and scoots across it before I can reach him. Goodbye green alligator jumper. I almost cry.
But I don’t. Instead, I fill the baby tub again. Second bath of the day. Rubber ducky, splash, splash, splash. Rinse, repeat. And then I need a second shower too because poop spreads.
We are finally out the door and on our way to daycare. Although I am late for work, I consider the morning a success. I wonder about the vomit, but Baby boy is playful, happy, and fever free. It must be just reflux.
Later that morning, his teacher calls to tell me he has vomited twice already. When I come by to whisk him off to see his pediatrician, baby boy vomits once again- this time milky regurgitated carrot puree- all over my blue and green outfit. At least the colors blend well.
It’s 6 pm the next day. Baby boy feels much better. Daddy is in bed sick, however, and my stomach is starting to ache. I wish it had been just reflux.
Babies vomit. Mommies and daddies vomit. Rinse. Repeat.