After spending Wednesday and Thursday like this, I took James (+Jackson, Amelia, and Maddie, of course) to the pediatrician.
Jackson and Maddie endured the stomach virus on Monday and Tuesday, so when James awoke irritable, feverish, and with runny stools on Wednesday, I assumed he was the next victim. He never threw up, but continued to show the same symptoms on Thursday. Thursday evening, both he and Amelia were up hourly screaming and sweating, despite receiving Tylenol. Out of desperation, I called to request the first available appointment and took all four kids in on Friday morning.
The visit was especially stressful due to crying babies and one very smart mouthed Jackson. Every time I redirected Jackson he repeated me in such an ugly way. I said, "Jackson, you need to get off of Amelia." He replied, "NO! YOU need to get off of Amelia." He rudely repeated every. single. thing.
We had to go to the sick side instead of the usual "well side", which meant there were no toys to play with. This caused a major Jack meltdown. When the nurse called us back, she assumed Jackson was the sick one because he was crying and laying in the middle of the floor. She asked Jack to get on the scale and I had to clarify that the appointment was for James. (FYI, James weighed a whopping 18 lbs!)
The pediatrician quickly diagnosed an ear infection in both ears for James and prescribed antibiotics. I confessed that I had let his pain go longer than I should have and explained that I attributed it to a stomach bug or teething. I asked what symptoms I should look for and what causes ear infections. She informed me that runny noses and colds usually precede ear infections. Since the girls are the ones who have had runny noses, I asked her to check them as well. She said that it would need to be separate appointments but I think she took pity on me.
I'm so glad she checked because Amelia also had infections in both ears. (Maddie was all clear.) It was my turn to have a meltdown. How did two of my kids have double ear infections without me even knowing? Am I that oblivious? Breastfeeding/pumping has been such a labor or love and I still feel worthless that I haven't been able to keep my kids healthy.
I drove straight to the pharmacy after leaving the children's clinic. I thought the pediatrician's office was stressful, but we entered an entirely new level of hell at WalMart waiting for the prescriptions to be filled. Jackson was increasingly more irritable. The babies were getting hungry. The pharmacists had the wrong insurance information and I had to pay then get refunded. The whole ordeal took an hour.
Thankfully, it has been three days and we've returned to our usual sleeping and eating patterns. James and Amelia are full of smiles once again. Praise God!