Tonight has been a very rough night. Chris and Sophie were in our bed sleeping and at 11:30, she starts crying. Then she starts screaming, probably because she can't get Chris to wake up, and she gets out of bed and is at the door when I get there. I pick her up and she's burning up hot. She keeps crying, "Ow ow, hot!," over and over. I take her temp and it's 104.3 again.
I go and give her ibuprofen and put wet compresses on her. I wake Chris up to see what he thinks "we" should do and he tells me to bathe her and he goes back to sleep. I remember that I can give her acetaminophen at the same time as ibuprofen, so I give it to her. I then go and put my poor freezing, scared baby into a tepid bath, where we both cry the whole time, because I remember a similar bath when I was a child. Only then the pediatrician recommended ice cubes in the cold water. I will never forget that terrible pain.
Her skin feels cooler, so I take her out and retake her temp. It's up to 105. I start freaking out again, and I call the pediatrician while I'm pacing the floor. I don't even bother waking Chris up this time. He calls back within five minutes, sounding very sleepy, and he tells me to just put her back in the bath, and not to bother taking her to the hospital because they'll just be doing the same thing I'm doing. My voice cracks as I'm telling him okay, and I quickly hang up because I'm mortified.
Back to the tub she goes, and I'm sobbing at this point. She's cowering by the door as I run the water, saying, "No! Door!," in a plaintive plea for me to open the door and let her out. I put her in the tub and gently pour handfuls of water over her hot shoulders. I lift a bit of water out of the tub and let it run over her scalp. She is so unhappy. Her skin is all prickled with goosebumps and she can't figure out why mommy is doing this to her. I tell her through my tears that I have to do this to get her fever down and get the "hot hot hot" to go away. She keeps telling me, "No, no, ow, ow, ow," but I calm down, having convinced myself that I'm doing what I have to be doing, what millions of mothers have done before me and what millions more will continue to do, until a more sane and compassionate method of reducing fevers is developed.
She's sitting here on my lap quietly now, hot little head curled against my neck. I don't want to lay her down again until I'm sure the fever has gone down some more. Chris? He's in there still sleeping soundly.
Me? I'm typing this out to calm myself down. I hope I NEVER have to deal with another 105 degree fever. Ever.