Apologies on the absence! It's been a pretty busy few weeks for our little family, and I would say I had just experienced one of the most challenging weeks in these 10 months of motherhood (Aside from the first few weeks of confinement month, definitely. Nothing beats the confinement month).
Three weekends ago, we travelled to Cameron Highlands with the cell group, and two weekends ago, we went for a road trip to Ipoh + Penang with Boon's family. Boon came back the day before we traveled, and went back the very same day we came back from Penang while Tyler and I also move to my parents' (again). It's been pretty crazy. Anyways, whenever we mention Ipoh and Penang two, you can expect that there will be FOOD HUNT! Ipoh and Penang are amazing states in Malaysia that serve up great hawker food, so we went on food hunts stop-after-stop, back-to-back.
As much as the food was amazing, one thing though was that Tyler was exceptionally uncooperative in this trip. He refused to be in baby chairs during meal time, was difficult to feed the food we prepared for him, very whiny and cranky, and basically just wanted to cling on to me like a koala. Sometimes even when my in-laws or Boon carried him to walk around, he would still whine and choose me to carry him instead. So throughout the trip, I was carrying Tyler almost all the time. This 8kg+ koala clinging on to me. Best way to lose weight!
It was on the second day we were there that Tyler became EXTRA fussy. He threw multiple tantrums, spit out food we fed him, and basically was being very difficult. At one point, I had enough and scolded him with my voice raised which led him to cry even louder and angrier. After that though, he tried to act all cutesy in front of me, lean his head on my shoulder and tried to be on a better behaviour. That's the thing with Tyler, whenever I reached my limits and scold him, he would sense that I was angry and would try to make me happy again.
Later that afternoon, we discovered that he had a temperature. Initially I felt that his forehead was a little warm, but thought it was due to the hot weather so I brushed the thought aside. However, after a few hours in got much worse, and that's when we suspected Tyler to be having fever. His first fever.
Call us carefree parents (a very nice way to put it) or careless parents (that's more like it), we did not bring anything that could help with his fever. When Tyler was younger we brought everything, but since we thought he is now bigger and stronger, we would likely not need those stuff anymore so we "packed light". Oh, just how wrong we were. We didn't bring along the thermometer so we didn't know his real temperature, we didn't bring any fever patches or medicine too. Thankfully my mom in-law packed Cool Fever patches and fever meds along (grandmas know best), so Tyler had his first Cool Fever moments at least for 5 minutes before tearing them off his forehead.
We fed him infant paracetamol 1 teaspoon in every 4-5 hours, and each time he would struggle and cry angrily, to the point we had to bribe him with Barney on the iPad while holding him down so he would at least consume some of the meds. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch.
My secret "aim" in this parenting thing is to at least last 1 year before Tyler fell sick. Well, I guess some things are just not within our control. I read up about this fever and also heard from some Dayre moms that Tyler's fever could very well be due to teething. Which was very likely because he was still pretty active and playful like his normal self (just extra cranky and moody!) and he didn't have signs of sore throat, cough or flu at all. So it was unlikely to be caused by viral infection.
So we just waited for a few more days before deciding to bring him to the doctor's.
Still smiling despite the temp. My little trooper (when he's not cranky).
The fever lasted from Saturday-Tuesday, on and off. I really wanted to bring Tyler to the paed's already but some thing told me that he would be fine the next day, so I said a prayer for him and went to bed.
True enough, when I woke up the next morning and touched his forehead and neck, his fever was completely gone! Praise the Lord! God is indeed a prayer-answering God.
Though he's healed, his moodiness and crankiness was still around. Being older now, he understands things better and wants to exert his rights. Just a few months ago, he would be perfectly fine sitting in the baby chair during meal time in restaurants. He would sit there playing with whatever we gave him, and look around entertaining himself. For the past week, whenever we put him into the baby chair he would whine and fuss until we carried him out. It was a nightmare bringing him out for meals with us :(
The day after his fever subsided, he developed what looked like rashes all over his forehead and body. The rashes really irritated him and he wouldn't stop fussing cos of it. He still wouldn't eat, and only wanted to latch and for mommy to carry. All my work had to be done at a slower pace cos I was constantly needed to be with Tyler. Only time I could get back to my laptop was during his one-and-a-half-hour naps. Thank God he takes multiple naps a day.
The challenging part about the fever + rashes episode wasn't so much on the physical part. Sure, it was exhausting to say the least. But it was the emotional part that was way more challenging for me. Now I understand why when babies are unwell, my mommy friends literally go missing in action for a while. That's cos when a child is sick, it is a trying time for both the child AND the parents. It's emotionally draining.
I questioned myself as a mother in the past week more than ever before.
"Since he's unwell, should I be the doting and understanding mom, and just let him continue to whine and fuss while I endured everything?"
"If I just let him have his way, kicking a fuss and throwing tantrums, would he get used to this and form a habit out of it?"
"Should I discipline him for the tantrums?"
"Or should I just continue to tahan and try to be understanding?"
Most of the time, after enduring for a while I couldn't help but raise my voice at him to "show" him that he shouldn't throw his tantrums. And then I'll feel bad afterwards. And the cycle repeats.
During those times, my mom would assure me that it's normal for babies to be at their worst behaviour when they're unwell. Give them some time and they'll slowly return to their normal selves. At that moment it felt like this nightmare was here to stay. That we would be stuck with this cranky baby for a long time. I sure was hoping to see that day sooner, and wishing that it wouldn't be a slow transition.
True enough, yesterday (after 4 days of fever + 2 days of post-fever rashes) he woke up happy and back to his cheerful self! He began smiling and laughing more, stopped fussing and whining, and started eating again!! I was excited about helping him to pack on the pounds again after not eating much for a week, which made him lose some weight (as if he's not already small sized for his age).
He's been so cranky that I actually forgot how it feels when he was all healthy and well. So it's truly refreshing to finally have my happy Tyler back. I'm relieved :')
Everyone at home noticed the big change in his mood too. Last week he wouldn't even get excited when he saw my little sisters. Now that his good mood is back, everyone's super relieved and kept saying OMG I'm so glad Tyler is back lolol. Everyone had missed the happy baby we all know :')
Got my first glimpse at how it's like when a baby falls sick, which gave me new found respect towards parents whose kids are unwell, especially when they have more than 1-2 kids! It really isn't easy at all. So guys, if you have any parents friends whose kid is sick, please try to be as understanding as you can if they can't turn up for meals or events. It really isn't easy and requires us to be out of action for a bit.
Here's to hoping Tyler won't be falling sick anytime soon now!
Thanks for reading my not very coherent blog post. Hahahaha I know everything is everywhere. It's 2.24am as I'm typing so blame it on the time! :P
Be back soon!