A challenging stretch

March 31, 2012 in Misc, Parenting by pacejmiller

There are very good reasons why I haven’t posted on this blog for a little while — I had been going through a pretty challenging stretch and I’m glad to say things are finally starting to get better.

My son recently contracted acute bronchitis, which is horrible enough for an adult but insanely, ridiculously difficult for a 3-month-old baby. It started with an occasional blocked nose which we put down to a change in the weather. But a couple of days later, that developed into a small cough, which we thought would get better on its own in due course. But then one night he had a fever for the very first time, and it drove us mad with panic. I’ve heard many stories of babies getting sick and having fevers and so forth, but when it happens to your own the terror is enhanced hundredfold.

Fortunately, the fever went away over night, but when we took him to the doctors the next day (in place of my highly anticipated Hunger Games viewing) we were shocked to learn that he had acute bronchitis, which, if not treated properly, could evolve into pneumonia, which is of course deadly for infants.

As you can probably imagine, the last week has been a nightmare. The little one struggled with a sickening cough and copious amounts of phlegm, which we needed to trying and break down with a vapouriser and then pat out or suck out through the nose.  Feeding him medicine through a syringe was exhausting as he clearly did not like the taste.  And then there’s the sleep problem.  On some nights we would be lucky to get 1 hour of uninterrupted sleep and 3 hours of broken sleep in total.  Not exactly what you need when you have to go to work the next day.

It was, of course, more difficult for my poor wife, who still has to breastfeed him every couple of hours.  The problem with a sick child (especially one that probably has a sore throat) is that they don’t feel like eating/drinking, which is a huge problem as they can dehydrate very easily. So on the one hand we were worried he wasn’t getting enough fluids, but on the other we were dreading the constant feeds.

The fatigue took its toll, as both my wife and I fell sick over the next couple of days.  We had no doubt contracted it from our son because our immune systems were so shot from the lack of sleep. So it was two exhausted, sleep-deprived, sick parents looking after a sick baby every night for almost a week.

To top things off, the freelance project I had been working on for 3 months — the one that had run into multiple delays — was suddenly urgent!  Yes. Overnight, the project went from “take your time” to “we need to publish the entire book this week for the London Book Fair”!  On the bright side, it was kind of good to push myself to finally get the damn project out the way so it would not longer be hanging over me — but let me assure you, it wasn’t a pretty few days.  Luckily work was quite breezy and didn’t compound my problems.

Now at last, the project is all done — completed, finished, done and dusted.  Forever.

After two more checkups at the doctors it appears my son is out of the woods and is getting better day by day, though it might still be a little while before the nagging cough goes away.  As for me, I’m recovering as well but it’s going pretty slow — it’s hard when you’re still not getting sufficient rest.  We’ve been taking shifts looking after him (while the other sleeps) but my wife has been kind enough to let me sleep through the last couple of nights so I feel at least semi-alive during the day.

So hopefully the worst is now over and soon my life will start having more of a routine, where I can not only write regularly on this blog but also work on my other writing projects from time to time. I have something like 50 post drafts waiting for me to get to, so I better get started.