Like Fleming McWilliams and David Bowie before me, I find that I am afraid of many things. Not Americans so much (although I wouldn't want to run into Scarlett O'Hara in a dark alley. She be crazy.
), perhaps, but a lot of little things. Driving on ice. Snakes. Singing in public. Singing in public while driving with a snake on ice.
What really scares me though, is not being able to help my boys. A few weeks ago now, when Baby was just three weeks, the dreaded gastro bug that has been circling the town (nay, the world it seems) hit the boys. We caught vomit, both with our clothes and our hands. Baby somehow got it too. One day he vomited so often that I had to change my clothes more than ten times and Adrian at least four. We took him into the hospital as he had gotten jaundiced too.
I hated being at the hospital. I have great respect for (most) doctors and nurses. I am impressed by that which they have to contend. They checked out my boy. Thoroughly. They watched as he vomited on me again and again (on special occasion, he managed to vomit across the room and into my open handbag). They brought him blankets and towels to be rugged up in to get away from the vomit. They ordered tests and admitted us.
It is a bizarre experience to be admitted into a hospital as a companion. There was nothing wrong with me and yet I was in a hospital. My boy was that sick. And I couldn't fix him. Neither, it seemed, could they.
That's when it got scarier. They took obs. they checked his blood sugar. He screamed whenever he got hit with a needle. He screamed in general really. Definitely if I put him down or someone else held him. When I'd run off to have a shower, I could hear him scream from down the hall and tried to hurry back as quick as I could. I could not stand to see him in distress. Heck, I was in distress. I wanted to be home, especially after a night of less than two hours sleep holding my sad, sick, loud baby. Home would mean he was getting better. Yet, the spew kept coming. I gave up changing until I was entirely covered. They came to take blood and had to stab him four times to get it. I was ready to punch everyone in the face and run off with him, even as I knew that they were doing their best to help him.
We had to stay a second night. I cried. It meant my family was still split apart (and yes, only for a couple nights), but because of terrible sickness and unknown. They would not let him go because he was not stable. Not stable? Were his obs. not fine every time they checked him? How was he not stable?
Babies are fragile. We all know not to shake them and to support their tiny necks, but I've always been impressed with the strength of newborns. Birth is not the most gentle of times. Babies, I thought, were highly resilient. Babies, it seems, can go downhill incredibly quickly when they are sick and he needed to stay.
I cried so much in those days. I cried when he cried out of pain in his belly. I cried when they took his blood. I cried when they told me they had to take more blood later that day. I cried when they took it. I cried when my boys visited and asked me to come home with them. I cried when Tall told me he loved me. I cried when he had blood three days later and five days later at his ultrasound when he wailed (at that age, the vomiting could mean a problem with his digestive system and needed to be checked out).
The boys visited a few times in those couple days, but even though they enjoyed the toys in the paeds. department, they were a bit too active for the ward. I missed them. I ached for Baby. I longed for the comfort of being with Adrian. I read the Word for strength. I worried and prayed and fed and fed and fed and prayed it would stay down.
Those days are past now. Baby is fine now, praise God. He still vomits occasionally, in the way that babies do. He is content and healthy according to all tests.
It was a scary time and it was short. My heart goes out to all of those families for whom hospital visits are long and prognoses not good. I know some of you are going through this and that you have pains you are suffering: you are in our prayers. May God our Father grant you comfort and healing and may you ever trust in the gifts He has given through His Son - life everlasting and forgiveness bought through His own suffering and loss.