A. is sick today. We went to get him out of his bedroom this morning and found him surrounded my vomit. I felt absolutely horrible because I had no idea how long he’d been sleeping there next to it. I heard him sort of cry out in the night, but he stopped right away so I didn’t get up to check on him (he as a history of making sounds in his sleep). I quickly realized that he may have been crying out because he was sick and rather than going to check on him, I just rolled over and went back to sleep. First pang of guilt for the day.
Shortly after getting him all cleaned up, he threw-up again, all over our bed. I was in the bathroom getting ready, but my husband was near him. He picked him up and comforted him and I was more concerned about getting the sheets and blankets off the bed to prevent the puke smell from getting into our mattress. Pang of guilt #2.
I hate vomit. Everything about it. As a rule, I don’t vomit – I will do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t happen. In fact, I have been successful in this endeavour for 10 years. And, yes, I did get through two pregnancies without vomiting. So given my history, I hate dealing with these types of situations. I don’t want to be anywhere near the stuff, and I don’t really want to be around people when I think they are going to vomit. This is where the conflict comes in. I love my children dearly and I hate that they are feeling so sick. I want to be there to comfort them, but I also can’t bring myself to deal with the whole “vomit situation” in an appropriate manner. I need to get over this, but I don’t know how (add more guilt here).
Today I was “lucky enough” to have mandatory clinical sessions that I couldn’t miss, so my husband stayed home with poor little A. He even took the baby to the dayhome, so he could really just spend time taking care of A. (and hopefully doing laundry). Unfortunately, I also feel very guilty for not fulfilling my “mommy duty” to stay home and comfort my sick baby. I also feel guilty considering myself “lucky” to be away from the vomit fest that is taking place in my house. As you can see, tonnes and tonnes of guilt. Ugh.
I don’t even want to go home now, because apparently he is still vomiting (and more guilt about this too). What I hoped was a quick, one-day course of gastro, appears to be stretching out and I need it to stop. Primarily because I want my son to be feeling better, but also because I need the guilt to stop.
I have spent many a nights in the past two-and-a-half years of med school getting over guilt associated with being at school instead of at home with the kids, or studying when I could be playing with them. However, this is the first time that one of my boys has been sick enough to need to stay home and I wasn’t able to be there for him. I guess it’s just another type of guilt that I’m going to have to deal with. I should try and see the silver lining and be glad that I have a husband who is able to take on this role (so I don’t have to be stressed about missing mandatory clinical sessions). Sadly there is something about being a mom that makes it almost impossible to see the up-side to anything involving not being there for your kids when need some extra love and cuddles.
As I venture on home for the evening, I hope I can somehow get over my little vomit fear enough to comfort my sick little boy, and to also deal with any potential vomiting incidents with appropriate grace and poise.