My poorly little boy

My mother has an irrational phobia of November; she hates it. Dark mornings, dark nights, cold, dank, etc. I’m always trying to be buoyant about the cosy evenings, hot chocolates and snuggles on the sofa. And Ugg boots! And the”holiday season” Yankee candles. However, I admit that the past days have been VERY Novembery, and I would be very grateful for a plane ticket somewhere sunny for us to escape to.

Little darling Fred has been poorly sick with Bronchiolitis, and spent Saturday night in hospital. I think of all the nights of my life, Saturday was the worst. Freddie has a history of chest infections, and with ezcema too, I do wonder if he’ll have asthma as he grows up. Anyway, I try not to be the neurotic mother fretting at the GP surgery every week. In fact, after being told to judge Freddie’s wellness by how he is in himself rather than the crackles in his chest – I have been rather casual about his wheezes. By last friday, however, we were at the doctors because he didn’t seem his usual self and I felt he was struggling. Early Saturday morning it was a phonecall to 111 as he was pulling his tummy in with every breath, and not a happy or well little boy. I love the questions asked by the poor 111 assessors – had we been to Korea, or better still, an Ebola effected area! Sure love, because Liberia seems such a choice holiday destination with an 8 month old baby!! Eventually we were sent to Out of Hours and seen immediately; and from there we were sent to Worcester hospital, which is about 25 minutes away. Never has that journey seemed so long. This is a bit of a contentious issue as our local hospital was downgraded to a treatment centre when the new hospital at Worcester opened.

There are so many firsts being a mummy, and I hope Saturday was also my last experience of feeing so utterly helpless. It probably won’t be, but Freddie and I are still recovering from our night in hospital. I don’t know how mothers of seriously ill children cope. I hadn’t expected to be sent to Worcester, so was totally unprepared. My phone was on about 40% battery, and I had just my changing bag. When we arrived, there was no phone signal and the free hospital bedside phones only called landlines. It was a hard slog getting in touch with people – having to phone my cousin’s landline to get her to text Freddie’s Dad and other people, to let them know where we were. The staff were brilliant, but it was heartbreaking to see my little boy with an oxygen mask on, wired up to a machine. He is used to co-sleeping with his momma, and looked very troubled at being in the hospital cot. I stood over his cot stroking his hair until a nurse insisted I try and get some sleep around 1.30am. I just wanted desperately to take this from him; for me to be the one struggling to breathe, not my beautiful boy. Worst night of my life.

We were discharged on Sunday afternoon, and have so far had a very lazy week. Today we haven’t left the flat, and Freddie is now fast asleep beside me. He is on the mend, I have an inhaler and steroids for him, and he now has his appetite back. I’m savouring all the cuddles, as we have two precious weeks left of maternity leave left.

Today as a treat I ordered a very stylish Tula toddler carrier, so I can keep my boy close … and use him as a portable hot water bottle when the weather gets cold.

It’s 19.27, and I can’t keep my eyes open. Sleep is good.



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