I knew I was playing a dangerous game whenever I heard myself say "neither Victor or I have been sick since he was born!" Every time those words carelessly escaped my lips I wanted to facepalm. Way to jinx myself; I was practically begging illness to c ome over for a cuppa.
Destiny has spent nine and a half months plotting the best way to deliver my son's first ailment, and here's how it played out.
Last Monday Joel came down with a bug that saw him quite ill for 24 hours. He was due to leave for LA on the Wednesday so I was quietly freaking out that the baby and I would catch the bug and it would hit while Joel was living it up in Hollwood. I was so scared of being struck down that in those days before he left I slept on the couch and restricted Joel's contact with the baby. I may have even done a crazed mission with bleach solution and a cloth on all surfaces in high traffic areas - taps, doorknobs, baby gates... I did not want to get that bug.
Did I mention I have a phobia of vomiting? (Here's my account of that particular quirk if you have the time). So you see the idea of being sick myself, having to deal with a sick baby, or - worse still - both of us being sick at the same time, was genuinely terrifying. Even more terrifying was the idea that we'd be sick without Joel around to help.
Two days after first being ill Joel had made a full recovery and flew out as planned. This is the point in the story where you imagine little Vic and I fell ill with Joel's bug and I was forced to overcome my fear of all things spewy. Triumph over adversity and all that. But no, tricked you! I'm pleased to report we didn't succumb to that particular illness.
So there we were, sans Joel, merrily going about our daily business and not throwing up. Victor had been cranky for days with several teeth threatening to cut through, so when his nose started running the day after Joel left I attributed it to teething. By late afternoon he was really miserable. He spent hours in tears and I started to think something was up. The next morning his runny nose had stepped up a notch or five and it was clear he had a contracted his first ever cold.
It's definitely not as bad has having to deal with a tummy bug, but still, with Joel away, it's been a tough couple of days. As you can imagine, Little Vic has been super needy and wanted more milk feeds. Those feeds have been difficult because the congestion has made it hard for him to breathe through his nose and it sucks watching him struggle like that. He's been short on patience and long on tears, which has meant a lot of time cuddled up in my arms, wiping his nose on my shoulder. He hasn't slept well and didn't settle until 10pm on Saturday, and then 9pm last night - well and truly the latest he's been up since he was a newborn. Even when he has slept I've been kept awake worried by the sound of his laboured breathing.
Despite my lovely family coming to my rescue a couple of times in the last four days, I'm exhausted. Thankfully Joel is back tomorrow, so we just have to tough it out for another twenty-four hours...
My little boy has been a trooper through all this but it's obvious he's feeling pretty miserable, so if you have any suggestions for how I can keep him comfortable, please let me know! Now if you'd just excuse me while I go and wipe his nose for the seventy-billionth time...
- Essential Mums