Amelia's latest teething episode has definitely added to the noise of our busy life. With all the guests and their little ones needing my attention I also had my own child in seemingly a lot of pain. It was what they call the 'good' kind of pain, although, I don't think it really matters for a 9-month old baby. Frankly speaking, it looks like a great many adults seem to struggle distinguishing between those two types of pain either, the good and the bad kind that is.
Up until a few days ago our baby seemed to have no serious teething issues - her first 3 teeth came out one by one with no major hassle, just a bit of runny nose and a bit of Hyland's teething gel on her gums. So I thought that's how it goes for her, her teeth come out easy. That's how it's going to be, I thought. I was wrong.
On Sunday (that was day 1) I noticed that she felt warmer to the touch than usual so I checked her temperature: 99.4 F. Then I did what every mom would do nowadays - I googled! Turns out that is considered a low-grade fever, not much to worry about. So we just figured, there's no other symptoms - she's teething that's all. She seemed normal otherwise, just playing the way she usually does, smiley and cheerful. She did seem to want more attention at times, just to be held in my arms, clinging to me like a little chimpanzee to his mama. I do enjoy those moments so it wasn't a big deal. She woke up a few times at night, nevertheless, she looked rested the next morning.
Day 2 passed by with no unusual events. Amelia was a bit crabby, but other than that she played and acted normal. The fever began rising towards the evening. By bedtime it was slightly over 100 F. Then my girl began waking up crying and the fever reached 102.8 F when I began seriously freaking out. I was about to start calling my doctor when I talked to my sister-in-law and she told me about her experience with her baby a few months ago. It was very similar. So we googled some more. This time together. After having read some information on Dr. Sears' website and a few more sources I calmed down a bit. It turns out that many babies have similar teething symptoms and sometimes the fever gets really high. My heart goes out to all those moms who share their experiences on forums and blogs. It is such a tremendous help and encouragement for me as someone relatively new in this role. Really, I don't know what I would have done, probably would have bothered my doctor a whole lot more than I do now. I guess, she should be thankful too for her peace and quiet :)
And so I began thinking how to help my child, how to ease her pain. I am not an advocate for drugs (we don't even have baby tylenol in our home!), I'm more of a believer in homeopathy and natural medicine. So I put a moist towel on her forehead. I also made a cooling compress for her - soaked a receiving blanket in a solution of lukewarm water with a bit of vinegar. I undressed my baby to her diaper and wrapped her into that wet blanket. Another layer with a soft big towel to keep her warm and just held her like that for about 15 minutes. She began falling asleep shortly. When I removed the compress her fever dropped 1.3 degrees and was in the 100 range again. All in all, there wasn't much sleep for either of us that night. I am not sure how my husband got through the day at work! Towards morning the fever went down more and Amelia was able to get some sleep. She slept on my chest. That's something she hasn't done since she was a few weeks old. It was a nice treat, to sleep with my baby on me, breathing peacefully.
In the morning of day 3 the fever was at 99 degrees and kept going down during the day. By bedtime it was normal again and I was very happy. I looked at my daughter's gums to see how her tooth was doing and I saw 3 of them that had just cut through! No wonder she was in such pain. So in the past few days she has been a bit fussy, refusing her food at times. I guess it still bothers her. But she's happier, that makes me happy too. Isn't it funny how your life is so dependent on your child when you're a mom? I never realized that until I became one. This makes me appreciate my mom so much better.