Wednesday, June 29, 2022

7/8 of the way there

When I said we'd test Zoë, Alexander, and Benjamin "eventually," what I meant was that we'd test them today. And because the tests came in a 4-pack I decided that I would take a test, too (though I had little hope it would be negative).

Zoë and Alexander tested first and were overjoyed when their tests both showed they were negative. Alexander ran around the house cheering for several minutes. Everyone was very aware that he was now negative. 

I took my test a little later and was surprised when I didn't see a positive line creep up right away. After waiting the allotted amount of time it was still negative. I began to suspect the tests were faulty (because I'm trusting like that).

Fortunately (or not?), Benjamin's test showed that he was positive for COVID still. 

He took the news with a shrug of his shoulders and a little, "Oh, well," but later began wailing dramatically, "Why did I have to get sick last?! Now I'm the only one left!" I don't think he was truly upset about it; he just gets dramatic sometimes. 

Alexander does as well. He had been absolutely jubilant about testing negative, but soon became quite paranoid about having to continue sharing a room with Benjamin, who is still testing positive. 

I explained all about antibodies to him (which he pronounces "anti-botties"), about how he won't have long-term immunity from COVID because it's constantly evolving but that his body is really good at fighting off this particular strain that we have right now. His antibodies know just what to do for COVID right now, so even though Benjamin is still breathing out virus particles, Alexander has little to worry about. His antibodies will take care of everything. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Phoebe's crawling

Here's a sweet picture of Phoebe, who is feeling much better:


I think that in addition to being ill with COVID, she's begun teething. So she's been grumpy upon grumpy, very drooly, and her tongue is sticking out of her mouth 95% of the time. But she's darling.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Negative outlook

Rachel tested negative last week—on my birthday, on the 8th day of her illness. 

Alexander, who has been so touchy about being sick, begged to take a test, his little lips quivering. 

"Nobody's tested me lately!"

We explained that his test would likely be positive, since he'd only just tested positive a few days prior and was still likely sick, even if he was feeling better.

"But I do feel better!"

So we tested him. And the test was positive. 

"Benjamin did stand behind me in the kitchen!" Alexander sobbed. "This is all his fault!"

We had to talk him down from his anger. It's true that Benjamin was quite sick, but Alexander was already sick so the fact that Benjamin stood behind him in the kitchen had no effect on whether or not he was going to test positive. Just as Mommy's lullaby—to an already sick and feverish little boy—didn't make him get sick. He already was sick, simple as that. 

The next day—June 23, on my 8th day of illness—Andrew coaxed me into taking a test. I say coaxed because I knew it would still be positive. I still felt awful. But I took a test anyway and that positive line lit up before the control line even got wet. 

Andrew took a test on June 24—his sixth day of illness—it was negative. So we're thinking Paxlovid works fairly well! And I did my best to convince myself to stop feeling guilty for making him do so much while I rest because (honestly) I have just been much sicker. Unfortunately.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

COVID stats

I think we're just about settled into a state of boringness over here, which is a good thing! Initial onset of COVID seemed to be the worst stage for most of us (not the case for Andrew or Rachel, however). Now we're just...slogging through things...until we're better.

Here are some quick, boring facts...

Highest temperature:

1st place: Phoebe with 105°F
2nd place: Me with 104.2°F
3rd place: Tie between Zoë and Benjamin with 103°F, or so

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Benjamin's onset

Last night (Sunday night) Phoebe and I went to bed upstairs. Not like to-bed-to-bed—just, like, sequestered in the bedroom where we did not sleep (because that would be silly). We watched Won't You Be My Neighbour, which made me cry several times, and about a billion episodes of Seinfeld, which did not. 

Andrew texted shortly after midnight to see if there was anything we needed before he went to bed. I responded that we were all good. Phoebe would be asleep soon (hahahaha) and then I'd go to bed and he was like, "Headed there myself. So tired."

He slept downstairs with Benjamin. But only partially so. 

