Sick babies, well babies and foreign travel

  • Posted: 2/7/2013 11:05 AM
    6/1/2013 6:00 PM

It's been an interesting week. My time in Greenville with Liz and Vince and Pearce has come to an end, and I'm now embarking on a new adventure with the daytime care of my other grandchildren, Cade and Payton.

Meanwhile, I got up at 4 a.m. on Tuesday to see Tom off to Honduras for his first mission trip.

I left Greenville last Thursday, and Liz and Vince headed to Charleston for an annual Super Bowl party held by a group of their friends. It was Pearce's second trip down there in her seven weeks of life, and Liz was hopeful that she would do as well this time as she did the last time.

Unfortunately, my daughter and her husband have now had their first experience with a sick baby.

They planned to swing by our house on their way from Charleston, so Tom could see baby Pearce before he headed off to Honduras for 10 days - plus Tom's birthday was Wednesday (and Cat and Liz's birthday is Thursday) so they wanted to wish him a happy birthday before his leaving.

But at some point over the weekend, Pearce began to scream every time she ate. The new parents tried to figure out what was going on and debated whether they should trek back to Greenville and see their pediatrician on Monday morning.

As Pearce calmed some, they decided to come to see us as planned and see about a visit to Cade and Payton's pediatrician for assurance that it wasn't an ear infection or something else that would need a doctor's touch - and a prescription.

I wasn't sure of the protocol, but I thought if I could get a message to Dr. Tiffany - who started his life with children as our babysitter for Mac, Cat and Liz - that he would surely see Pearce. I needn't have feared. When we did see him, Dr. Tiffany said the good news in South Carolina is that most pediatric groups have an unwritten reciprocal agreement. In addition, he spent five years in Greenville while studying to be a pediatrician, so he was very familiar with his colleagues there.

It turned out to be reflux, more than likely, said Dr. Tiffany. Who knew that babies have reflux? I thought that was an ailment relegated to folks of my age, not 7-week-olds. And these days the solution even for infants is likewise familiar - Zantac. Again, who knew?

Of course, the regimen hasn't been a cure-all. Monday night, when I knew I'd have to get up at 4 a.m. Tuesday, Pearce decided she was having none of sleep again. She cried inconsolably for some time, and I finally sent Liz to bed and kept the baby with me. As with most new mothers, the constant exhaustion and the emotions of trying to figure out what this little person is trying to tell you were taking their toll, and I figured that I live without a lot of sleep all the time, so what's one more night? Not that I had any great cures for what ailed Pearce either. I held her, she cried inconsolably some more, and after about an hour, she inexplicably went peacefully to sleep until her Papa came home to take over. Wouldn't it be nice if you could enter the Star Trek world and use Bones' (Dr. Leonard McCoy's) full-body scanner, which would tell us, "This baby has an ear infection" or "This baby has colic" or "This baby has a YaYa who worries too much."

Anyway, for whatever reason, Pearce went quietly with her Papa to bed and I was able to get to sleep around midnight - probably some kind of record for me.

I then arose with Tom to take him to the meeting point of the Agape Ministries group going to Honduras. Here was another basket case. I thought after our trip to Italy that my husband would be used to world travel. He totally planned that trip himself, even though neither of us had ever been out of the country before, and it was great. But I didn't think about the factor of the unknown - Honduras is not Italy. And by not being in charge, Tom was putting his life, so to speak, in someone else's hands. The good news is that we both have to acknowledge that he's really putting his life into God's hands - more than normal, that is. And knowing my husband, once he was with the group, you could see him visibly relax.

So Tom is off on his adventure. I am beginning my adventure. And Liz is returning home to continue her new adventure with Pearce.

Let's hope Tom and I come out of the next 10 days unscathed and that Liz continues to settle into her role as mom with her precious charge - as I know she will.

Say a prayer for all of us.