Happiness & FearsNovember 5, 2016
Sleeping the up’s and the downsOctober 4, 2017
My next blog is about coping with a sick child while working, something I have found to be a common problem with friends and colleagues. I thought it was important to share my experience, so that other parents struggling with a sick child can relate to this blog and have the knowledge that everything will be ok! You will get through the sleepless nights, the early starts for work and your child will feel better.
Charles caught an extremely contagious strain of flu that was going around. He caught it when his molars were coming through, i.e. when he was teething. Apparently babies’ immune systems are weakened when they are teething and they are more susceptible to catching viruses!!
My poor boy not only had painful gums, but he also caught the dreaded flu which lasted just over a month. That month was probably one of the most difficult periods in raising Charles; it was nearly as tough as his ‘colic period’. Charles struggled to breathe and he would cough like crazy. I caught the same virus, so I could understand what he was going through. I had headaches, the shivers, a chesty cough and other flu symptoms. I could hear his cough and I felt so sorry for him, especially as he was too young to be able to cough up the phlegm.
I worried about all sorts of potential issues: what if he can’t breathe? Will there be any long-term damage to his health? And could this develop into asthma? – especially as my husband has asthma.
One of the hardest parts of this period was the lack of sleep. Before Charles was ill, he would settle down easily to sleep and would sleep a full 12 hours at night. When he was ill, the constant coughing would wake him up through the night and he was unable to settle himself back to sleep. He would wake me up and for hours each night I would be awake, looking after my baby.
I often let him sleep on me at night, even though I knew this was a bad and unsafe habit. But what was I supposed to do? He wanted to be with me and I was worried about him. In a way, we bonded more. I felt a little bit closer to him when he was sleeping on me. It was tough; the lack of sleep and waking up early for work meant that I struggled to recover as well. I know now I should have taken time off to recover, but I felt guilty, especially as I recently had such a long maternity leave. I also very busy at work.
I dreaded giving my baby antibiotics, but it was advised we try him with them. The antibiotics would clear the symptoms in the short term, however they were unable to crack the virus. The best thing for him we did was to keep him calm, rested and fed. Eventually he, my husband, my nanny, my mother and I would all crack this virus.
Looking back, this was a very emotional period. I often found myself fighting back the tears. It affected my relationship with my husband as my tiredness made me lash out at him. I felt guilty and worried about my son, my job and getting over this period. But as always, as the time passed, we all got better and everything went back to normal.