We'd been coughing for weeks, but like most busy moms, I'd ignored my own symptoms because I assumed I'd take a turn for the better any day. I even wrote off my 2-year-old's coughing and vomiting spells as a virus because she's the one in our family who catches everything and stays sick the longest.
It wasn't until my 4-year-old caught the cough and woke up with broken blood vessels dotting her cheeks that I finally dragged us all to the pediatrician. You could have knocked me over with a feather when he announced, "You're all suffering from pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough." What? Didn't pertussis disappear with polio and smallpox? Haven't we all been vaccinated for that? How on earth did this happen?