Bottoms Up

Each Wednesday you can enjoy a good lunchtime laugh, by reading a quick “not so pleasant” mommy moment. Read, laugh, and share…

It was a Saturday afternoon. All four of us home. It had been a few weeks since being sent home from our three-week stay in the NICU with our newborn boy. Following the doctor’s orders, we had resisted venturing into the great outdoors.

So, here we were, worn out from little sleep and adjusting to the care of two boys; a cool, fall day that found us craving a visit to the park. After weeks of isolation, I was shocked to find my newborn baby with a fever.

Calling my husband to my side, we assess the situation. Quickly, I debunk the theory that with a second child comes less anxiety when dealing with these situations. My blood pressure rises.

In a zone, I become unaware of my environment. The sounds and busyness of our preschool aged son grow faint in the background. Hovering over our sick boy, I get ready to take his temperature. Holding his tiny five-pound body, we undo his Onesie. Contemplating a call to the doctor, my husband encourages me to take it one step at a time, “let’s just see what his temperature is before we worry.”

Remembering what we learned from the nurses, we take his temperature rectally, knowing it will give the most accurate read. Never having done that with our first child, we fumble as we tip the baby over onto his stomach, elevating his little rump on my husband’s knee. I do the honors, surprised it’s not that hard. Setting the thermometer down on the counter, I scoop up my sweet boy. I head into the nursery to re-diaper and phone the on-call nurse to see what we should do next.

The two of us turn in unison to exit the bathroom, suddenly noticing that things have grown completely silent. Where was the usual sound of an active boy? No throwing of toys, banging of blocks. We realize our older son was right there with us the whole time, witnessing our mounting stress.

Suddenly, we both gasp. I let out a shrill. Our voices shout, “NO!” I can’t hold it back, I gag. There it is, a sight I never thought I’d see. My three-year old standing in my shadow with the thermometer still warm from my newborn’s rectum, pressed tightly between his lips and under his tongue.

I guess I will be raising more than one concern with the on-call nurse…

*if you have a moment that you would like to share, please submit through the “contact Sarah” tab. Each story is fictionalized to keep moms anonymous ;)! 

Thermometer - Sarah Dykema