Thursday Penny was cranky and clingy and having a hard time sleeping. She woke up four times that night. Not to eat, she just wanted to be held. Very unlike her. She’s a mellow, easy going baby who rarely cries and sleeps like a dream (probably like most third children). She was also really congested. In fact, she seemed to be getting worse instead of better from the virus that has infected our house. So, off to the pediatrician for the third time in a week. (By we, I mean all three girls and me, since Sean was working.)
I was expecting that it had become pneumonia like the other two girls. She even had a low grade fever. So, I was surprised to find out she has her first ear infection. Why I was surprised is beyond me. I should have known. You see, my kids get ear infections. Lots of ear infections.
Samantha got her first at 9 months old. Then 6 more in the next 9 months. The ear infection cycle, if you’re lucky enough to be unfamiliar with it, goes like this. Cranky baby who had a cold three to five days ago, to doctor, ear infection, antibiotics for ten days, back for recheck, half the time it’s clear, the other half it’s ten more days on pink stuff, another recheck. Two weeks later, another cold and repeat. If you do your math, we’re visiting the doctor three times in a six week period for nine months. Then, at 18 months, they stop getting ear infections.
Ella got her first at one month old. She had seven in a year, sending us to the ENT for a consult about tubes. Since the infections were clearing with antibiotics, no tubes. She also stopped getting them at 18 months.
So, why I was surprised that Penny has one is a mystery. Of course she does. She’s overdue really. I don’t understand why my kids get ear infections so easily. There are a lot of “Facts” out there about ear infections that just don’t hold true for my kids.
Fact 1: Breastfed babies get far fewer or no ear infections.
Really? I can’t imagine how my kids could possibly get any more ear infections, unless they just didn’t clear at all. And my kids are breastfed, not formula fed, not bottle fed, breastfed, for an entire year.
Fact 2: Teething has nothing to do with ear infections.
Hmm. Other than Ella’s first ear infection that she got as a result Samantha’s first act of sharing (her cold), all my kids’ ear infections correspond strongly with teething. Pretty much guaranteed we’ll have ear infections when they’re teething. And the infections miraculously stop as soon as their one year molars and canine teeth are in. Suspicious to me. Oh, did I mention Penny is getting her first teeth right now?
So, if you’re keeping score of my kids’ health this week (I’m sure you have nothing better to do), the stats for the week are: 3 fevers, 3 trips to the doctor, 2 pneumonias, 1 ear infection, 1 nebulizer for Penny’s wheezing (did I mention she’s wheezing, too?), 3 amoxicillin prescriptions, and 3 trips to the pharmacy.
If you’re having a hard time finding me I’m probably at the doctor. I’m considering getting my own extension.