Friday, May 20, 2011

Rolling with the Wheezes

This week marked the moment I have been waiting for for several months, L’s first birthday! L’s birthday marks an important turning point as not only is it his first birthday, it’s the last of my first birthdays.

So for a couple of months now I’ve started planning the celebration. I am a notorious party planner. I love parties, especially theme parties. I look forward to planning my kids’ birthday parties every year. I love everything from the party favors to the cake. For a first birthday its hard to pick a theme, as a baby really hasn’t chosen favorites yet. But we chose to do a Pirate Party, in honor of L’s signature scowl face which I call his “Argh Face”.

And because L is my baby and this is my last first birthday, I went all out on the planning…I found the perfect invitations, ordered boxes of party supplies, and even built two replica pirate ships to sit in our back yard. I planned an outside party with plans to turn our trampoline in Shark Bay, our swingset into “Scalleywag island” and even have a piranha baby pool pond.

As the countdown went from months to weeks, and weeks to days, I was getting so excited! So May 18th arrived…I opened his door in the morning with a loud rendition of “Happy Birthday”. I dressed him in his “I’m the birthday boy shirt” and made Todd go and get cupcakes for his daycare class. I was high as a kite, excited to celebrate this special day with my baby.

Since his actual birthday was Wednesday and his party on Saturday, I wanted to plan a small celebration on his actual birthday. So I planned to leave work early, and take him to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate. I looked forward to the cheesy birthday hat, the cupcake smashing, everything. L went off to daycare, and I went to work. All day I kept telling everyone about my special day… “Oh its 10:45, I was just getting ready to head into the C-Section”, “Oh its 11:30 they started my epidural”…. “Oh its 11:57 a.m. my miracle was born!” I was one happy Mom.

That was of course until 3:00 p.m.. I got a call from my husband. “We have to go get L, he has a fever”. What? How did this happen? He was fine this morning. Okay Mandi don’t panic, maybe it’s teething. And its his birthday, isn’t there some rule that you can’t get sick on your birthday? Todd mentioned his teachers thought it was an ear infection. I stayed calm. “Okay, that’s fine. I’ll call the doctor and we’ll get him on some medicine”.

But when I walked into the daycare room, my heart sunk. L was sitting with his teacher. Instead of his bright eyes and melting smile greeting me, he was crying, which if you know L means something is wrong because he never cries. So, 4:00 p.m. instead of heading to Chuck E. Cheese for some skee ball, I was sitting in the doctor’s office. L was visibly worn down, but I was still sure I was just dealing with an ear infection. The doctor came in. Ears were fine. Throat was fine. But a high fever. What was going on?

Then she listened to his lungs and heard a wheeze. In a whirlwind, she left and came back with a machine to test his oxygen level. It was fairly low. An hour later we were still in the doctor office, doing breathing treatments. I have to admit that every nurse that came in and sang L happy birthday annoyed me more and more. This wasn’t fair…my poor baby should be smashing birthday cake all over, not breathing in some medicine fog and dopey from a fever.

He was diagnosed with viral bronchitis. I looked at the doctor as if to ask for a miracle… “But he has a party on Saturday, should I cancel?” The doctor smiled at me probably used to a dozen Moms like me with sick babies on their birthdays. “No, he’ll be fine. Give him a few days”.

I loaded L in the car. Fever or no fever, I was determined to give him a happy birthday. We went home and ordered pizza. I had balloons waiting for him. I got him a cake. And L, sick as a dog, grinned and beared it and tried to have a good birthday.

That night I put L to sleep, I was sad. It felt to me like he was being cheated, this is his first birthday! Okay so maybe to be honest I felt I was being a little cheated too…this was my last first birthday.

But his illness just made me that much more determined to have a perfect party. But then a bigger force than bronchitis knocked on my door…mother nature. I woke up Thursday to reports of rain on Saturday. I tried to keep hope through the day…maybe they will just be scattered, maybe it will only rain in the morning, but everytime I turned on the tv I got more bad news.

It just seems like every which way I turn this birthday is getting hit with unexpected twists and turns. I know L won’t remember this birthday, but I still can’t help but want to have a perfect day. I guess when its your youngest…you want to hold on to every memory just one second longer.

So now here I am…rolling with the punches or I guess I should say the wheezes. Okay, so L may have a few coughs at his party, I have to be happy that he’s feeling better, and he’s not contagious. Okay so mother nature may rain on my first planned outdoor party…I can just move everything inside. My little miracle and I will get our celebration whether it comes with coughs and raindrops or smiles and sunshine (but Mother Nature if you are reading this I have this really cool treasure hunt planned so if we could just have sunshine from like 1:00 – 5:00 I’d appreciate it!)


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