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From red carpets to rattles this is the journey of one working mother attempting to see if you really can have it all....

Monday, 6 May 2013

In that moment...

There are plenty of things we take for granted. I think when life is going well it is normal to expect that it is going to stay that way, it is natural to get a little complacent. And then life comes and gives you a giant kick up the backside...

Our kick came today and I think it is going to be a long time before we take the simple things for granted again, in fact I would like to think we never will again.

I think one of the scariest aspects of life is the unpredictability of it all. You very rarely, if ever, get a warning that something untoward is going to take place. You will be going about your day and then bam something happens that can change everything.

That moment happened to us today. Before I start I have to put that thankfully this story has a happy ending.

Today's bank holiday meant the chance for one of us to have an extra sleep in and today was my lucky day. So while I slept soundly DD got up with the piglet and gave her breakfast, which he later remarked wasn't very large, but at the time he put it down to her being a little gummed up with a cold. She was tired apparently so had a morning nap, again nothing unusual with this, the morning was textbook.

When she woke an hour or so later DD decided enough was enough and that daddy daycare was closed for the morning so bought her in to me for a cuddle. Terribly congested she kept snuggling into my neck which was welcomed but slightly unusual, as since she has learnt to crawl she wants to be on the move all the time and cuddles just slow her down. 

"Wowsers she is a hot little bunny,"  I casually remarked.

"I think it's time the winter sleeping bag was retired for the season"

"Haha look she is trying to stop herself from falling back" joked DD as the piglet did a jerky movement while sitting.

But then she jerked again. And then again, and in that split second our smiles were gone.

Our baby was fitting.

In all honesty the following sequence most likely took seconds, but it did feel like an age. 

First she was fitting, her eyes rolling back and I was picking her up from the bed. Then I was throwing her at DD who ran downstairs with her whilst I scrambled to put clothes on. It is funny the things that go through your head in moments of crisis but I remember having an internal arguement with myself over whether I had time to put on a bra...

Running for the lifts I tried not to look, I think I knew that if I gave myself a chance to process what was going on I wouldn't be of much use to anyone. DD later explained how it felt like he was holding a dead person, how her body was limp and her eyes not blinking. I'm glad I didn't look.

The lifts in our complex have been playing up so after a few seconds of nothing we made a run for it. Normally when we go down the stairs piggy makes a little sound with each step, a noise that's a bit like a mix of a burp sound and a humph. Today the only sound I could hear was DD pleading with his monkey to make any kind of sound at all.

The hospital is 8 minutes away, today it took 5 minutes. I'll probably get a speeding fine, but I don't give a damn. Half way there she started whimpering. It was a 'thank god' moment when we were given a clue that things might not be as bad as we first feared. I think that was when DD and I started to breathe again.

The medical term for what happened today is a febrile convulsion. It should be called giving your parents a heart attack. They take place when the body suffers a huge spike in temperature. Apparently they are quite common. DD had one when he was the exact same age. But although bloody terrifying, they are not overly serious. There are several causes, illness is the most common. A small percentage of babies have one after they have had their immunisation shots. Piggy had her shots on Saturday, but as we found out today she has a bad virus, so either or both could be to blame in this instance.

A few distressing tests, some pain relief and some monitoring over a few hours and we were discharged. We were told to keep an eye on her temperature,to keep her cool at all times and were assured that this would most likely be the end of it all.

It was after we had put the pickle in her cot for the night that the tears started. Neither of us bothered to justify them, we both knew exactly where they were coming from. A mix of relief and a horrible sense of what might have been.

I'm writing this from the floor of her room, I'm taking the first shift. Tonight I won't grumble if she wakes in the night for no other reason than she wants a cuddle. If she wants a night feed she has got it, to hell with 'the routine'.

We had one hell of a day, certainly not the nicest way to spend a bank holiday but tonight we are the luckiest people in the world. We came home with a poorly but otherwise healthy little girl. Many other parents are going through much worse right now and my heart is hurting for them.

The cliches are true, moments like this put it all in perspective. Nothing is more important than the health and well being of our loved ones. We could have the best, most fulfilling jobs in the world. We could be super rich and be able to buy whatever, whenever we wanted. But if we, and those we love don't have good health we have nothing at all.

I hope I remember this the next time I feel hard done by...

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