Oh naive first time mom. Projectile vomit?


I’ll show you vomit.

Friday night we had our first real bout with Briar having a stomach bug. I am working summer hours at my job (8-4 rather than 9-5). Sean had asked that we meet him at his office between 4:45 and 5 o’clock. We were going to go out to dinner with his business partner and his wife, have a bite to eat and discuss financial stuff. So I picked Briar up and went home to let the dogs out and water our hanging plants. It has been mercilessly hot and muggy all week so I had the air conditioning blasting.
Briar was fine when I picked her up, but once we got home she was unusually clingy. I didn’t mind, just thought the heat was making her lethargic. I changed from heels to thongs and headed out front to water. Briar was in a t-shirt and diaper and I figured if I kept her in the shade she would be fine. A neighbor saw us out and came over to chat. She remarked on how sweet Briar looked. Now if you have ever read my entries here, or met Briar, you would know that being described as sweet is just not out of the ordinary for Briar. I looked down at her after the comment and she was burying her head in my neck. It made me feel wonderful, but I knew something was up.

Why wasn’t she reaching for the water coming from the hose? Looking at the neighbor? Responding to the dogs? Again, I have to say I wrote it off as a reaction to the heat. I made a note to myself to suggest that we not go out to dinner, instead they could come to our house or we could reschedule. I just didn’t think a restaurant was a good idea for Briar. We went inside and I packed a diaper bag and put a light sundress on Briar. Once we were in the car she just settled into her car seat, just acting groggy.

When we got to Sean’s parking lot I took her out of the car seat and she immediately buried her face in my neck and literally clung to me. Her little arms wrapped around my shoulders, one hand grasped my arm while the other held my neck. I kept my lips on her cheek, whispering that I loved her. I remember feeling so wonderful to be holding her and having her hold me back. I often lavish hugs and kisses upon her and she smiles and squirms, so to have her giving it back was heavenly. I felt so proud as people watched us. I explain all these emotions now, because I think my total rapture at being loved by Briar momentarily knocked my radar out of whack. The observation about lower energy was gone from my head and I was just thinking about her holding me. She kept moving her head from one side of my neck to the other, thick me still thinking it was the heat. As we rounded the corner to the Glen Street she lifted her head and before I knew what the hell was happening my entire left arm was soaked with vomit.

Her little face was completely ashen as she turned to my right side and again doused me with an incredible amount of vomit. I was desperate to help her, but I had no idea what to do. I started rubbing her back ever so gently and telling her that she was a wonderful girl and doing a great job. She turned and looked at me with worried eyebrows and exhausted eyes and wretched again. Cradling her head and bottom I continued talking to her. Her belly, right up against mine, was convulsing with dry heaves. Dear god I did not know I could ache like this for someone. I would have done anything to stop it. Finally her tummy stopped tensing and she lifted her head to look at me again, then she leaned forward, gave me a squeeze and buried her face in my hair.

During this time a couple had walked out of a pub on the street, Thet were attractive, late 40’s, well to do. He looked at me and I could tell he just wanted to be anywhere but right there. We had left a trail behind us, my bag was literally slick with vomit and my clothes, hair and arms were dripping. It was not pretty and I had a look on my face that was a cross between a trauma victim and a riled mama lion protecting her cub.

I called up to Sean from the street. After a few shouts he came to the window. I don’t think he knew quite what had happened. We had never experienced vomiting with Briar, sure there had been spit up, impressive spit up, but nothing like this. He came down with a roll of toilet paper. Like bringing a water gun to put out a forest fire. He did the best he could and followed us up to his office. Briar just molded her body to mine, not even raising her head to look where we were going. She is a creature who examines every new place or thing. Very observant and interested usually.

Once we were in the office I stripped her shirt off of her and used wipes to clean her arms and face. Sean had a t-shirt for me. Vote for Pedro. Funny how nothing matters when your child is sick. I would have stayed in the soiled clothing, but did not want her to have to rest on it. Derek and Paula were totally understanding about our need to take a rain check. They have two kids and have been wonderful as we have been on this incredible odyssey of having a baby and being parents. Paula, who is a nurse, told me to follow Briar’s cues for drinking as the night and weekend went on. Derek sent us an email tonight telling us that it is always scary when kids throw up, but that it is very normal. We are lucky to have them.

When we got home I ran a tepid bath for Briar and I to take. Once we were in the bath I gently rinsed her until she reached for me to nurse. She nursed quite hard for a few minutes, while Sean perched on the toilet watching us. He commented on how much better she looked. After a bit she stopped nursing and just looked at Sean. She seemed in decent spirits but her eyes were still sleepy and her face pale. Sean said she just needed a bit to eat as she stood up and held on to the side of the tub.

Seasoned veterans probably know what’s coming.


Vomit. Straight out of her mouth, cleared the side of the tub and hit the bath mat.

“Oh honey!” Sean said to Briar as she stood there looking weak. He got up from the seat and moved toward us.


More vomit shot from her little mouth and sailed across the bathroom. Sean yelped. I held on to her and cradled her in my arms. She continued throwing up as Sean went for a towel. He wrapped her up tight and carried her to our room, laying her on the bed. She looked so little and she just stared up at us not moving. I frantically (in my mind, but calmly with my fingers) flipped to page 441 of Your Baby’s First Year to read up on Vomiting- When to Call the Doctor.

Strange color or blood in the vomit?


Evidence of severe cramping or pain?


Depressed soft spot?


Vomiting continuously for more than 24 hours?

Dear god let’s hope she doesn’t!

