Well all I can say right now, is what a week it's been. It was only the other day I thought to myself "wow, my immune system has really perked up since being pregnant, I've not been properly ill since having Princess". It seems someone was listening and thought it was clearly unfair that I had not been ill in so long so decided now was the perfect time to pass me along a nice little cold.
Monday morning started off as any other day, that was until I got out of bed. Leaning over Princess's cot in order to change her nappy I was overcome with cold sweats, stomach ache and the knowledge that I was about to throw up. Fortunately for me, that moment didn't come - the last thing any Mum wants is to throw up all over her child, talk about traumatic. On the bad side, this continued all day. The nausea was so strong I often found myself running to the bathroom, only for it to disappear. For the rest of the day I carried around our nominated sick bowl and felt ever so sorry for myself.
The next day was much better. The nausea had gone and so had the stomach ache. However, my joy was short lived as mine and Princess's noses started to run simultaneously. We both then began with the sneezing which was uncontrollable. The watering eyes came next. Whilst trying to wipe away the tears, blow my nose and wipe away the forever flowing snot from Princess's nose, the achiness decided to make an appearance. By the time OH made it home from work I was so determined that I would not let this illness beat me, I put Princess to bed and whipped out the paintbrush and gloss and got to work. After only an hour of glossing it came to the first wake up call. She usually sleeps for longer than an hour when I first put her to bed, but I was half way up the stairs anyway so I didn't mind.
However, Princess quite simply turned her nose up at her bottle of juice and her bottle of milk. Instead I had to stroke her hair until she fell back to sleep. Usually I love doing this, it's one of the things that I love about being a Mum, being the only person able to soothe my daughter back to sleep. But, standing over her cot, tissue wrapped around my nose and attempting to wipe my eyes and not sneeze all over her, turned out to be far more difficult than I would have hoped. Finally she fell back to sleep so I decided to give up on the glossing and go and watch some TV. Ten minutes later came another wake up call. I can tell you that sometimes this is normal, for the first few hours of her bedtime Princess can wake up literally ten times. It doesn't bother me, I'm completely used to it now. It's not so much fun running up and down the stairs whilst you feel like death warmed up, but you deal with it.
Now to cut a long story short, I didn't get a wink of sleep that night. Not even five minutes. That's no exaggeration, it's the truth. I've pulled all nighters with her before when she's been ill, but not when we've been ill at the same time. OH took his quilt downstairs and slept on the sofa - and I don't blame him! Princess was quite obviously not happy, she couldn't breathe through her nose meaning she couldn't drink properly. Nothing on this earth could settle her.
The next day I planned on grabbing a nap whenever she slept. I was convinced that at some point exhaustion would take over. Surprisingly it didn't. She refused her nap, refused her lunch and refused any cuddles. By the time it came back around to bedtime I was sure that she'd have to sleep now. She went to bed at 9pm and I settled on the sofa to watch some TV before bed. By the time OBEM had finished, Princess was awake again. Once again she refused any sort of bottle and any comfort. The one thing that caught my attention this time however, was the barking cough that followed every cry. After a few hours of Princess clearly not feeling well I called NHS Direct to be told to take her straight down to the Childrens Emergency Hospital. By this point it was 1am, I hadn't slept since Monday night (It was now Wednesday) and I was feeling it. We took a taxi to the childrens clinic and saw the Doctor there who before even examining her told us she definitely had croup. Because it was now 2am and no pharmacies were open he told us to take her over to the hospital. He said that because it had only started at 10pm and that it had developed so quickly and she was so bad with it that she needed steroids and observation. He also mentioned the possibility of oxygen. At that moment my eyes filled with tears imagining my poor baby girl hooked up by wires to various monitors. It's something I can imagine every parent would say is their worst nightmare (not the oxygen part, but their child being hospitalised).
We took her over to the hospital and was seen straight away by paediatrics. Every Doctor we saw all said the same thing "she has croup". Now don't get me wrong, I'm glad that these Doctors weren't fobbing us off and telling us to simply 'give her some paracetamol and she'll be fine' but having to explain over and over and over again why you are there is possibly the most infuriating thing ever. If three Doctors have already established she has severe croup then treat her for it. Why pass us about from ward to ward, doctor to doctor, if her illness has already been confirmed?
Finally we were sent into a playroom where once again we had to explain why we were there to a Doctor, but she then told us she would be back to administer steroids to Princess and then see how she goes. A junior nurse came back to do these steroids. I understand that every junior doctor/nurse whatever has to learn, but to cut open my childs gum (where a new tooth is breaking through I might add) trying to give her a syringe of steroids is not the best way to go about it. It was coming up to 4am, I still hadn't slept, neither had Princess and all I wanted to do was go home. Eventually we saw another Doctor (who I had to describe to AGAIN why we were there) who decided she seemed well enough to go home. We were told if she got any worse or her breathing became shortened we were to go straight back.
We finally arrived home at 5am. Princess had fallen to sleep in the taxi and I was very grateful for that. I whisked her straight up to her bedroom, wrapped her up and promptly curled up in my own bed. That morning she slept until 11am (with 8 wake up calls inbetween) but I can't express my relief when she finally took a bottle of milk from me and settled with it straight away.
Thursday daytime was a bit nerve wracking, I was constantly wondering if she would suddenly get much worse considering how quickly the croup had come on in the first place, but thankfully apart from feeling a bit fragile, she seemed fine. We both grabbed a cheeky nap on the sofa whilst Dad cleaned up and by the time we woke up, we were back to normal.
Well almost, it's now Friday daytime and I still have my cold. To accompany my cold I now have an awful hacking cough. Princess seems a lot better now, apart from croakiness and a new appreciation for Mummy's cuddles, she's on the mend. Now I think it's my turn.So that has been my week so far. It was an interesting, tiring and scary one all at once. One thing I know for sure, is I'll be glad when it's over.