**WARNING** If the thought of someone else’s feces makes you uncomfortable, I’d go search around the Internet for a different blog to read today…
To read the set up for this gross tale, go here. But, guys, it wasn’t over. Sure, gross story, but nothing all that out of the ordinary for parenting Littles. The unique thing about this particular week is that on Thursday, we’re supposed to be headed out of state for a friend’s wedding. And, not just to go to the wedding but for John to be in the wedding. So, we start formulating Plans B and C if the kids aren’t well enough in time to leave. Well, Thursday rolled around and Ella was just fine. Charlotte was thisclose to being completely fine. So, by Thursday afternoon, we decide to go ahead and pack, assuming that everyone will be well by Friday morning. We’ll be a little off schedule but just in time for the rehearsal.
Through my exhaustion of the week (and having a baby!), I get us all packed and ready to go. John was a huge help in getting everything organized, too. We all get up on Friday morning and eat breakfast. I pour my normal bowl of cereal and I do. not. even. finish. it. Weird. It tastes kinda gross to me, but I figure I’m just not fully awake yet and that’s my deal. Whatevs. (Clue number one that I ignored) Let’s load up the car and get going! We get on the road and y’all, we are making killer time. The nursing babe is even sleeping longer than usual which means less stopping. BOOM. We are owning this trip.
Our first stop is for lunch. Yuck. Nothing sounds good to me. (Oops. I was already given a second clue so early in the day?!) But, this isn’t totally out of the norm because I have a crazy digestive system and sometimes I’m a little out of it. I scarf a salad while nursing the baby and the rest of the family eats. Okay, everyone back in the car quick! We’ve got a rehearsal to make! I’m feeling a little stressed because HELLO! I’m the mother of this circus and we’re just barely on schedule.
After about an hour back on the road, my tummy starts hurting. (a THIRD clue? Oh.) I assume I’m having what I lovingly call “a fake gallbladder attack” because my actual gallbladder is gone, but my body is sweet enough to not have gotten that memo at the surgery. So, I still get attacks. Now, we’re troubleshooting as we drive.
“Okay, I need to do my hippie acupressure points before we get to the rehearsal. I should take some pain medicine, too. We can do this! I can ignore the pain. Right? RIGHT?!”
We come flying into John’s parents house, just barely on schedule. I down some Tylenol. I do my hippie acupressure points. I nurse the baby. I say a prayer. I throw on a dress I had never even tried on before and had sent to my in-laws just for the rehearsal. Which, I realized about halfway down the road was a little revealing on top and cue the rest of the evening for me to yank on the dress and obsess. Regardless of all the crazy, we’re off to the rehearsal!
We arrive. Late. Because, we’re us. In the car, on the way, I started having motion sickness (are you noticing a pattern here?? Well, good for you. I, on the other hand, noticed no such pattern because well, smarts.) We roll up to the rehearsal and John goes running to his spot. I am left shuffling in heels, with lingering motion sickness, and trying to get the baby in his stroller. First, is to retrieve his pacifier from the mud, which happened somehow.
Okay, I shuffle us out and we’re off! I got to hug sweet friends (infecting them all, apparently) and catch up (breathing out more germs). Then, time to feed the baby. Perfect timing because now I can feed him before the dinner. I head back to the car because there really wasn’t anywhere else to sit. I feed the baby, John comes back to the car and I start to tell him how I really don’t feel good and maybe I should just go back to his parents. (another clue?? Gosh, I really shouldn’t become a detective when I grow up) But, I decide against it, thinking I can just push through and be fine. Lucky for all of the people at the rehearsal…
We get to the dinner. Hang out. Laugh. Talk. Enjoy life. I keep feeling like I’m about to fall asleep. But, again, I’ve got a little baby, we just took a road trip, I had a fake gallbladder attack earlier, the motion sickness, so many things… (queen of missing the signs?!). We eat the yummiest dinner ever. SO. so. good. Then, it’s time to nurse the baby. I nurse the baby. So many sweet people commented on the nursing babe, even though it was a restaurant where I thought that people wouldn’t be so happy. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the supportive comments. Okay, I digress…
After I finish feeding him, I put him back in the stroller. He started to get a little fussy and John was sweet enough to offer to walk him around so I could participate more in the dinner. After about five minutes, the room started to feel like it was spinning. You know that feeling where one second you’re fine and the next you’re thinking “uh oh, code red! Code barf! Things aren’t looking so good! Anyone! Save me! HELP!!!”
John returns and I shoot him a look of “I’m dying over here“. So, I run to the bathroom. Y’all, this bathroom is full of head to toe mirrors. You’re envisioning like a mirror or two right now. Well, you’re wrong. We’re talking if wallpaper came in mirrors, this would be that wallpaper. Mirrors everywhere. EVERYWHERE. So, you get the joy of actually watching yourself barf from every angle.