Because Andrew tested positive on Sunday morning, he was sleeping in the entertainment room (where he could still be accessible to the kids downstairs) and he put Benjamin up in the music room (with the windows wide open to give him plenty of air circulation). 

Around 1:00 in the morning I heard a lot of footsteps. I checked my phone to see if Andrew had texted me anything. Nothing. I heard more footsteps. And more footsteps. And not much else because I have this Corsi-Rosenthal box running in the bedroom. 

I thought about texting him to tell him to get to bed (because I'm a nag like that sometimes) but then figured that he was a big boy. He could take care of himself. So I put my phone down and...proceeded to fight with Phoebe about whether or not we should sleep until 3 or 4 in the morning. 

Monday, June 20, 2022


After having a rough night on Friday night, Phoebe went to bed at her usual time on Saturday night. 

Andrew texted me to say that she was hungry and sleepy. I put on my mask, washed my hands, and grabbed a squirt of hand sanitizer on my way out of the bedroom. Nursed her to sleep, returned to my...chambers. 

Around 10:30 I heard her fussing, so I went in to feed her again—grabbing my mask, washing my hands, using hand sanitizer. I felt her head first to see whether she was running a fever. 

Note to self: using your hand to check whether another person has a fever while you yourself have a fever is actually not that effective.

She felt fine to me!

But then I latched her on and her little mouth was hot! She was having trouble falling into a good suck-swallow-breathe pattern. Her little heart felt about ready to gallop away. 

I quickly unsnapped her pyjamas—just grabbed an opening and tore that thing right off her. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop! I ran to grab a thermometer—103°F! I texted Andrew to find her dosage for ibuprofen. He came up with a syringe full of medicine and then we discussed what to do with her.

Testing her would be difficult. Her little nostrils are teensy weensy. The test swab is, comparatively, quite large. We decided to presume her positive. So then...did I need to isolate from her any longer?

We entertained the idea of continuing to isolate—considering viral load and so forth—but ultimately decided she'd just room in with me. And a good thing, too. I think I nursed her for a grand total of seven hours last night! 

She was feverish and miserable and if she wasn't latched on she was not happy!

Just a timeline of emails and things

July 28, 2020 (ward email):

...I will share with you that what I am seeing in the hospital setting is very concerning regarding those ill with Covid and the overwhelming pressure it is placing on our health care system. Please protect yourself and your families. 

August 31, 2020 (RS email):

Many of you are aware that Sister I_______'s husband, J________, has been in the hospital battling COVID for several weeks. I am saddened to announce that he passed away on Sunday, August 30th. A viewing will be held on Tuesday, September 1st from 6pm to 8pm and funeral services will be held on Wednesday, September 2nd at 2pm (please arrive early - masks are required). 

September 12, 2020 (primary email):

Hello Parents of Primary Children-

Tomorrow is our 1st day of Virtual Primary!! To prepare for tomorrow, the children will need a couple of things to sing with...

 September 25, 2020 (ward email):

Hello fellow members of the Berkeley Lake Ward.  As you know, starting on 11 October, we will start having in person Sacrament meetings again.  The ward will be divided into two groups.  The first group will meet on the even Sundays and the second group will meet on the odd Sundays until we can meet all together again.  We will be sending an announcement as to how the ward will be divided in the near future.  The Sacrament meeting will continue to be broadcast via Zoom every week for the benefit of the not attending group and those that do not yet feel comfortable assembling in a larger group.

September 25, 2020 (Andrew's response):

Is there an option for giving these talks through Zoom? We’re not planning on meeting in person for a while, but if there’s a possibility to participate remotely, we’d be happy to give talks.

Also, Nancy is penciled in for an odd week, while Rachel and I are scheduled for an even week. Is our family supposed to be split across two groups?

September 26, 2020 (personal reply):

For the time being, we want the sacrament participants to be at the chapel. That may change in the future if we continue to have challenges with COVID-19.

