Tummy Bug Trauma.

Last night I probably had my most frightening mummy experience to date. I genuinely felt like someone was watching over us because it was one of those innocent situations that could have turned out completely differently.

We’d had a super busy weekend filled with birthday parties and family functions. Virràe had been a little off his food since Saturday, but as he was still eating, and I knew he was teething, I didn’t think too much if it. By 6pm Sunday, he was so tired that I knew he would never make it through bath time. As we were at my parents house and our bags were already packed, I did a quick pyjama change and within a few minutes he was sparked out on my bed. I lay his head on a pillow to help ease his already congested head and went down to pack the car up. As I didn’t expect him to fall asleep when he did, I had already packed the monitor thinking I would put him straight in the car after his bath and he would fall asleep on the way home. Honestly speaking, it didn’t cross my mind to take it back out my bag because I knew it was only going to be ten minutes before we were on the road. What could go wrong in ten minutes?

The first thing I did was switch the car on to get it warmed up, and my mum helped me pack up the boot with all our bags. It still amazes me just how much stuff you need when travelling with a child. As I was doing a last check of the house to make sure we’d taken everything, I heard Nik shout my name and I immediately knew something was wrong. I ran upstairs with my heart beating out of my chest to find my son lying in a pool of his own vomit. I say pool, because he was literally swimming in it and every inch of him was covered. Judging by the mess, it looked like he had been violently sick at least ten times, if not more, and all of it in his sleep. Not once did he cry or so much as whimper. I’d even kept the door ajar, just in case in the few minutes that I was going to be gone he woke up, never in a million years did I think this would have happened. I gently lifted him from the bed, and although it must have only been a few seconds, it honestly felt like an eternity before he finally opened his eyes. My head was pounding with the question ‘what if’? What if I hadn’t put a pillow under his head? What if he didn’t have the strength to roll over onto his side? What if I had been more than ten minutes? What if he had choked?

I knew I didn’t have time to explore the answers, I just had to concentrate on getting Virràe sorted. I scooped him up without a moment’s hesitation and within seconds I too was dripping in sick, but I didn’t care. I gently put him in the shower to rinse the thick coating that clung to his pyjamas and he was crying his eyes out, clearly feeling completely disoriented. That in itself was heart breaking to see. After getting him mopped up and in clean clothes, Virràe sat quiet as a mouse on his Nani’s lap and watched his favourite nursery rhymes on the iPad. I got myself showered and afterwards I just sat on my mum’s bed and I couldn’t get over what could have been. Virràe came waddling over saying ‘mama’, smiling at me as if to say ‘don’t worry, I’m okay’, but I couldn’t shake that churning feeling. If only I had left the monitor plugged in, then I would have heard something, I would have been alerted to the fact that something wasn’t right, but to have to walk in and find Virràe like that with absolutely no warning was truly traumatising. I know he was asleep, but surrounded by all that vomit, he just looked lifeless. It was a scary flash of a life I hope to never face.

Tummy bugs are so common in young children, and I feel very lucky to have made into his second year before we got struck, but I find it so frightening that such a young child can be so horrifically sick without waking up. Maybe he was just exceptionally exhausted and in another situation he would have cried to signal that something was wrong, but the fact is, he didn’t. What if he had started to choke but his body was too tired for its reflexes to kick in? I know each parent has their own ideas of what makes them feel safe when it comes to their children, many use the matt’s under the cot which alarm if a child stops breathing, others are happy with an audio monitor, some with a video and some happy to have the nursery door left open. There’s no rule about what’s right or wrong, it really is about what you as a parent feel is best. Whilst I do always use a video monitor for my peace of mind, even at night it stays on loud right next to my bed, but sometimes in the evenings, I’ll be off doing house work and I don’t take it with me, or it will bleep because its running out of juice and I might wait till Hollyoaks has finished before putting it on charge. Last night has really shaken me up, it showed me that anything can happen in five minutes, and that nothing is worth being without the tool that helps you see in an instant that your child is safe and well.