At the same time as I was reading, Sean called his mom who is also a nurse. We wanted to know if, since our pediatrician’s office was closed, should we go to the hospital. She said (no offense if any hospital folks read this) that at the hospital we’d be sitting around for 5 hours. Better we head to the urgent care clinic if anywhere.
She thought we should monitor for a bit longer.

We decided to follow the book and Jan’s advice (again we are so lucky to have Jan to ask questions to). Wait 2-3 hours, administer 2-4 oz of fluid every half hour barring more vomiting. I went to the store while Briar slept in a fluffy make shift bed we created for her downstairs. I got several versions of electrolyte replacement fluids and a stuffed, chewable hippo in a tutu. The hippo was a hit as Briar was awake and ready for a change when I returned. When 8:15 rolled around and we gave her the Pedialite she was ready. She sucked it down so fast. I kind of held my breath hoping that her body wouldn’t reject it.

2 minutes.

5 minutes.

10 minutes.

She clearly wanted more of something. She began to fuss and reach for my shirt. I looked at Sean. I didn’t want to feed her from my body and then have her be sick. It felt like then the throwing up would somehow be my fault. Sean encouraged me to follow her cues. I let her nurse, but paused after five minutes to make sure it was ok. And it was.

She continued to nurse and rest. Nurse and rest. Until Saturday morning. We got up at quarter of ten. Weird to be in bed that late. All day she has been perfect. We held off on solids today. She had a few graham cracker sticks and a few bites of sourdough bread, but other than that just breast milk. Tomorrow she’ll feast.

Actually today. It’s 4am Sunday as I write this. I can’t sleep. Too much rattling around in my brain. Briar. Work. Our house. I drove past a house the other day. It had wood siding with a deep red stain and green trim. For some reason it reminded me of an old school house even though it was relatively new construction. It had a cupula on one side and two great big dormers on the other. It was set back from the road with big old trees making a canopy over the driveway. It’s so weird because I have driven up and down that street many times, but all of a sudden this house just shouted at me. I asked our sitter’s son about it since he is a realtor. He knew exactly the house I was talking about and offered to take us through.

This was a couple nights ago, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. If the stars were aligned this house could be another unbelievable opportunity. Major potential to do some upfront work and end up with $200-300k of equity. It’s an if though. Our house would need to sell for x number of dollars, we’d have to get this other house for x number and then choreograph the timeline. But, this is a college education for Briar or retirement money, a huge longterm investment that honors the investment made in our current house by parlaying our hard work into even more equity. Did I mention the pond in the back yard, the massive stone fireplace, the deck and the proximity to the sitter’s house?

I had not intended to fall for the house. This is usually Sean’s role. He gets excited about something, he pushes the idea of a big ticket purchase or a crazy wall color or a spur of the moment road trip. I am the one who says let’s go to the store I have a coupon for diapers, or let’s take a walk to the park and be sure to bring poop bags for the dogs. We have been very intinerant, moving a lot for a long time. So maybe we can wrap our minds around moving more than most, thought our friend Paul Meader is constantly purchasing, fixing up and reinvesting. This house though, it has a hold on me. I see family in the great room, kids playing on the deck, a mud room. I have run the numbers, the stats on the house put us ahead and the numbers for the switch put us ahead. The square footage of this house is laid out in a vey usable, flowing way. Sort of Adirondack great room into kitchen into dining room/living room with three glass doors leading to a back deck that is easily 15’x40′. Very open, expansive, two bedrooms and a bath downstairs. Upstairs a huge open room leading to a master bedroom with a master bath. Again very open.
Now we just wait. If, after a walk thru, Mark thinks we could make the numebrs all work than I think we try and go for it.

A few years ago my stepdad bought a Mercedes and shipped his White Jeep Cherokee to Boston for Sean and me. It was so awesome having a car. Steve had bought that Jeep when I was in high school, as a matter of fact I went to the car lot with him. The salesperson talked to us like I was Steve’s wife and kids were a possibility. Weird. Sales people should be cautious with assumptions. Anyway, that Jeep, to me, was still the brand new car that Steve had brought home and occasionally let me drive. Oh the fear and exhiliration back then. I was still reverent about it when we had it here. After the third winter on the east coast the Jeep started to have some problems – the doors weren’t wanting to open and shut, paint was peeling off in large hunks. We thought it was best to take the edge that the Jeep gave us and use it to get even further ahead and to do it before the Jeep lost any more resale value. We ended up finding another Jeep Cherokee, ten years newer, with less than 25k miles on it. It was a perfect deal. I still cried. Our salesman, David Peeks, offered to take my picture with the Jeep. I laughed through my tears and politely declined, but I did take the plate holder off that said Yakima on it and it still holds the plate on our new Jeep. I had been afraid to tell Steve because I thought he’d be hurt or think that I didn’t appreciate what he had given me. I couldn’t seem to figure out how to tell him that by giving us the Jeep he had helped us have a whole new lifestyle. We walked taller with that Jeep. We went to a wedding in Rochester and Sean leaned over to me before we got out of the jeep to say hello to people he said, “I am so proud to drive up to everyone in this Jeep with you by my side.” There shouldn’t have been any shame in telling him that. If things were to work out with this house I think it would be similar. The word is that the market bubble is about to burst. All the work, all the financial infusions, all the tools will all be a boost in getting us one more step ahead.

Too much to think about at nearly five am. Maybe I can sleep now. It’s so hot down here at the computer. Going to go back up to the ac and the sounds of Sean and Briar sleeping. Still have to write about the trip. Going to upload more pics soon. More soon.