Having another human to rear and look after has been a steep learning curve for me, and it’s not over yet. I will probably be flying by the seat of my pants for the rest of my life. So to say this year has been life changing is an understatement.
Still when things do happen and I can not deal with it the way I would have pre-bub I can’t believe I am surprised.
I never get sick. The common cold and flu have not affected me for many years, what I do get is gastro. And it was a nasty visit from the gastro bug in May that welcomed an influx of other bugs that had me eating my previous statement. I got sick. A lot. We all did. In fact both Archer and I were sick for all of June (and are only now seeing the end of it).
Archer had impressed our GP time and again by his resilience in not picking up a bug. “I take it he is not in childcare yet?” was the usual health care professional response to his abundance of health. Well, no but he does socialise with other children, whom I’ll have you know have been sick. It’s not like I have been keeping him in a bubble and pumping pure oxygen and antibiotics into the air system.
So I wore the smug badge of my big tough health kid with honour.
Then I got sick. I had gastro, then a week later I had a throat infection. Through all this Bub showed no sign of succumbing to my illnesses. However one week later, a grumpy, out-of-sorts, red cheeked baby emerged. Our GP confirmed, not teething – got a virus. At the same time I got the flu.
So we were grumpy, feverish and snotty together. Charming. Poor SNH.
It was at this point that something dawned on me. In the past whilst suffering from flu I would go to ground for a day or two. Spend the time slubbing it in front of the TV watching DVDs, drinking hot tea, eating vegemite toast and generally behaving like a dreg. I would then arise from my snotty throne on the mend ready to tackle work/life. But alas having a small person to look after has shot that dream of couch days out of the air.
I had to drag my sorry-self, shaking with fever-chills, out of bed and look after the baby.
My amazing mum, stopped writing her PhD just as she was coming into the home stretch (the end is so close we can almost touch it!) and came to help out. And as it was unbelievably generous of her to come, I could not in good faith leave her with the baby and go sit on the couch to veg.
So onward we trudged in illness. Eventually after a few nights of restlessness the baby came to sleep in our bed, every night, all night. And SNH went to sleep on the couch to escape the hideous noises that sick people make while they sleep.
Until one friday night as I was changing the baby ready for his evening bath I noticed an angry rash on his thighs. Off SNH and I rushed to the Children’s Hospital in Randwick, where we sat for the next 5 hours as his rash spread to his arms and face, waiting. Eventually we found out from the pediatrician it was hives – an allergic reaction to his virus. In effect the death rattle of his virus. Thank goodness he was on the mend.
The next day baby and I both felt remarkably well and improved. Huzzah! Our joy was short lived, as we both caught another virus and spiraled back down into illness.
It has taken weeks for Bub to get better and just as I was starting to feel normal once more, SNH came home from work feeling poorly (after dodging all our snot bullets of sick in the past) and he came down hard with manflu, I quickly succumbed once again and was miserable. AGAIN!? The third time!
So while SNH had a couple of couch days, I looked on enviously as I looked after the baby or worked on freelance work. Not begrudging him the time honoured rite of couch days, but wishing that one day I would once again get a chance to slub it like that.
That day came last Friday. And let me tell you it was glorious.
While Bub was with his grandparents, I finished my freelance work before morning tea then crawled under the blanket on the couch and went to sleep. When I awoke SNH was calling to tell me he was heading home after a failed attempt to return to work. Then we spent the rest of the day watching John Carter on DVD (very good!), drinking hot tea and eating vegemite sandwiches on fresh bread.
And wouldn’t you know it? It was just what the doctor ordered. The next day I felt restored. And we spent the weekend doing lovely family things, like paddling the water at Bundeena on an unusually warm Sunday and feeding the cockatoos at Audley on our return.
The upshot? All is not lost, it’s just changed and I must learn to change with it.
Oh and I hate being sick.