If you have a weak stomach you may want to skip this post.
There’s really nothing like starting your day at 4:30 am with coughing and vomiting. Especially when it’s not your vomit. I got used to vomit while I was pregnant, but it really is different when it’s someone else’s. Especially when you’re wearing it.
I don’t like vomit. It’s gross. I really don’t like the kind of vomit that results from post nasal drip. It smells bad. Well, it smells like what it is, snot mixed with stomach acid, and it has the worst possible texture, warm slime.
That’s how my day started this morning: 4 a.m., coughing child, slime-puke.
I’ve been puked on a lot since all this started. I may actually be a pro at getting puked on. I know how to get as little as possible on me or her. I know how to angle the girl so she’s pointed at the most washable object possible. (No couches, mattresses, or floors – they don’t fit in the washing machine.) Yep, I could definitely take this show on the road, except that it would be exceedingly gross and require getting puked on more… Yeah, on second thought, I’ll pass.
I really have been puked at a lot (that last paragraph got away from me a little…). When I brought Fiona home from the hospital, it didn’t feel real. I kept feeling a little like I’d escaped with a child and any minute the proper authorities would pound down my door and demand her back. It might be part of why I was so resistant to letting anyone hold her. What can I say? I have issues.
I spent three days feeling like nothing was really real. I was trying to get the hang of her. She wanted to nurse all the time and I was lousy at burping her. So, eventually, she did what all babies do when there is a large bubble of air trapped under about 45 minutes worth of nursing. She puked.
I was not an expert on puking at that point. I was the complete opposite of an expert. She puked straight down my shirt. Vomit blasted into my bra and flowed straight through to my waist. She threw up so much milk that I had to change every stitch of everything that both of us were wearing. Did you know that stomach acid curdles breast milk?
We stripped, showered, and sat back down to fill up her belly again. The second time we stopped every 10 minutes to burp, even if she didn’t want to. I can be taught.
The weird thing is, that’s the moment it became real. All that puke, and that was the moment that I finally realized that I got to keep her. She was mine and no one was going to take her away from me. I was a newly christened mommy. Blessed.
The food allergies mean that I got to see a LOT more puke. I’ve seen the kind of puke that burns when it comes up. I’ve seen frothy puke. I’ve seen puke that contains food that, I’m reasonably certain, is at least a week old. For the first year, most of this puke landed on me.
See, sick babies like to snuggle. The sicker they are, the more they feel that the best place on earth is within six inches of mommy’s face. It took a while to learn the warning signs and then it took a while longer to hold on to my presence of mind long enough to grab a container.
Sometimes there is no container available, that’s when your instincts kick in and you catch it with your hands. This is how I’ve come to personally know all the many varied and disgusting textures of vomit.
There are many horrible textures: chunky, like canned stew, frothy, gooey, etc. I could go on, but I imagine you’re all a bit green by now. Suffice it to say, slimy is the worst.