I’m standing in the bathroom all “I wanna puke but I can’t”. Because, well, two things… one) not even kidding, since hyperemesis with Ella (fancy way of saying that I literally could not keep anything down with her. It wasn’t morning sickness, but a real condition that landed me in the hospital once and ended with talks of home healthcare), I have a little PTSD and my body seriously works overtime to keep from vomiting. If I actually throw up, we know we’re in the big leagues, and two) we’re in a fancy restaurant and who wants to barf in a fancy restaurant? And, I mean, I’m a basket case. Who honestly thinks this much when they’re sick?? Sigh…
Then, I hear a “Jennifer, are you okay?” on the other side of this enclosed mirror stall. I stumble out to reveal one of our friends looking at me all concerned. I mumble something about the girls being sick earlier in the week and don’t come near me. Meanwhile, I’m texting John things like,
“WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW. I MAY DIE IN THIS ROOM ENCLOSED OF MIRRORS. I’LL GET TO WATCH MYSELF DIE FROM EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLE”
He responds with things like “Okay, we can leave soon, so and so is still giving their speech…. Aww… the bride is crying…. Aw… Now this sappy thing is happening…. aw… We can leave in a minute… Aw…”
And, I’m all “THIS IS NOT A DRILL. GET THE BABY. GET THE BABY PARAPHERNALIA. WE HAVE TO LEAVE AND WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW. I DON’T KNOW WHAT BARFING LOOKS LIKE IN A ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS BUT THIS CAN’T BE HOW MY LIFE ENDS”
At this point, John is beginning to realize that I ain’t joking. He starts trying to leave. Guys, when I tell you all that we are a circus 24/7, I mean that we are a circus 24/7. We already had to “borrow” $5 from friends for the valet, because I mean, who carries cash? And, by “who carries cash”, I mean our friends with the extra $5 to spare carry cash. I also say “borrow” because as much as I want to say I’ll make it to an ATM to get them some cash, that’s as likely to happen as pigs learning to fly. So, anyways, each time John goes to pack up our 1,400 items, something happens into the speech which turns attention over his direction. Then, he shoves himself back down in the seat. Circus.
Eventually, he frees himself and meets me in the middle. We go outside and he starts to stand IN LINE for the valet. I see the line and panic. Next thing, I’m in the bushes, dry heaving and leading downtown Dallas to believe I’ve had one too many to drink. I’m also trying to shove my nursing jugs back into my inappropriate dress each time I’m flailing over to pretend puke. Misery.
Finally the car pulls up and I go running. I decide to drive because I’m afraid that with someone else driving, I might get sicker. Guys, the Holy Spirit must have straight up driven the car because I don’t remember the 45 minute drive at all. I just remember lots of “Please, Lord, let me make it back“. The second we pull up at John’s parents, I run inside to which I vaguely remember seeing the 3 year old still awake and living the dream on the couch with her Nana. She smiles and waves and I try to fake some kind of smile back. Then, go runnnnnning to the bathroom. Did you know that fancy shrimp still tastes like fancy shrimp on the way back up? It does.
The next 24 hours was full of a whole lotta feces and vomit. Like, a lot. And, somehow, I nursed Jed all the way through it. Any tiny ounce of fluid I was able to keep within, was going to him. So, by 4:00pm the next day, I was shaking uncontrollably, in a lot of pain and my body just could. not. stop. I called my Mom (the nurse in the family and is used to these kinds of calls) and given everything I told her, said I needed to be seen right away. Guys, John is in Dallas. You know, about to be in our friends 5:00pm wedding. I text him and tell him we’re headed to the ER around the corner. I try telling him he can just stay at the wedding. I AM CRAZY. Of course he says he’s coming and I realize that’s probably a good thing because you know, we have a bunch of kids we’re supposed to care for, including one that has only ever eaten off of me.
I stumble into the ER with my mother-in-law, the one who managed to care for all of my kids through this sickness, plus got everything ready for the hospital. The doctor and nurses were all so kind and agreed that I was passed the point that I should have come in. My blood work was 50 shades of cray from dehydration. They pumped me with lots of medicines and multiple bags of fluid. They were also kind enough to take into account the fact that I was nursing. And, then, John showed up in full wedding gear. Smoking hot. While I, on the other hand, still had mascara smeared all over my face from the night before, probably some poop and puke on my smelly clothes, and my hair? Let’s not even go there.
The next several days were full of all kinds of nasty. I barely even remember us making the drive home. I do very much remember the state of the bathroom at Staples. A not screwed down toilet will apparently make being sick even more cumbersome.
But, all of this leads to even better moments…like, Ella coming home from preschool and telling me a horror story the second she got home. She said that she told her friends that her Mommy “pooped and puked EVERYWHERE” to which her friends replied “Ewwwww”. I asked her if she told her teacher, whom we see at church all the time, “Yup” That’s good, I guess? I decided to Tweet about this exchange because um, hilarious.
My very next Tweet was later that evening to which I petitioned HGTV to make more of Jen Hatmaker’s pilot show. Jen Hatmaker (of whom I am a fan) responds and retweets to which the Internet explodes. So, people start retweeting and favoriting my tweet like mad people. If just one of those people looked at my feed, my most recent talk was about my poop. And, my puke. And, preschoolers thinking it’s ewwww. Such is my life.
I haven’t been able to poop in private for a few years now. But, now my poop has really lost any of its privacy. For those keeping track, I’m finally doing better! I was sick for a week solid. This past Friday was the first day I finally felt half normal. Little Kid germs, y’all. Little. Kid. Germs.