After her mid-morning nap today, I noticed that Kaia didn’t sound completely clear. She sounded as though she had some congestion, and when I looked up her nostrils, she definitely had a lot of snot up there that needed to be removed. It wasn’t that clear that she had some sort of cold, though, until bedtime, when I sucked her snot with the Nose Frida and saw exactly how MUCH she had stuck up there. We decided that tonight, I’d sleep on the air mattress on the floor next to her to remove any separation anxiety and to finally get her acclimated into a full night of sleeping in her crib again — or so we hoped. But after 3.5 hours, this attempt was cut short because of her stuffiness. When I first went to lie down next to her, I noticed her snoring, which usually isn’t normal for babies her age unless they are congested. Eventually, she woke up at around 11pm and was clearly distressed. She had this look on her face that was half confusion, half panic: she started coughing, wheezing, and crawled over to me and buried her face in my chest. When she cried, it was like a feeble cry: super crackly, congested, and weak sounding. I knew she had some blockage and brought her back to our bed so that Chris could hold her while I sucked her nose with the Nose Frida again. We rubbed her chest and under her nose with baby Vicks rub, and then Chris had her lying slightly upright to keep her nasal passages a bit clearer.
It was sad and initially a little scary to hear her this way; in the last fifteen months of her existence, she’d never really gotten any real congestion or respiratory problem, and so this was all new to us. No parent of a baby wants to see/hear that their baby is having difficulties breathing; if anything, all of us try to reassure ourselves that our babies are breathing while sleeping all the time — by watching to see if their chest or back (if stomach lying) is rising and falling. Babies are so tiny, which means that their nasal passages are so tiny, which then means even the tiniest blockage can cause things like wheezing. Thankfully, Kaia is an older baby at 15+ months, and so she can learn through trial and error to breathe through her mouth; younger babies (less than four months old) simply don’t know how to do this, so when they get colds, it’s just that much scarier.
I also had thoughts of — how has she gotten sick yet again after hand foot mouth relatively recently? Is it all just because she’s getting exposed to more things? Is it because of the time of year with winter and cold weather? Or is it because now that I’ve weaned, she doesn’t have the protection of my antibodies anymore through consuming my breast milk? The mommy guilt slightly sat on top of me when thinking about this. It seemed futile, but I thought about it anyway and wondered.
We just wanted her to be comfortable and to monitor her more closely, so she slept between us on our bed once again. I hope it’s just a little cold that she gets over quickly. I hate to see my baby confused and not sound like herself.