Last week, my entire family plus all our spouses and kids went down the coast – twelve people altogether, in one giant beachside house. It was awesome. We looked forward to it for months, and it was everything we’d hoped for.
But more on that some other day.
A lot of events have more than one possible “story”. Is Duchess Kate glowing and delighted about being pregnant with a royal heir – or is she in a strange and horrible place as the whole world makes jokes about her throwing up?
Both are true. So today’s blog is about the strange and horrible experience that was one side of last week.
Louisette and I were both mostly – but not entirely – over our gastro experiences*. At the last minute I packed a few extra pairs of long pants for her, and lined the car seat with a mat that’s designed to catch accidents before they hit carpet. Pessimism rocks.
Our destination was at Bateman’s Bay, and when we had half an hour to go CJ and I both smelled nastiness from the back seat. Louisette travels best without breaks – she either sleeps or is at least in a dopey pre- or post- sleep state that keeps her relatively calm. We’d carefully timed our trip to coincide with her most reliable nap (which meant arriving two hours before the house actually opened, but limited the possibility of Louisette screaming at us for two hours). But if she’s taken out of the car partway through a trip, all she wants to do is explore, socialise, and – above all – move. So CJ and I discussed whether we’d be better off changing her in half an hour’s time or immediately. We chose to stop and change her, and it’s a good thing we did. She’d produced a startling quantity of pure liquid poo that had obliterated her pants and the improvised car seat lining (her pants had around 60% coverage, for the mathematically-minded among you).
It so happened that, flush with the thrill of being able to take more than international-airline-restricted hand luggage, we’d packed a great deal of baby paraphernalia including a rubber-lined foam change mat and a full-size nappy bucket (which has an excellent lid). And, like I said, spare pants for the munchkin in case of an Unusual Poo Event.
So we changed her, mopped up everything as well as we could, put her entire outfit into plastic bags for later washing, and put the nappy and contents into another plastic bag inside the bin. I happened to have packed a second car seat lining, because that’s how I roll. And we drove on. A few minutes later she threw up – actually threw up, not baby-style posseting – a LOT. It was a personal best for her quantity-wise. And it was chunky.
So we changed her entire outfit (60% coverage of the whole thing, or around 90% of her front, with some transfer to the back) again, put her in a third pair of pants, mopped up everything as well as we could, refolded the first car seat lining into place, and drove on. I had another pair of pants for her, but no third shirt (there was another onesie, but it was important that she remain in long pants until we had no other choice) so she went topless for a while.
She was sick several more times before we reached the house. She continued to be catastrophically, abundantly sick all that week and has only just begun to recover (oh, and guess what? She’s now teething, which means she’s in near-constant pain that will probably wake her at 3am regularly for up to six weeks). We’d packed seven pairs of long pants for her, and were constantly on the verge on running out. I did at least one load of washing every day, just to keep Louisette in long pants so that her poosplosions were partially contained.
But it could be worse, right?
On the first night, CJ threw up. He spent the next twenty-four hours barely awake (which meant I was a wreck for the 24 hours after that).
On the second night, my 7-year old nephew threw up. Then he threw up in his sleep. Then he had diarrhoea while throwing up. And then he was sick some more for the rest of the holiday.
On the third night, my sister-in-law threw up (the nephew’s mum). Then she drank some water and threw it up. Then she was sick some more for the rest of the holiday.
Early the following morning (the last morning) my brother threw up. Twice. Last I heard, he’s still not eating. I was also unwell that day.
So, to sum up, out of the twelve members of my close family:
Eleven out of twelve have been sick in the last month or two. Out of those eleven, nine threw up at least once. Six of us – that’s half – threw up at least once while on holiday. In the same very very open-plan house. With two toilets shared among twelve people.
So that was our holiday. It’s good to be home.
How did Louisette like going to the beach for the first time since she was an oblivious newborn?
Well, that’s another story 🙂
*I’ve never thrown up so much in one go. Ever. Particularly not while simultaneously – you know what? Never mind.