This time I really thought I got lucky though. While it was a miserable ride home, by the end of the next day the babies were back to normal. Lucas and I had a miserable night and day, but by Friday we were all healthy and going strong. "That was the easiest illness yet," I thought gleefully, "Perhaps it gets better each time!"
And then, Friday evening at bedtime, it happened. Ryan coughed. There was nothing particularly special about this cough. The twins cough all the time - they get dry throats, they get giggling and forget to swallow, they breath in dust because mommy has forgotten to clean, etc. But, for some reason, this cough sent a chill running through me. I just felt it was the beginning of something. And then, Allie wouldn't sleep. She kept waking up, screaming. Lucas got home around 9:30 that night and I had just finished eating my dinner after putting Allie back down for the 3rd time that night. "What is up with her?" Lucas asked. "I don't know, but I don't think she's feeling well. AND Ryan coughed," I replied. "So what? They cough all the time," was his casual response. "I know, but I think something is going on," I said quietly.
Friday night I woke up several times to hear Ryan cough. Nothing major. No hacking, or wheezing. They weren't even coughing attacks. Just a few isolated coughs. But, somehow, they sounded ominous.
By Saturday afternoon Ryan had a full fledged cough that would sometimes turn into small attacks, and Allie's sweet little voice had turned raspy. Mommy predicted correctly that something was up. And so, Lucas and I didn't get much sleep last night. Each of us was responsible for a baby. Lucas ended up "sleeping" sitting up on the couch with a fitful Allie resting on his chest while I slept on the floor in the babies' room armed with a sippy cup to tame Ryan's middle-of-the-night coughing fits. Today I have a pot of water with some Vicks VapoRub simmering on the stove (as well as a crock pot of the same potion simmering in the living room in a safe, out-of-reach spot), every humidifier we own running, and sippy cups constantly within reach to offer parched babies fluids. I am trying to decide whether or not they warrent a phone call to the pediatrician today (Ryan's cough keeps getting worse...) or if it can wait until tomorrow morning...Not only is this definitely not the easiest yet, Ryan's cough and Allie's raspy - and I assume sore - throat (neither of which we have experienced before) have me more on edge than I have been with any previous illness.
On the up side, the babies are surprisingly cheerful in the midst of their sicknesses (which is an amazing blessing), and they have gotten into a few adorable antics (as you can see from the pictures). AND, we are completely caught up on ALL of the laundry! While that may sound like a small thing, it is daunting to return home from a trip and face the mountains of laundry that come out of the suitcases. Top that off with plenty of vomit-covered extras (like car seat covers, coats, and unexpected multiple changes of clothes) and a whole day lost due to sick parents, and being caught up on the laundry is nothing short of a miracle! And in these sleep-deprived, worry ridden days to come, I'm holding on to every miracle that come my way!!