We made it to Washington, D.C. where we are in town due to a work trip Greyson and I get to tag along for. This is the first time we’ve visited since Greyson was born (we took a quick trip during Thanksgiving last year) so we were looking forward to catching up with friends and seeing family.
Our flight was quick, thanks to a couple Bloody Marys and a showing of Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them. Just like our trip to Texas, Greyson fell asleep during takeoff and slept sweetly the entire 4hour flight. I am so proud of how well he adapts to traveling. We were unsure of how he would take to the three hour time difference but overall he seems to have adapted fairly quickly.
Once we got settled in our room we were eager to grab some food and meet up with friends of ours for a late bite and some drinks. It was nice to see that our old stomping grounds have and haven’t changed since we’ve moved almost three years ago. The restaurants are all still there, with the exception of the forever growing 14th St NW. A lot of shopping and luxury apartments/condos stand in the place of the old neighborhood we lived in. You know gentrification is occurring when you can spot a Trader Joe’s, Soul Cycle, and a Lululemon within the same block.
The people are just as hustle and bustle, on-the-go in their own bubbles, complete with earbuds in their ears and phones in their palms. The young professionals have officially descended and brunch is still very much a thing. People watching during brunch continues to be a favorite pastime, almost like an urban safari, as I watch all the beautiful young people with a full set of makeup, a trendy outfit, and heels (HEELS! On a Sunday?). I suppose I remember the ‘good ole days’ when brunch meant you grabbed a shirt that was clean and sported a messy bun to meet with friends over a concoction that would ease that hangover from the night before.
The following day we managed to see a number of our friends we’ve been missing since we moved. It seems as though hitting the ground running since landing here on Thursday was beginning to take a toll on us – and Greyson. Saturday night is when things began to a take a turn for the worse as this is when Greyson began throwing up. Let me back up…
Saturday our friends hosted a little brunch gathering which allowed us to catch up with a lot of our friends. The town had a St. Patrick’s Day parade as well, but we never made it (something about prosecco and enjoying good conversation will do that). Instead we enjoyed drinks at a bar, then we peeled off for a moment to grab dinner at one of our favorite seafood spots in Alexandria, Hanks Oyster Bar. We enjoyed all kinds of food; Greyson of course couldn’t eat any of it so we fed him crackers and his packed snacks instead. Afterwards we returned to our friends house and stayed there, like old times, watching music videos and just enjoying the company.
Before we knew it, we realized Greyson hadn’t taken a nap all day (OMG, right?!) we fed him a bottle and within the hour he projectile vomited everywhere. After cleaning up and our clothes were dry, we caught an Uber back to our hotel. At first we didn’t think much of him throwing up, even though it was much more than just spit up. Later that night we pulled him into bed with us (even though our hotel is amazing and had a Pack ’n Play available to us) and after a small bottle he threw up again. This time we were beginning to think this is more than just a little throw up. We slowed down with the bottles, cleaned him up, and he was able to get much needed sleep. We were afraid that this was due to the stress of traveling or possibly motion sickness from being on the metro and in cars since arriving. Plus there’s the obvious like the extreme cold/weather change and different germs.
Sunday started off well, we all had a chance to sleep in and ease into our day. Greyson seemed to be doing better and kept down a little bit of formula at a time. We grabbed breakfast at one of our favorite places on 14th St and before the food could arrive Grey immediately fell asleep on my husband. We were looking forward to seeing my family later that day for a little birthday celebration for Greyson. My grandparents, cousin, aunts and uncles were there but as we grabbed an Uber and were almost to my parents house he threw up again all over the place. He just seemed so miserable and since this was the third time in less than 24 hours I felt in my gut we had to take him to the hospital to get checked out.
Heading to the hospital
Our driver was very accommodating and dropped us off at Inova Fairfax Hospital and we went straight to their emergency pediatric wing. We got checked in and by this point Grey seemed to be recovering from his upset stomach. I called my parents en route to let them know where we were and that we would keep in touch – hoping to still make it for his birthday party. We didn’t wait long before we were taken back and a couple nurses checked him out. His attitude and overall demeanor was normal, he didn’t have any diarrhea or a hardened abdomen, or appeared to be dehydrated. All great signs. They gave him a dissolvable Zofran tablet to stop the vomiting and we waited 20 minutes. Then he drank some pedialite and had a popsicle and we waiting to see if he’d keep that down. Within the hour he managed to keep it down so we made the decision after being discharged to try and make it to my parents house. Even though we only had a few minutes to spend seeing everyone before they all had to head home, I’m grateful that they stayed and waited for us. It surely wasn’t how I was expecting to spend his birthday, but at the very least he was able to see everyone for a short period of time.
