P has only been in the world for 4 weeks and as a parent of two I’ve already had to split myself in half.
On a daily basis since P was born I’ve had to choose him over his big brother, especially in those times where he has needed me for feeding, changing or cuddles.
He has needed me more and I’ve had to give LB the attention as and when I’ve been able to. After 3.5 years of having my undivided attention that’s been tough on LB
and on my mum guilt.
However this week LB needed me more …..
On Tuesday LB got really poorly and as it got worse we ended up in hospital by Wednesday.
What started as a little rash which the doctors said was a viral infection on Tuesday, quickly became a worse rash and swelling of LB’s feet and ankles. We called the doctors back that evening and was told it sounded like Urticaria. Which I promptly googled and as it seemed like a common rash I didn’t think too much about it. We were told to go into the doctors surgery in the morning so they could have another look as this was diagnosed over the phone.
On Wednesday the doctor said if this was urticaria it was the worst case he had ever seen. Google had told me it was a common issue seen by 1 in 5 people throughout their lives so I was slightly more concerned now and so was the doctor, as he said he wanted to call a paediatrician and we were sent straight to the children’s ward at our local hospital.
By the time we got to the doctors and then the hospital LBs hands and knees had swollen up also and he couldn’t walk.
As soon as he put any weight on his legs or hands he was crying in pain.
It was absolutely heartbreaking, but i knew i had to stay strong and not show any panic.
At the hospital we saw numerous Paediatricians and Dermatologists who couldn’t place what was wrong. The swelling seemed like one thing and the rash another and they couldn’t match it up with a diagnosis. It could simply be an infection or an allergic reaction to something.
LB had to have blood tests and a canula put in his hands in case they needed to administer any drugs quickly. You can imagine how this went down with a scared 3 yr old.
He screamed and screamed and it was horrible to have to pin him down in order for them to do what was necessary. They bandaged up the hand with the canula so he didn’t have to look at it and he told me he couldn’t use it now as it was ‘broken’.
B was at work, not able to concentrate at all and he got to the hospital in the afternoon in bits. Its amazing how I was managing to stay a lot stronger than he was. There was no way he would have coped listening to LB’s screams and seeing him in pain like I did.
The doctors told us that they would like us to go and stay at another hospital for one possibly two nights while they tried to give him some drugs and work out what was going on, so B went home to sort P and pack us some bags.
LB’s bloods came back with high white blood cell count and Infection Markers so they couldn’t start him on the steroids they had hoped, so it was just calpol while they tried to work things out. The call seemed to make a difference to LBs mood and pain as he did perk up and did stand up for the first time all day. A consultant came up at about 8.30pm and said that as they couldn’t give any drugs and the rash was starting to go down it seemed she thought that sending LB home was the best thing. She said especially with children you find that they improve better at home (unless medication is needed) as they are more likely to act as normal and as mum, you know best, so it was best to just keep an eye on him and come back in a few days. We had open door policy at the hospital for 4 days in case anything flared up badly again.
Thank Goodness it didn’t and LB spent a few days on the sofa but by our appointment on Friday he was walking around and everything was so much better, though still there. The doctors were very happy with his recovery but still we don’t know whether it’s something that could be recurring or if it was a one off. Now 5 days later the rash, bruising and swelling has gone and we are just left with a snotty nose and cough-that i can handle!
All the nurses, doctors and play specialists were fantastic and while we were there I noticed they had a poster up saying they have an Amazon wishlist for toys for kids to play with while they are there-something i will be having a look through to say thanks.
LB was kept entertained with playdoh and building blocks throughout our visit and the play specialist even tried to keep him entertained and his mind off the needles with bubbles, a slinky and a Peppa Pig sound book
This was a scary situation and made even worse by the fact that I had to leave P.
I knew he was fine with my MIL but this was the longest I had left him,
he was only 3.5 weeks old and i felt lost.
I didn’t leave LB for that long till he was about 9 weeks old and that was to go out for dinner for my 30th.
All I could think was i hope he’s ok and thank goodness I’m not breastfeeding.
With a newborn you generally feel fragile and so tired, so to have had to have dealt with him as well as LB at the hospital I’m not sure how I would have coped.
I managed to stay strong throughout the experience but it has hit me over the following days. Constantly checking on LB as he sleeps, not getting a minute to myself and the mental drain of the worrying situation has left me exhausted and worried.
I obviously had the classic second time mum worries of how i was possibly going to love someone as much as LB, whether my feelings would split in half or whether my love would double? P has simply fitted in, as soon s he was here i felt content – yes I have the newborn worries, the sleepless nights to contend with and not knowing why he is screaming at me but when i am holding him in my arms everything feels perfect.
Also to see how LB is with him is beautiful.
He is such a caring big brother, who wants to help however he can and cuddle him as much as possible. He talks to him, tells him he loves him and gives him kisses constantly.
He’s such a proud big brother.
The horrible thing is this situation made me think of all the times i am going to have to ‘choose’ one of my boys over the other in the future.
It may be over something simple like who’s football match to watch,
or another horrible situation like this week.
You just have to go with who needs you most.
As a mum your main focus will always be your kids
and making sure they are safe and happy.
I just hope I can do the best possible, be all they could need
and that they always know how much I love them.