single vs. not single: being sick
I know something about being sick while being a single parent. I was fostering a baby with a high level of medical needs when I went through feeling the worst I’ve ever felt: being pregnant in the first trimester. My mother came from Seattle to help me out for a week, because I sounded that desperate and pitiful. I spent my days vomiting hourly, coming down with colds and stomach bugs, retching at the smell of the baby’s formula, packing up the baby and all of his oxygen equipment at 4am so that I could work until 7:30pm and get home around 9:30pm. I never knew it was possible to be so sick, let alone be so sick and still be able to care for an infant, a sick high needs infant! Not to mention everything required out of fostering: doctor visits, bio parent visits, agency home visits, early on services, court dates, etc and so on.
Luckily for me, by the time my foster son went home to his parents, my second trimester proved to be much more forgiving (until I lost the baby, of course) in terms of illness, AND my mother moved home from Seattle. So she was there when M came to us at 5 weeks old, and I didn’t have to worry about leaving an hour early for work to stop at the babysitter’s, or arranging daycare, or having someone around if I got sick. Not to mention that not having all of those family visits, medical visits, and early on services for the baby made things less hectic.
So I just spent the last 24 hours with a GI bug and fevers, and this time I’m with my girlfriend (who is not a nurse), and have to say, I was wondering the whole time what I would’ve done if I were alone! The answer is, I’d be with my mom, of course, but what if I didn’t have that?? I know from experience that as moms, we get done what we have to get done, no matter what, no matter how sick we are. But I also know from experience that it is 110% easier when you’re not in it alone, whether it’s friends, relatives, or a significant other who’s there to help!