Whooping Cough

He was always being sick, I was not imagining it nor was I imagining that noise he was making . It sounded like whooping cough, but he was only two weeks old?

I was at my whits end, he had started being sick before I had even left the hospital, yet no one would listen to me. I had had enough and so here I was in the Drs surgery siting in the hall way, mind you, because my beautiful baby was coughing so much he was being sick and I could not stand the reproving looks from the other waiting, patients.

I was sweating  and stressed I knew this baby was ill, I had been through some very scary things with my other two boys .  P spending the first fortnight of his life in an incubator  because he had ‘post natal distress’ . Both boys had had collapsed lungs due to asthma, M had had his tonsils out then hemorrhaged when I got him home! he and P had both had Measles and Mumps and chickenpox to name a few , need I go on I did know a sick child when I saw one!

Finally the Dr called us in. I had known him now for the last nine years and he insisted we use first names  which did make things feel easier. He was not happy with J he was not sure if he had a blockage in his throat or stomach but also felt that as I knew my baby best, I could be right in my diagnosis ! I can tell you now I did not want to be right!

All the Dr could do was pat me on the shoulder and pack us off to the nearest hospital. He had rung ahead and alerted the pediatric  ward of our plight. I do no remember how I got to the hospital , there were no mobile phones, I did not drive in those days and I doubt I took the bus. I should think I had either phoned my husband from the surgery,and  as all of my friends who drove would also of had children and I could not in all conscience expose any of them to whatever it was that J had.

I remember being in the hospital though, I was with J in a single room a glass wall separating us from the nursing station. I did not realize immediately that J was on the danger list and we were in a Barrier Nursing Ward. I was wearing a gown and watching  my baby, my little boy sleeping fitfully and coughing , coughing, coughing!

I spent whole days there and often late into the evenings, my husband joining m morning e as often as he could. My neighbour helped by picking the boys up from school and feeding them for me. I had often looked after her daughter, even taken her on holiday……. but I still felt bad. I would drop them off at school in the morning  then go straight up to the hospital.  I don’t remember how but I managed to shop and do the washing look after the boys and one weekend we even had visitors.

One weekend my husband brought P and M and the little girl next door to see J, they were not allowed on the ward so my husband walked them right round the building and they waved and made faces through the window….. good job we were on the ground floor. It hurt me to see them touching the glass, looking so sad, they really loved and missed J.

For some reason it took the medical staff nearly a fortnight to finally tell us for certain that J had Whooping Cough! How did he get that straight out of hospital, I just don’t know. He was so ill it was awful, I had to watch him suffering that awful cough. Every time he was sick I had to feed him a bottle of milk  then he would sleep then the cough would start. Then one weekend I had gone home for a rest, ( we had visitors ). I had just had a bath and got ready to face the world when the hospital rang to say it was touch and go. They asked us not to come in as there was nothing we could do and we would only get upset.

Get up……… I was upset. I stood in the hall looking at the phone, when our guests came out to ask when we were going out for our meal. ……. I don’t remember what or if I ate all I remember is worrying…………….

However  he  made it  through  the  night, he  took months  to recover   infact it  was over a year  before  he really improved. I  could  not take  him out until the summer,  he was born in the January  and  was not able  to be taken out  until late May early  June.

He  is a grown man  now with a baby  of  his  own….

Down the Ladder!

It suddenly hit me as I reached up and put the clean nappies into the airing cupboard!! OH! my God! What on earth is happening, how am I  ever going to cope. Whatever  was I thinking, that it was all going to be plain sailing??

My eldest was ten and the next lad was eight, I had survived traumas of the pediatric special care units, bringing home new babies that had been wired up and tube fed. Babies that refused to take a bottle or sleep one of which could and would cry and scream for hours!! Got through ear, nose and eye infections, sun burn, sickness, sleepless night endless lonely days with no one to talk to. A bout of measles, not to mention mumps, chicken pox ect . Been though the day nursery blues and finally they were settled into school and were acting like humans… well almost.

What had I done. I had thrown the dice and I had hit a ladder which I had slid right down. So two weeks after proudly and confidentially( well I had done this all before and twice)  bringing home a new baby . I realized  I had it all to do again but now it going to be more complicated! Feed wash and dress baby after an early hours night feed. Get boys up make sure they eat their breakfast and wash, have all their homework and kits and lunch boxes then put baby in pram and walk the boys to school.  After that walk up town and do the shopping, get home feed the baby  do as much housework and cooking as time and baby will allow, get baby out of cot or swing chair put in the pram.  Dash up to school, either walk boys to a friends or an after school activity  go home feed baby , get the boys ( with baby of course)  feed them make sure they do their homework before the TV can go on! Bath, feed and put baby’s night wear on, put him to bed sort out meal for husband if he was coming home , he was away or often very late  due to his  line of work.  Collapse, and that was only on  a good day when everything worked to plan.

I sat by the airing cupboard  and wept!…………..

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