Fortunately, we have not continued to have any challenges with COVID-19...

Saturday, June 18, 2022

I forgot to post this one

Everything sounds like crying. 

About 50% of the time the cries I hear are real. The rest of the cries are imaginary, fueling my maternal anxiety. 

Andrew's doing a phenomenal job holding things together as everything falls apart around him. 

Rachel, Miriam, and Zoë are all quarantined in the basement. I'm quarantined in our bedroom so that I can be close to Phoebe. When she needs milk, I put on my mask, wash my hands, then grab a squirt of hand sanitizer before stumbling into the hallway to meet Andrew—double masking in his own home—so he can hand her off to me.

I feed her in her room, away from the lingering virus in my room. 

Then she either naps or returns to Andrew to play.

She's decided that crawling around the house is the greatest thing ever, aside from pulling herself into quasi-standing position on car ramps, toy boxes, fireplace ledges. So she hasn't been entirely miserable, but she hasn't been entirely happy. 

She gets so excited to see me. I feel awful that I only ever spend ten minutes or so with her.

But because I'm also sick, that means I can spend more time checking in on the girls in the basement. Zoë is the most miserable. For a while it seemed like she was going to stay positive yet perky. Now she's running a temperature of 103°F and doesn't feel too hot...or feels far too hot, rather. 

She got up at 5:00 this morning (after Phoebe didn't go to bed until midnight...and then woke up at 3:00 and finally went back to bed at 4:00ish) and I just was able to lull her into taking a nap by stroking her hair and her face until she drifted off. 

I don't feel afraid of her because I have what she has. And I think I'm over the worst of it (famous last words, right?). The first night I spiked a temperature of 104.2°F and was in so much pain I couldn't sleep. But my fever eventually subsided and I felt better. And then I spiked a fever again. And then felt better. And then spiked a fever again. And then felt better. And then...

Currently I feel pretty good, all things considered.

Zoë's highest fever has been 103°F. Miriam's been up to 102°F. 

Rachel hasn't had a fever this entire time. But she's been dizzy, with a horrendous headache. She also has a cough. Miriam has had some tummy issues. Zoë can hardly speak without coughing (but doesn't cough otherwise). I have a very gentle cough. 

So not too bad on that front, but we're still experiencing the first act. 

Hopefully it will just get better from here...

Friday, June 17, 2022

Another one bites the dust (it's me!)

Slowly piecing things together...

A small family—husband, wife, baby, and, I presume, grandmother—are "too sick" to come to church but they send uncle and grandfather anyway.


October 15, 2021—the following email was sent from a councilor in the bishopric to a handful of people, me included although I had voiced several times that we are not attending in person:

Brothers and Sisters,

I normally don’t do this but I find myself in a bit of a jam.  The sacrament speakers scheduled for Sunday have come down with colds and are unable to speak. 

If any of you would be willing to take a quick assignment to speak this Sunday, please let me know.
I respond:
I spent the night in the hospital with preterm labour. We’re home now (and still pregnant), but still trying to be careful. Sorry I can’t help. 

He replies:

Fully understand. Thank you for responding. We wish you the best.  

No one checked in on us. Cool.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Super Positive (with COVID, that is)

On this, the 825th day of quasi-isolation, yea, on the very same eve the FDA gave their approval for a vaccine for children under the age of five, Rachel tested positive for COVID. 

Right now I'm mostly resigned, but initially I was so livid I was shaking.

Livid because we have done virtually nothing for such a long period of time, only to have to battle this virus now. Livid because I could have—and may as well have—blown our safety on something frivolous, like Disney World, or a trip out to Utah, or whatever. Livid because I wasn't ready to go back to church. In fact, have not "gone back" to church because mostly I feel that it isn't anyone's business to decide beans about my worthiness or devotion or whatever and I can just do what I want. But still livid because of all the pressure we've felt to return.

Livid for every "We encourage each of you to attend in person..."