I have been covered, infested really, with hives for 5 days now. “Why the heck do I have hives”, I’ve whined while scratching. “Why the heck are they so much worse at night,” I’ve lamented while scratching. This morning, we figured it out.
Baby doesn’t sleep. There are two types of cries that happen at night with his wake-ups. There’s the “I’m hungry cry,” and there is the the sorrowful moan cry. The “I’m hungry” cry gets him some formula. The sorrowful moan cry illicts different strategies to varying degrees of success. The one that seems to best work (but doesn’t always work) is the ema or daddy picks him up strategy. When it works, it works in a way that breaks your heart. Baby collapses into us, in a little sideways angle, so relieved that he instantly starts snoring.
So, the other day, I put all the pieces together and said to BF, “we need to co-sleep. Baby has separation anxiety at night– not from us so much as from missing all his baby peeps back at the care house– and he needs us right there beside him to make him feel better.” We came up with a plan. We would blow up the aerobed and place it on the floor in baby’s room. We would put him down like normal at his appointed bed time but then, with his first wake up an hour later, I would crawl into the aerobed with him. I was resolved. This was going to work. And the only thing that we’d be saying a week from now is “why didn’t we try this sooner.” Night one came and baby only woke up 4 times after I got in the aerobed with him. I am a friggin genius! Night two came, 8 times. Hmmm. Still better than 14-15 times. I’m rather smart. Night three, 14 times. Well. Night four, 15 times. And the same little mournful cries and body twisting still came.
By night four, I was lying on the aerobed with my skin en fuego. My face was so covered with hives that I looked like I had pre-teen acne. I didn’t need blush. I did need a back scratcher. I writhed next to baby trying to get to that one unreachable spot on my back that itched like that was its job. I was defeated.
The hives were my outside-in hives. By that I mean that I get two types of hives (yeah, I have a tendency towards hives. My sister thinks I should live in a bubble.). My inside-out hives are welts. I get them when I ingest something that I am allergic to like nuts or the filler in amoxycillian. My outside-in hives are little red dots like ant bites before swelling. I get them when my skin comes into contact with something that irritates it. Sometimes it’s just the sun. It can also be an Iron Man watch or rubber shoes like flip flops (but not all rubber shoes which is very confusing).
And so this morning, as I was scratching my skin down to just one layer left of epidermis and waiting on hold with our pediatrician’s office because clearly we needed to quit trying new sleep strategies on our own and giving them a few nights each to work, BF came running into our bedroom after breaking down the aerobed.
“You’re allergic to the aerobed.” He shouted, and it all came so clearly together. I am allergic to the aerobed and the sad part about this is that I don’t even have a better sleeping baby to show for my suffering.
At the pediatrician’s office, he suspects heartburn- the kind that doesn’t come all the way up, resulting in spit up, and so it’s incredibly hard to diagnose. We have two strategies we’re trying over the next two weeks with baby. I’ll let you know how those work as soon as I can pull my hand away from vigorously scratching my own back.