Well, it finally happened. The poor little twins are sick. It started on Monday with Riv looking a bit pastier than usual. That and a runny eye. I didn't think much of it at first because with me having terrible allergies, I think he takes after me as he tends to get sneezy/runny from time to time, especially when we go outside. But couple that with him being a bit less smiley than usual and napping more throughout the day and I knew something was off. He started to sound a little congested by the end of the day. I checked and he didn't have a fever so I just kept an eye on him. Riley on the other hand had NO symptoms of any kind and was her usual bright and cheery self all morning. She was a bit fussy at her development appointment and napped longer than usual, but I figured she was just tired. But when I picked her up to hold her later in the afternoon she felt super hot. They both tend to feel like a mini furnace and it's happened before where I think they feel hot then take their temps only to find they are normal. So you can imagine my surprise when this time the thermometer flashed red at 102! I took it 2 more times just to be sure. Not good!
So I called triage at the pediatrician's office and relayed what was going on and they told me not to worry, that she didn't need to go in just yet. She explained that they don't necessarily look at the numbers anymore with a fever, they are more concerned about behavior. It is more of a problem for a baby with only 100 degree temp who is limp and lifeless, not eating or producing way diapers than it is a baby with a higher temp and no changes in normal behavior patterns. So that made me feel a lot better. They told me if anything changes, we can always come in first thing in the morning.
Both babies went to sleep early that night. About two hours later, Riley woke up babbling like she never has before. She wasn't crying, she was yakking away as if she was trying to tell us something wasn't right. She felt like she was on fire, and sure enough her fever was back with a vengeance. When the thermometer flashed red "103.5" my first instinct was to panic. But I didn't. We brought her in the living room, gave her infant acetaminophen (we use Little Remedies brand instead of Tylenol, as it has no artificial additives or dyes) and stripped her sleeper off. We sat her in her Boppy pillow between us and put cool rags all over her. Before long she stopped her strange babbling and began smiling and giggling at the things we were doing to distract her.
Have you ever seen anyone with a fever look so darn cute and happy??
In the meantime I started researching like crazy. I found a lot if interesting information that really helped us remain calm and collected. For one, the old theory that a high fever (once it hits 104) cooks your brain was apparently debunked in recent years. In fact, fevers are now considered a "good" thing in that it's the body's natural way of killing off whatever bacterial/viral thing that's attacking their body and it is not recommended to go to Dr or hospital with a high fever unless it is accompanied by certain symptoms, the baby is under 3 months, or medicine/cool rags don't bring the fever down. Here are the guidelines they have now to follow:
Normal temperature – 97 to 99 degrees (36 to 37.2 Celcius).
Low-grade fever – 99 to 100.9 degrees (37.3 to 38.3 Celcius).
Common fever – 101 to 103.5 degrees (38.4 to 39.7 Celcius).
High fever – any fever over 103.6 degrees (39.8 Celcius).
Everything I read also stated that a fever between 101-103.5 that goes down with medicine is usually caused by something viral. So it would appear that whatever was going on with the twins was more than likely that.
For about 90 minutes we periodically checked her temp until it came down to 101.5. We then put her back to bed and continued to check whenever she was awake. By morning hers was down to 99.9 and Riv's was up to the same. You could tell just by looking at them (more so on River with his watery eye and pale color) that they weren't feeling their best. They napped throughout the day and were asleep more than awake (which was good for them to rest AND for mommy to get some chores done!). By this morning both of their fevers were gone and they were back to their smiley, happy selves. I think they were still fighting off the last of it all day as they slept off and on and weren't quite ready to go back to doing a lot of tummy time and exercises (But who can blame them!). Riley even took a 4.5 hour nap in the afternoon, which for her is very unusual considering she normally only takes cat naps throughout the day. So she really must have needed it. I feel like that's the time their bodies are healing. I do think the extra vitamins and supplements I add to their bottles has helped them fight the sickness quicker. In one of their bottles each day I put a liquid vitamin (with no artificial additives or dyes), infant probiotic and essential fatty acids (half a capsule). Here's a pic of each thing...
Even though the slept a lot, they woke up more frequently throughout the night to feed and were a bit off schedule so I'm a bit exhausted but I guess that's just a day in the life of a Mommy! Anything for them to help them feel better. It's terrible seeing them not feeling well. We went to a huge outdoor event over the weekend (I was performing with my dance group there) and it was really crowded. We were very careful and protective but I guess when these a lot of people around you can't always block everything that's airborne. But as even the doctor has said, they are now at the point where they are bound to get sick occasionally and it's okay, it's how they build up their immunity. Still sucks to see them suffer!
I feel like I handled it all pretty well and did a good job of not flipping out when I easily could have. Everything has been a learning experience and now I feel I'm even better equipped for whenever they get sick again, which I'm sure will happen many more times throughout their lives!