The shoot had been great. The entire crew was on time. The cast had their lines flawlessly roll off their tongues. The wardrobe and make-up perfected the storyline’s accent. The only issue was that my baby was a bit too calm. She was unusually ‘cooperative’ – never grabbing the props, or pulling our hair and earrings. (Just in case you did not know, my baby, Ivanna, is my acting colleague in Kenya’s award winning Citizen TV show – Machachari).
So when we call it a wrap, I pick up my quiet baby, quickly bid the crew members I meet on my way out as I dash for home. I want to understand why on earth Ivanna is so hushed! Her chubby feasts would have been all over the place….
Now clear from the bustle, I let my eye rove all over her and I feel her as I breastfeed her. I also notice she isn’t latching hard and that she is a little warmer than usual. My feisty girl usually means business at feeding time. Milky time is often given unbroken attention. You only see her lifting her leg here, running her little finger across my chest – as she tries to reach for my mouth – indicating she was reveling in the joy of our special bonding.
This day she just sat there.Soon after she casually unlatched, I noticed her breathing was also unusual. It was like she had a blocked nose – like she was coming down with a cold. An ‘aha’ moment started dawning. That’s why she was a bit on the down side – dust allergy. We’d had a number of outdoor scenes, and the place was hot and dusty. So I was just going to wait it out.
When I got home, I fed her and put her to bed. My hubby agreed it could be the dust allergy. Ivanna slept peacefully through the night. When she woke up she seemed okay save for a blocked her nose. I administered some pain reliever and just observed her. She took the day in stride – goooohing and gaaaahing, reaching out for stuff a little more eagerly, latching harder – it was impressive progress.
But come night, her demeanor took a nose-dive. We did not sleep the whole night – to say the least. My baby was coughing uncontrollably. Her temperature was spiraling upward – fever. Just how did it get to this? I gave her some painkiller to tamper the fever. The response was fair but the coughing was getting out of hand.
“You exposed her to cold,” my hubby told me. I was a tad shot of giving him a good one for making it look like it was my fault. Instead, while swaying Ivannah to soothe her, I asked him “Sasa aje? (Now, how?)” I went on to quietly explain that new parents had many things they are oblivious to. So we need not panic, said my PANICKY self. I must however admit that men make the best out of panicking, quickly acting like we’ve running out of all options.
The morning dragged in and my Ivanna was really weak. It broke my heart to see her like that. The dad on the other hand was on the edge (though trying to mask it with helping around) – he just wanted his girl well. We made it to hospital .The doctor examined her and found the culprit. There were some enraged tonsils inside her little throat. Sigh!
Apparently, I was the most likely contact for Ivanna’s tonsillitis now that I had just recovered from tonsillitis a week earlier. Culprit me! Oh mothering….You know, it breaks your heart when your baby is sick and hurting and there is nothing you can do. I’d rather go through the tonsillitis again that watch it harass my angel.
At home, we gave her some medicine accordingly and fed her. She threw it all up. I remember telling myself ….relaaaax, recovery is a process…. Well, the medication started taking effect the same day – but hey! I wanted it microwave fast. So, oh the wait! It was hard counting … day two, day three, four… of Ivanna being under the weather.
But day five was a refreshing one. The girl’s chubby feasts were all over the place. The latch on my breast was eager – and she held my gaze while at it. Her ‘gooohs… and gaaaahs…’, though not yet in their original decibels, were laced with joy and the strength of health. She is back!
We are on the verge of clearing the dosage, but she doesn’t like the medicine. She puts up a good fight whenever she sees the spoonful coming. I wonder whether it’s because she knows it puts her to sleep –something she abhors.
Thank God Ivanna is well. I thank Him for my small adorable family.