Sarah moved to Israel from Los Angeles last month with her Israeli husband and two young sons. They are now living on the kibbutz where her husband grew up. Did I mention that her mother-in-law lives next door?
Ten days after we landed in Israel, Little Homie started vomiting. And kept vomiting hour after hour, emptying his belly again and again and again. His diaper stayed dry for too long. He’d cry, but no tears twinkled from his eyelashes. And by the early afternoon, he was like a dishrag draped over my shoulder, limp, and damp with sweat and bile.
So, my mother-in-law and I took Little Homie to the ER for an IV. They taped a plastic bag to Little Homie’s boy-bits, which I swear to you looked like a giant condom–something no mother should see on her son’s penis–and we waited for him to pee. I figured we’d be out of there by evening, but, when he was still vomiting a few hours later and not filling his condom bag, the doctor decided to admit us overnight.
In the hospital.
A 14 hour plane ride with a charming baby who refuses to sleep is nothing compared with sitting in a room with sick little boy bloodied from a misplaced IV, pale and weak.
My baby boy. And I couldn’t fix it.
There were two other women in the room with me–-we didn’t share names with one another. Instead, we shared pain. And fear. And occasionally, triumph.
We celebratedd milestones: No vomiting for 10 minutes. No diarrhea for an hour. First sips of water. First bites of food.
Tiny victories that left us flushed with hope.
Tethered to our babies who were tangled with IV wires, we took care of each other.
And slowly Little Homie improved. He started nursing again. He stopped vomiting. He smiled a few times. He tried to pull out his IV. All good signs.
But then, his blood test came back.
“His white blood cells and hemoglobin are low. It might be from the virus, but it might be more serious,” the doctor said as she patted my hand.