So...the past week or more has been pretty stressful. My son is 7 months old (almost 8) and he has several teeth already, so I'm used to a little fussiness regarding teething. The woes of teething usually lasts a day or so, he may fuss and cry a little, and just overall be a little grumpypants, but then he goes back to normal and he's his usual sweet self.
This time...not so much. The fussiness lasted for days straight. Instead of getting better, it got worse. It progressed to fits of crying that lasted hours, refusing to eat, fighting to go to sleep, and being extremely clingy (crying hysterically if I left the room or put him down for a second) and overall just acting miserable. I was worried about my poor guy.
For me, the stress was getting bad. He is normally super sweet, happy, giggly, and just in general a laidback baby. Nothing I was doing was helping - he didn't want to nurse, didn't want a bottle, didn't want any solids (even his usual favorites like bananas or sweet potatoes), he was clearly exhausted but wouldn't sleep. He was refusing to eat, not sleeping...I just felt so bad that something was clearly wrong and nothing I was doing was seemingly helpful.
I wanted to cry every time he cried.
And housework? Impossible. I'm seeing the dishes pile up, dust collecting everywhere, piles of laundry - and I'm just itching to get to work. But my son needs me, and just like in his newborn days, I haven't been able to put him down for a moment. He wasn't acting like his usual self at all.
I noticed him tugging at his ear a few days ago, but I had read that ear-tugging can be a teething symptom, so I just wrote it off as that. But as I noticed he was tugging his ear more often (something he had never done before) I thought perhaps we were dealing with something more than teething, perhaps an ear infection. I googled his symptoms (good old Dr. Google) and an ear infection did seem likely.
I took him to the pediatrician this morning, and sure enough, he has an infection in the right ear. Now he is on antibiotics for the next 10 days, so hopefully this will be what he needs to start getting better. I'm relieved that my "mommy instincts" were correct, that I wasn't overreacting, and that now he's on the road to getting back to normal.
I miss his sweet little laughs and his shy smiles. He's finally asleep right now, thankfully...let's see if I can get something done around here before he wakes.