So, A woke up from her afternoon nap on Saturday and felt warm. Like, ridiculously warm. My first thought was “Maybe she’s just warm from being in bed” but then I remembered she doesn’t sleep under a blanket or anything and she was just in a onesie. Her whole body was more than warm, she was radiating heat. I had never taken her temperature before, never had to, but I figured it was finally time to break in the thermometer.
Every child rearing book I’ve ever read says the MOST ACCURATE way to take an infant’s temperature is to do so rectally, and the thought of this always intimidated me
some a lot. But I bucked it up because I figured it was probably going to be worse for her than for me, which I wasn’t totally wrong about. If my child hates being held down to have her diaper changed, she especially hates being held down for me to..well..you know.
So I took her temperature, and she did indeed have a fever. 102.4 degrees. And OF COURSE these things happen on the weekends, when the doctor isn’t in the office. It wasn’t exactly high enough to be panicking about, and she wasn’t acting ill, so I did what any parent of the Internet age would do: I asked Dr. Google.
Dr. Google recommended Advil or Tylenol followed by a lukewarm bath, then monitoring. A wasn’t particularly happy with me about the bath part (I’m pretty sure I have the only baby in the world who loathes baths), but it did seem to work, and she felt cooler after. When I put her to bed that evening she had a temperature of 101.5, so at least it was going down.
Sunday morning she woke up and felt fine. I figured maybe she was teething or something. Sunday afternoon though, she started to feel warm again. She was also starting to act weird. She didn’t really want to take a bottle and didn’t have much interest in food, which is completely atypical behavior. I took her temperature (she was really starting to hate me at this point, I think), and it was up to 102.9. Still not emergency room standards, but higher than I was comfortable doing nothing about. I considered taking her to an urgent care facility, but eventually decided against it. She went to bed early that night and woke up a ton. I think I was in and out of her room five times before just taking her to bed with me around four am.
Need an easy way to tell if your kid is running a fever? Lay them on top of you and if you are PHYSICALLY UNCOMFORTABLE from the amount of heat that is coming off their body, they are probably running a fever. When I moved A from my arm, I could literally feel the burning hot spot from where her head was.
Around six I woke up and called in to work and took her temperature (still hanging in the 102-103 range). From there I played the waiting game with a very fussy and clingy baby until Dr. Baby’s office opened. I was really worried she had an ear infection, which would be just my luck since we are flying on Thursday. But her ears were clear, her lungs were clear, and her sinuses were clear.
Then Dr. Baby said sometimes in baby girls this age, when the fever gets that high and there are no other visible symptoms, it could be a bladder infection, and the only way to know for certain is to get a urine sample, and the only way to do that is to…
…wait for it…
She continued to explain that she really did feel it was necessary since a baby can’t tell you “Hey, it hurts when I do the thing that makes my diaper wet,” and it’s important to treat it if it is. So they put the catheter in her, which went about as well as you would expect it to, and get the urine sample, and lo and behold, it was not a bladder infection.
Dr. Baby said it could just be a virus, and sometimes babies will just run a fever for a few days then break out in a rash. Her professional recommendation was to “watch and wait,” which for me, as a parent, is incredibly frustrating since I want to be able to DO something for her, more so than just give her Advil every few hours. It’s also frustrating because I spent almost two hours, a co-pay and a sick day to be told to do the thing I was already doing.
I know it was necessary to take her; you shouldn’t really ignore a 103 degree fever. At any rate, she seems to be doing better today, although she is still running a fever off and on. They’re low grade, though, and she took all her bottles and ate like a champ today. Here’s to hoping it is just some random little bug, and she’ll be totally healthy for our trip to Indy on Thursday.