My parents let us borrow their car in which they had a carseat just for Greyson. We finally made it home and something put that day into perspective. When we drove up to the valet of our hotel my husband and I noticed there was a man, who appeared to be homeless, laying on the sidewalk near the street. It’s not an uncommon sight unfortunately in D.C. so we didn’t think much of it. I did hear him moaning, but again never thought much more about it as the homeless are usually on drugs or drunk. However, as we sat in the car I noticed a passerby happened to see him as well and went over to him and began turning him over. I was confused at the time but as I peeked outside my window I saw what looked to be white vomit coming from his mouth and that the woman was turning him so he wouldn’t choke. At this point I knew this man was overdosing and it didn’t look good.
I immediately took Greyson up to our room as my husband checked in with the valet and brought our things up. As I passed by the front desk a gentleman was talking to 911. As I got Greyson settled in our room, and I took a peek outside our hotel window, which faces right out front, and by this time a firetruck had arrived and I could hear an ambulance in the distance. I noticed that the first responders weren’t moving very quickly at all, which is a sign that the man had died. The ambulance arrived and again they weren’t moving as if it were an emergency. My heart sank for this man. Here he was, unknown, and dying right before my eyes. The first responders placed him in a bag on a stretcher, cleaned up the mess he left behind, and carried him away. In that moment I prayed for his family and that his pain had stopped. That night both my husband and I processed what we saw. I had been stressing out about others and inconveniencing my family because of taking Greyson to the hospital when at the end of the day it pales in comparison to the phone call someone will be receiving; a phone call my own family knows too well.
As luck would have it, come early Monday morning I began to feel a little queasy myself. The tightening of my stomach and I knew this wasn’t a good sign. I had a feeling that since Greyson seemed to be on the rebound and I now felt sick, that possibly whatever he had he may have passed onto me. I found myself running to the restroom all day, feeling exhausted and trying to rest. My husband was to begin his first day of conferences and thankfully he got me some anti-nausea medicine, gatorade, saltines, and antibacterial everything before he left. I knew that if this were to go own this road I needed an arsenal to help keep it at bay.
I was miserably sick all day and on top of that had to care for Greyson. Thankfully he rested when I did and didn’t mind a day indoors to take it easy with mom. I got him all set up in his Pack ’n Play, his Veggie Tales on the iPad, and his books and this kid was good to go. I survived the day and my husband was pretty amazing considering he’s now officially at work on this trip. He went out and got our favorite noodles for us (from one of the first places he took me when we began dating) and returned my parents car. I was happy to see that thus far Greyson and I were both coming around and back to relative normal.
The key is to keep the hubs from getting sick.
Today is much better although it appears Grey has some diarrhea, although we’re thinking it’s mainly from the pedialite we’ve given him these last few days. Hoping it isn’t a sign that a little bug is still there, but I did read that if it’s, in fact, a stomach bug then we both could be contagious still even though our symptoms had subsided. The plan for today was to try and make it out to a museum, but with the possible rain and not wanting to expose others we may just enjoy another day inside. I know they’ll be a time to come back and share the museums and D.C. with Greyson, it’s just a bummer that I had so many plans that just went out the window. But, I suppose that’s life.
Tips for safe family travel + a few tidbits from our journey
- Wipe down all surfaces in your hotel room that will be touched. This includes remotes, door handles, the thermostat, curtain pulls, etc. I would also recommend wiping down everything in the bathroom.
- After a sickness, request new sheets and towels.
- Keep bottled water stocked at all times and make sure not to share if you think you’re sick.
- Buy antibacterial soap for the bathroom since most hotel soaps aren’t antibacterial.
Before any travel it’s just good practice to support your immune system and have healthy supplements packed and ready such as vitamin c or other natural remedies.
- When booking your room ask to see if they can provide a crib. Most hotels offer them – and of course wipe it down. I also pack our own sheets, blankets, and mobile so that he has as much sense of home as he can – plus I know it’s clean.
- We rented our stroller (wipe this down too!) from a great service called Babierge (baby + concierge). They delivered the stroller straight to our hotel (a $45 fee) or you can opt to pick it up yourself for no cost. They have a lot of locations around the U.S. so it’s a perfect option for those not wanting to travel with your own gear.