Two nights ago was not a good night. Little A woke up every hour and I couldn't figure out why. Sometimes he would nurse for just a few minutes and fall back asleep, other times he'd just feel my arms around him and calm down. During the 5am feeding, I had to take him to the toilet with me because my bladder was about to burst. While peeing, I felt a familiar burning sensation, followed by a dull ache that meant only one thing - a urinary tract infection.
Hoping it would go away, I went back to sleep. But 2 hours later, I peed again, and without a baby in my arms this time, turned on the light and confirmed my suspicions. There was blood in my urine, lots of it.
Things were not as scary as they seemed. A recurring infection in college that required 3 consecutive doses of antibiotics followed by a whole day of in-depth tests by a urologist revealed that one of my kidneys is duplex, meaning it's the size of two regular kidneys and therefore filters the impurities in my body twice as fast as a normal person's does. This means I not only have to pee more often than the average person, I'm also more prone to urinary tract infections. Thankfully I didn't get one while I was pregnant, but nine and a half months after giving birth, it was high time for another.
While lying in bed with the dull ache that always accompanied a UTI, I texted my OB-Gyn. (Thank goodness for technology. It was a Sunday morning, yet I knew I'd get an instant reply.) My biggest concern was whether there was an antibiotic I could take that would allow me to keep breastfeeding my son. Yes, there was! So once he'd woken up and we'd breakfasted, it was off to the hospital to submit a urine sample and then to the chemist's for the antibiotics.
I was godmother at a christening that afternoon, and it was a full-on tropical summer day. The sun beat down relentlessly and the heat was unbearable. It didn't help that the church only had one working air conditioner and that we arrived early.
Little A fretted in his father's arms throughout the half hour christening ceremony, and fell asleep instantly in mine once we were in the car. The reception was just 15 minutes away, but we sat in the car for another hour and a half to make sure he had a long enough nap, as he would have woken up instantly with the noise and in a new environment.
My son would have slept on had I not needed, once again, to pee. Thankfully, after the first dose of antibiotics, the worst of the infection seemed to be over. However, it was Little A's turn to need doctoring now.
When I entered the reception hall after visiting the loo and took my son from the friend who'd been holding him, she said, "He's warm." This was a full-time mother of three speaking, so her opinion really counted. While I knew my son's head tended to be warm, his neck was too this time, and he was warmer than usual. Much warmer. My baby was running his first fever! It didn't seem to bother him much at first - he toddled around the room and made friends with other babies, but after an hour started to get fretful.
Once we were home, I took his temperature and gave him his first dose of paracetamol. Another baby had come home with us while my husband and some friends went to church, so Little A played with Baby G until she too went home. He seemed to be fine despite the fever, drinking as much milk as he normally did and eating his evening meal.
Later that night his fever spiked up to 39 degrees. We gave another round of paracetamol and he slept like a log, waking up 5 hours later for milk, making it his longest ever sleep session, albeit due to drugs. At 6am he had his third dose, and then spent the day glued to me, playing quietly and hardly moving at all. Thankfully, the fever didn't come back and last night he was back to his usual temperature.
Today he was his old self, though I kept him out of the swimming pool and away from the playground for another day. I, however, am not doing so well. The urinary tract infection is under control, but I'm sneezing and coughing and my sinuses are clogged. A cold is coming on. When it rains, it pours.