Now, don’t get me wrong, I did know that children come with worry for their parents, but I didn’t appreciate just how much you worry about them until recently.
I’m not referring to those early first-time-parent worries, during those first few months when every new parent worries are they doing it right, looking after their baby correctly or whether they’re getting it totally wrong. I mean the really terrifying times that come with so much worry that you feel physically sick with panic, anxiety and fear all mixed in together.
My first so far, bearing in mind BattleKid is only 15 months old, came just after Christmas when BattleKid was in the throes of a bad cold and a bout of painful teething. He had been running a temperature during the day and nursery called around 3pm to ask if they could give him Calpol. “Yes of course” was my answer. When I got there at 5.50pm he was down to his vest and nappy and still very warm but seemed happy in himself. I got him dressed, took him home and we had a cool-ish bath as he was still warmer than I was comfortable with.
During his bath his lower legs and feet, and his lower arms and hands went quite blotchy, and he got very hot afterwards as I dressed him for bed. He was quite whingy and tetchy but I put it down to being warm and tired. I gave him his bottle but he threw it straight back up, and then proceeded to get listless and very hot to the touch, until I measured his temperature at 40.2C.
At this stage the panic set in. I called BattleDad to see how far away he was (it was Thursday evening, so home-time for him) and he was only 15 minutes away. “Hurry please” I said. In the meantime I Googled a temperature over 40C in a 12 month old to see what I should do.
As BattleDad arrived home, he felt BattleKid, then took his temperature again and we decided to call the out-of-hours doctor as we were quite worried about his temperature being over 40C. The out-of-hours number made an appointment for us at our local hospital and we waited until it was ready to make our way there for our 9.15pm slot. BattleKid was sleeping in my arms and was still very hot to the touch. That wait was the longest wait of my life. We eventually made our way to the hospital and saw a very nice doctors quite quickly who examined BattleKid. He gave us advice and calmed our nerves and sent us home as, in his words, he
“didn’t want to admit the baby as he seems okay in himself and his temperature is starting to comedown. There are far sicker babies upstairs and I don’t want to expose him to them.”
This was fair enough, and we went away much calmer, armed with good advice and reassurance that if we felt we needed to come back we should. I am so grateful to that doctor for how he handled us, as first-time parents, as well as BattleKid.
We went home but although I was calmer I was still worrying about BattleKid. After going to bed ourselves, knackered and drained, I lay awake thinking that I did not want to leave BattleKid in his room alone, but knew he wouldn’t settle in our bed. So, I dragged the duvet from the spare bedroom and slept on the floor beside BattleKid’s cot ALL NIGHT LONG. I hardly slept at all, listening to every breath, moan, groan and cry, and pausing my own breathing each time in case he needed me. It was a long, pretty sleepless night and I had a sore back the next morning from sleeping on the floor but it was the only way I was prepared to spend the night.
In the morning BattleDad asked where I had gone and I told him. He asked why I hadn’t woken him and just put up the travel cot beside our bed, that he would have helped. I hadn’t even thought of the travel cot in my worried state. All I knew was that I couldn’t leave BattleKid on his own, still running quite a high temperature.
I got up tired but relieved in my decision to sleep on his floor that morning. His temperature had come down a little and we had a lazy day as it gradually subsided. We also erected the travel cot in our room just in case we needed it that night. Thankfully we didn’t but it has come in handy since for two separate nights where he has gotten sick in his cot.
But this episode proved two things to me.
- No matter how “worried” you think you have been/will be about your children, there is a whole other level of worry around the corner for you. It will shock you, instil fear and anxiety in you, but you will cope. It will subside and you will learn from it.
- You will be surprised at the lengths you will go to for your children. No matter how small or big it is, you will always put your kids needs before your own without a second thought and in the blink of an eye, even if it means a broken back from sleeping on their bedroom floor!
We got through our first real “worry” with BattleKid under advice from the doctor and we have been better armed since in dealing with those pesky teething temperatures. We learned from the experience. I’m wondering what the next worry episode will bring.
Have you gone through anything similar and what lengths did you go to for your child(ren)?