Stephanie woke with a start and looking at the bedside table, realized the older children would have to be woken up now if they were to get to school on time. Jumping from the bed, she saw the other half was empty and remembered that Charles was probably still asleep in the living room.
Before she put on her slippers and robe, she went to check on baby Genna. The baby was still asleep and her breathing was less raspy than before. There was snot caked in one nostril, but her skin was cool to the touch.
Her attention now on the baby, Stephanie forgot about the hour and the other members of the family and took the baby to the changing table. She removed Genna's sleeper and started warm water in the tub.
By that night, a number of things had taken place. The baby was better, but Charles had come down with it as well. Stephanie was exhausted, but still not sick. The other two children, Will and Ella, were fine, but naturally, very worried about their baby sister.
Stepanie was unable to reach the doctor or the hospital. The lines were either busy or nobody answered. She directed her attention to the baby and home care instead. She gave the baby regular baths, changed her crib sheets twice a day and washed her own hands religiously. She alternated between dosing the baby with the prescription she was sent home with along with some Benadryl to keep down the cold symptoms.
Charles hacked, coughed and blew his nose all the next day while fitfully sleeping in the spare room. Ella ended up with a runny nose by dinner time and complained about feeling achy. By this time, even Steph was starting to feel under the weather. Only little Will seemed unaffected by the bug.
The next morning, everything changed again.