It's that time of year. The time of year I dread, the time of year I'm so scared of for Felix. Whilst he lays up in his cot tonight coughing away I get an overwhelming fear. The fear that we might end up back in hospital again. The fear that they will prod him and poke him. The fear of seeing them put needles on him and the fear of watching him struggle to breathe. It makes my heart race and my head spin.
It's almost a year to the day that Felix got bronchiolitis last year. Almost a year since he was admitted into that scary, noisy children's ward. He had only been out of neonatal for 6 weeks and I had foolishly assumed we would go back there when they told me we wouldn't be going home. Neonatal was a place of comfort and security at that time. Instead he was taken to the children's ward and placed into an isolation bay with 6 other babies and toddlers who had the same horrid virus. 6 babies and toddlers that couldn't breathe. Parents sat for hours next to their babies watching the monitors and oxygen levels rise and fall. Before I had time to process it, I was one of them.
I was on my own with Felix for 2 long days because Ben was at home with a poorly Marley. I wasn't breastfeeding anymore so I wasn't eligible for any food and I couldn't leave Felix to go and buy my own food because it was so busy and no one could take my place to sit with him. I didn't have a clean pair of knickers or any pyjamas to wear. I didn't even have a toothbrush with me. I also had the tail end of Felix's virus and I felt so so rotten. All in all I was a tired, worried, hungry mess. I felt like a deer in headlights. Every beep and every alarm panicked me and I had no one to share the worry with.
So when he starts to cough and his breathing is heavy it brings it all back. Even the smell of the vapour plugin in his bedroom makes me feel strange. I don't want him to have to go back there. Ever. I don't want to go back there. Ever.
But this year Felix is one year older and I am one year wiser and that has to make all the difference. I know what to look out for. I know that my gut is almost always right. I have confidence to speak my mind with doctors, something I did not have a year ago. Last year I had only had Felix home with me for 6 weeks and I was beyond exhausted. Whilst I was there I was told Felix would likely spend most of the winter in hospital but he didn't. He hasn't needed any help this year despite the fact we thought he might need some. He is growing and thriving.
I may have already packed our hospital bags in my head. I may have already decided what pyjamas, knickers and food I will take in this year. I may be making my husband go a little bit stir crazy with my constant "do you think he is ok?" "Do you think he will end up in hospital again" questions and my friends might think I've gone a bit mad because I'm always worried about him but i've decided that is ok. It's ok to worry. We all worry. I have accepted that whilst he is small this time of year will always be a worry for me. Suppressing that worry won't do anything except make it worse so if it's at all possible to embrace it then I'm going to. I'm not going to try and convince myself it won't happen but instead reassure myself that if it does we are both allot stronger.
So to all you mamas that have the same worries that I do this winter. Rest assured that you are not alone. It's just one of those things that we have to take a leap of faith on. It's out of our control. And our babies are often allot stronger than we think they are.
The Guilty Mummy