I sat down to write this blog thinking that I will be getting up to present time by the end. Sorry… I think there will be a few more ‘episodes’ before I get there, I forgot how much happened in their first year on this planet!
So, Jessica and Jack were 5 months old and Jack had just come out of his second stint in hospital. We fell back into our little daily routine quickly and they amazed me every day with how they were progressing. I think we all feel this as parents and can’t quite believe how much they do and how quickly they do it?! I was busy ironing one day (my most favourite of house-hold tasks, NOT!), Jack was having a little nap and Jessica was on the playmate gurgling away. Next thing I knew she had rolled over – huge smile on her face rather proud of what she had just managed to do. I couldn’t believe I had missed it! I promptly turned her over and refused to take my eyes off her till she did it again! I wondered how long it would take Jack to roll over… As I still do to this day, I don’t compare what they do when, even though they are a minute apart in age in my eyes it is wrong to assume they will do stuff at the same time. Firstly boys and girls are very different, as we have all no doubt witnessed, and secondly Jack has Down Syndrome, so he would no doubt be a bit delayed in his development. Well, bugger me but the very next day Jack was on the very same mat and only went and rolled over – I was so proud of them both! My babies were rolling! Yes, I cried, I couldn’t help it! It did however bring another challenge to light, night time rolling. I was so scared and hated it when they rolled in their sleep, could they breath properly, would something happen because they were on their front. I am not afraid to admit I would spend a lot of time flipping them back over during the night! Until one night (probably night 3) I stopped, I mean, what could actually happen? Lots of babies sleep on their fronts, don’t they? They both spend most of the night on their fronts now and I don’t worry a jot! I tell you, this new mum lark was hard on my nerves – I have even started to get a few grey hairs!
When they turned 6 months we had another little trip back to East Surrey. They both got a cold (bloody hate winter!) and Jack got it quite badly. We were out with friends one night and my sister was babysitting for us. Her two were at their Dads for the night so she stayed over. She was a little bit concerned about Jack’s breathing but he slept ok, so I wasn’t too concerned that night. In the morning though he seemed to get worse and it happened quite quickly. He was sat in his little bounce chair and his head was bobbing up and down where he was working so hard to breath. I rang 111 and they sent an ambulance round immediately. I was so scared. The paramedics were great, they checked Jack over and calmly told me that we should get him to hospital and they would take us. I packed a bag for Jack as fast as I could (having to squeeze in some food for him as well as a couple of bottles) and didn’t even think about stuff for me. Richard stayed at home with Jessica. We got settled into the ambulance (can’t believe it was his second time in one and he was only 6 months old!) this time they sat me on the stretcher with Jack on my lap. He had only gone and done a poo! I asked if I could change his nappy quickly before we left. The paramedic who was in the back with me said no, he was quite concerned about Jack’s breathing and said that he felt if we left it much longer we would have to ‘blue light’ him to hospital! Tears pricked my eyes, I could deal with the smell!
We got into the children’s A&E department and the paramedics helped me with Jack’s car seat and our bag. The nurse assessed Jack and said straight away she thought he had croup – she called her colleague over and he agreed so they gave Jack a dose of steroids to try to calm down his throat (croup is, in very basic terms, laryngitis). They expected that after an hour he would improve and we might be able to go home. Unfortunately that was not the case. Jack got worse! So they admitted him as couldn’t give him more steroids till 12 hours later. He had a nebuliser and that seemed to help him a bit and he was happy to have a bottle. They said not to give him food, just milk, so I did.
We got taken up to the child assessment unit and went up with another couple and their little boy. We are so lucky that Jack has had nothing more than breathing issues and a UTI – this little boy had recently had a heart operation and had now caught a cold, so he wasn’t breathing too good either. Oh my, what a worry that was for his parents, my heart went out to them. Once we were in a room in CAU the nurse took Jack’s obs and gave him an oxygen mask to help him. The Doctor came in and I showed her a rash that had developed on Jack’s arms and face – turned out to be all over his body. She wanted to take some blood from Jack to rule out anything sinister… To be able to do that they have to put a cannula in, and the last time they did that it was awful. This time wasn’t too great either. The doctor was faffing around putting the needle in and even the nurse helping was getting impatient with her! Jack was crying his little heart out and getting really agitated – I managed to hold it together and not hit the doctor (wouldn’t look good getting ejected from hospital when your son had just been admitted!), but she got the cannula in, eventually, and I managed to calm Jack down. Meanwhile they were sorting out a room for us on the ward and we got taken across to it and settled in. Jack with his arm all bandaged up, they kept the cannula in just in case they had to take more bloods or give him antibiotics. Now, I didn’t have anything for me, again! So I called my brother-in-law (Lisa wasn’t around to come in) and he came to my rescue with PJ’s (well, PJ bottoms and no top – my sister-in-law was away too so couldn’t supervise the packing of items required to sleep in!) and a McDonalds – I was starving and a big mac meal was just what I needed! Thank god our friends and family live close by to the hospital!
The next day Jack perked up a bit and was given more steroids to knock the croup on the head, it seemed to do the trick this time round, for a bit… The blood results came back and not only did Jack have croup he was suffering with flu and bronchiolitis too! Not over the top at all, eh?! Considering he had all of that he was doing really well – he had started to eat solids again and only had a very small dose of oxygen. They wanted him to be off the oxygen overnight before considering sending us home – we had been down this road when he was in before Christmas and the little pickle took quite a while to come off it. I was hoping he would find it easier this time round. And he did! What a super star – after 2 nights in we were discharged! Back to our little home and Jessica again – god I missed her and Richard so much when we were away from them.
Till the next time…