Virràe is a real stickler for routine, especially at bed time, he’s completely and utterly text book. But yesterday’s experience proved that children are the most unpredictable thing in the world, and I don’t think you can ever be too safe. Yesterday was very frightening, and what could have been doesn’t bear thinking about. I for one won’t ever be leaving Virràe asleep without the monitor plugged in, not even for a few minutes to pack the car. Parenting is a massive learning process, you become wiser with every experience, be it good or bad. I learnt a lot yesterday, and whilst I know we’ll be faced with many more tummy bugs over the coming years, I hope none start quite so scarily as this one.

Blonde Mummy. X

 

 

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TWO.

To my darling boy,

I cannot believe you are already two. At points it has genuinely felt as though time has run away from us. When I close my eyes and think back to the moment I first held you, I still lose myself to magic of it all. As I heard the nurse confirming that you were safe and healthy, after what can only be described as a traumatic entrance into the world, I distinctly remember the feeling of relief running like a wave throughout my whole body. It was so strong that I could no longer sit up, my body fell back onto the bed, and at last, knowing you were okay, I allowed myself to cry. The gentle tears that ran down my face turned into sobs as my emotions took over, I remember repeatedly saying ‘we did it’ as I was unable to take in the fact that you were my baby, and that I was your mummy. You and I, we did it. The peadretrition cried as she gently placed you in my arms, she looked at me and whispered that you were beautiful. I looked at you and for the first time in my whole life, I felt complete. You were here, at last, you were here.

I was so scared that I was going to forget you at each stage, and that’s partly why I started this blog. A safe place to store the memoirs of our life together, tales of our adventures, and the raw emotion that motherhood brings. Tonight, on the evening of your second birthday I am feeling a multitude of those. I feel sad that you are officially two years old, yet I’m so looking forward to seeing what the next year has in store for us. It sounds silly, but I feel so proud when I see you do things independently, like eat cereal with a spoon and actually not miss your mouth. A month ago, every drop would have fallen back in the bowl, but now, you’ve got it kiddo. There is a slight heaviness in my heart when I allow myself to accept that coupled with your independence comes you needing me that little bit less. I know that’s the way it should be and I will always nurture this element of parenting, but just know that I will always do whatever I can when you need me. Whatever life throws your way, don’t ever doubt that.

When I write, I’m always very honest about the bad days, the days you drive me up the wall, round the bend, and to the bottom of a wine bottle. Yet there are days that have been so wonderful that it has made me forget about my daily worries, and for that burst of time, life has felt perfect. In the lead up to your second birthday, it feels as though I have watched you evolve right before my very eyes. It has been incredible to witness, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be part of your transformation into a little boy. When you are a few years older, I’m sure you will have lots of questions about what you were like as a young child. In case my memory fails me, here are my absolute favourites…

I love the way you point at me and say ‘mama’ every single time I walk into a room. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of hearing that. I love the way you say yellow – ‘wewwow’.I love the way you say red – ‘ed’. I love the way you say blue – ‘bu’. I love the way you call your little cousin Ava your sizza. (Sister), and I adore the way you stood over her as she cried, by way of protection. I love the fact you have ‘cloth cloth’ to keep you comforted whenever I can’t be with you. I love the way you whisper random words to yourself when you are  laying in bed with me. I love the way you walk around the house with your eyes shut because you think it’s really funny. I love your obsession with aeroplanes and the fact you call them ‘ada’. One day I’ll explain why that means so much to me. I love the fact you give cuddles and say ‘ahhh’ at the same time. I love the fact that you have to eat breakfast from my bowl, even after you’ve had your own, and I love the way you drag me by my clothes into the living room and push me onto the sofa when you want me to stop being busy in the kitchen. You remind me what’s important and that the cooking can wait, yet time itself waits for no one, and I hope I can keep making the most of you at this incredible age.

Two years on I still go to bed every night (unless you have been particularly naughty), with a feeling of excitement that in a few hours I get to see you again. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put into words how much I love you, and I hope I never have to, because I hope you will see it in everything that I do. I yearned for you long before you were born and I never thought that I would get you, perhaps that’s why you are so precious to me. Perhaps that’s why you always will be. I grew up much quicker than I should have, but sometimes my darling boy life does that to you. This is one of the reason that I am fiercely protective of you and I will never apologise for that. You will always come first and I bare no guilt for being that way. Being your mummy has empowered me with so much strength, and it’s given me the biggest purpose in life. You really are my world Virràe, and I love you to the moon and back.

Happy birthday my beautiful boy.

With all my love,

Mama. X