Charli’s First Illness

First my cat, and now my daughter. …

Charlotte started coughing last Sunday. She had little bags under her bright, blue eyes. Her nose was pink. And her cough rattled in her chest. So, in typical “new parent” style, we called the doctor on Wednesday after her cough worsened.

We were told to wait until she was sick for five days before scheduling an appointment.

If I’m anything, I’m emotional. Watching my baby go from a smiley, talkative infant to a sad, somber babe that whimpered when she didn’t feel good was heartbreaking.

Friday morning, our babysitter told us that the other baby girl went to the ER Thursday night for a fever of 104. She was diagnosed with RSV.

My “new mom” mind went crazy with thoughts of terrifying diseases, but, as it turns out, RSV is extremely common and nothing to stress about. It can result in more medical issues if not treated, so HOS called the doctor again.

After an hour wait at the doctor’s office, we learned that our sweet baby girl has a double ear infection and bronchialitis – baby bronchitis.

Yup, bronchitis. First Bear and now Charli.

Forcing Charlotte to take medicine is almost as bad as medicating Bear, too.

HOS and I have survived Charlotte’s first illness, and I managed to avoid shedding any tears.

The cough and dripping nose are still persisting, but my smiley baby is back.

And kudos to Ms. Charlotte. While she was feeling pretty crummy she had to put up with her daddy dancing it up in the doctor’s office. What can I say? She has talent.

Coughing Cat

I am the proud mama to a special cat, Bear. I just found out the poor thing has a second UTI in a month and now has bronchitis. She’s also the proud owner of a “WILL BITE” sticker on her chart at the vet. That’s my girl.

I brought her home in a large cardboard box from my grandparents’ farm in May 2007. No one in my family thought she’d survive living with me. Thanks, family. I would carry her in my hoodie pocket and she would attack my eyelashes while I slept. She also liked to climb up the pant legs of me and my roommate while we got ready, meowing constantly, and she would occasionally pee on things. Yeah, we were besties from the get-go.

When I found out I was pregnant with Charlotte I was really nervous about Bear. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about animals climbing into bassinets and cribs and accidentally suffocating babies because they wanted to cuddle. Bear isn’t exactly big on cuddling, especially if you want her to, but she likes warm bodies to lay on. I was also worried about how much a baby would flip her little world upside down. The last thing I wanted was for Bear to be unhappy about the pregnancy and baby, ultimately leading to me finding a new home.

I waited for months for Bear to react to my growing belly or changes in my hormones. She continued being her spiteful, pissy and sometimes loving self. Bear acted as if nothing had changed up until the moment we brought Charlotte home. And she was ticked.

Our house was full of people coming and going, which was stressful enough for Bear, but then there was this small thing sitting in my lap, taking up all my attention and keeping me from paying attention to the very important needs of my cat. Bear would sulk on her favorite couch cushion and hiss at anything related to the baby – the nursery room door  or the empty carseat.

After everyone guests stopped visiting, Shane returned to work and my dad and his wife headed back to Nebraska, Bear and I had a very important chat.Bear and Charli

She had just passed Charlotte in the swing and Bear hissed at her. This mama was not going to put up with months or years of a jealous cat. I laid it on the line. Bear either needed to get it together or she’d be finding a new home. She heard me loud and clear.

One day, Charlotte and Bear will be besties, too. Charli will chase Bear, pulling her tail and choking her with hugs. But until then, I have a chatterbox 3 month old and a coughing cat.