This soft whimpering cry started to come out of the monitor in the kitchen. I muted the tv to listen to the type of cry but it had stopped. When I turned the sound back on the cry started again. I went up to check on the girls to see what was wrong all the while thinking it was just Naomi fussing.
It was Phoebe.
She was curled up in her bed in the fetal position crying and moaning. I have never heard her cry in such a way before. She sounded like whatever energy she could muster she was using to cry into the dark. She must have been silently crying before I heard her because her pillow was tear soaked and she was sweating through her pajamas.
I immediately scooped her up asking what was wrong. She said her stomach and ear were hurting and that she wanted cereal because she was hungry. She tried to stand up to walk but was too weak and tired, so I carried her downstairs and placed her on the couch. I made her small bowl of dry honey nut cheerios but she just sat there looking at the muted television. When I said "eat your cereal sweetie" she just glanced up at me, tears welling up her eyes, stretched her arms out for me to hold her and cried "mommy".
I text my husband telling him he needed to come home right away. As I hit send he was pulling into our driveway. Phoebe was slumped over on the couch holding on to me so tightly. I told him what was going on, how she said she wanted cereal and how she wasn't eating. He asked if she wanted some popcorn (one of her favorites and our go-to choice when she won't eat) and she said yes. But the same as the cereal, when it was in front of her she wouldn't eat. All she wanted to do was hold onto me and close her eyes.
He carried her up into our room and placed her on his side of the bed and told her that she could sleep there next to mommy and he would sleep on the couch. I made sure to bring up the popcorn in case she changed her mind and wanted some. As soon as she snuggled underneath her Cinderella blanket with her hand firmly grasped in mine, she fell asleep.
I decided not to go to sleep and opted to continue watching the Christmas movies on tv. Within a half hour, she was up screaming and crying a painful cry. Just like the earlier cry, I have never heard her cry like this before. She was flailing about in the bed crying "my leg hurts mommy, my leg hurts!" My husband had brought up the tylenol and ibuprofen in case we needed it so I poured her a teaspoon and asked her to sit up to take it.
She couldn't even sit up.
I had to lift her with my one arm underneath her neck and slowly help her drink the medicine. As I gently placed her back on her pillow all I knew that the Christmas movies and I were in for a long night. I snuggled up close to her, began stroking her hair the way she likes that helps her fall asleep, and just prayed to God for strength.