My sweet boy is now 8 months old. It’s unbelievable. In four months, we’ll be celebrating his very first birthday. It truly feels like yesterday that we met him. So clichéd.
I really love writing these updates. They make my heart so happy. It’s been quite cathartic to sit down and think back to all the things that happened over the course of the month. It’s funny how our minds work. We really do tend to only remember the good and I’ve had to really wrack my brain to remember the “bad”.
This month had an incredibly rocky start for the whole family but it’s turned around so beautifully that I actually forgot just hard it was. Let me fill you in (before I forget again).
First week of July
Charl was working in London. If you are unfamiliar with London’s Underground, it’s pretty much this: people packed like sardines into round shaped “trains”. Lots and lots of people carrying infinitely more germs. If you are not a regular on the “subway”, then your body responds in the same way as a toddler’s does when they start creche. It’s been a month and he’s still recovering from whatever bug he caught.
Germs are a massive problem for Seth. Huge! I pretty much forbade Charl to be near Seth without a face mask on. It was working really well until I woke up with excruciating pain near my coccyx. I honestly thought I had broken it. It was pain free one minute and the next, I couldn’t lie, sit or stand without crying. I’m not looking for sympathy or exaggerating what happened. I thought I knew aaallll about pain after childbirth but I knew nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Turns out, it was a cyst that turned into an abscess. Now, your ass crack is pretty prone to this, (who knew) but mine wasn’t the run of the mill pilonidal cyst. It was so deep that the two doctors who I begged to drain it, couldn’t reach it. I was also starting to develop sepsis so I was put on three different types of antibiotics and booked into theater that Friday. It would have been sooner but I explained to the doctors that my other half is so ill that he won’t be able to look after our son (his fever had him acting all kinds of crazy) so we agreed to throw as much antibiotics at it as we could and hope that the very early stage of sepsis doesn’t progress. I had to check in with them the following day to make sure because blood poisoning is not something you mess with.
Guys. When I tell you I was sick, I am playing it down. I spent the next three days out of my mind in pain and with the worst fever chills and hallucinations. I was so weak. You know that weakness that over comes you when you get food poisoning? That times ten. I know, because I’ve been hospitalized for food posing before. I can honestly say I have never been so sick in my life before.
I needed Charl’s help because I just couldn’t pick up our ten kilo kiddo. He then in turn spread his bug to Seth. (FUDGE!) It started out OK. Seth was a bit snotty and extra sleepy but nothing serious. I was still recovering so it kind of worked out because he napped for most of the day with me in our bed. I’m so thankful because he always has ants in his pants. By the third day, the antibiotics we’re doing their thing and I was starting to feel more human. I still needed to go to theater though but I thought screw it, I’m going to try drain this sucker myself because Charl is still ill and Seth isn’t looking too hot. The timing was just not ideal. One, very long hypodermic needle and a lot of swearing later, I managed to do it. The pain relief was instant. This is major TMI but, you guys read birth stories so shhh.
With my intervention, it managed to drain completely and had mostly healed by Friday morning so my afternoon booking was canceled. I do still have to have the cyst wall removed but for now it can stay there. I thought we were home free.
Friday morning Seth looked worse than the day before. I had called our pediatrician asking for advice around lunch time but I ended up rushing Seth to hospital early on Saturday morning because I just couldn’t get his fever down. Nothing I was giving him was bringing it down more than half a degree, only to shoot up even higher after an hour.
In the ward, it took ten hours before his fever came down to 38.5 followed by another agonizing four hours before it was 37.5 at which point they were happy to discharge him. I’m a very chilled out person. Bad / stressful things happen and I stay as cool as a cucumber but I was scared this time. Worried sick is more like it. It was just a viral infection but the way he screamed and cried and thrashed around really took it out of me. I was relieved that my bum was feeling better because I had to sit on an uncomfy hospital chair for fourteen hours. Although I wasn’t in pain or dizzy anymore, I was still weak and my body was tired. I couldn’t sleep at the hospital because Seth was inconsolable and Charl wasn’t allowed in the ward because he was ill. It was the longest day of my life. We got home late Saturday afternoon and we slept for most of Sunday. This was then followed up with weekly check-ins with his pediatrician to make sure he wasn’t developing a secondary bacterial infection.
The first seven days of July reminded me that I am so much stronger than I give myself credit for.
Second week of July
It was my turn to catch the bug and was hallucinating again from the fever. Seth was also still recovering so at least we got to sleep the days away. I had freelance deadlines though. Despite my best attempts to make my clients understand that I am sick as a dog and not just trying to score a few extra days on the deadline, one particular client wasn’t having it and I lost a substantial amount of money. Thankfully, I stick to my 50% upfront rule so I was able cover a bit of the project’s costs.
I felt so defeated. I’m not mad at my client though. I get it. At the beginning of the week I said I was sick with an abscess, then I delayed again because Seth was in hospital, then a third time when I got a viral infection. It sounds absurd to me even. Oh well. Shit happens… in threes.
Third week of July
The week of “realising things”.
I was feeling 80% better. Still extremely tired and still weak but well enough to sit down and work my butt off. I had money to recover so I was pitching left, right and center. It paid off. I finished my other projects and my cash flow was on the up. It was such a relief!
I had time to sit and really think about my life. I am still on maternity leave until November but I am not going back to my office job. Seth requires too many additional things and I don’t trust anyone else to do it. It sounds far-fetched, but if we don’t stick to his “regime”, we are literally taking days off his life expectancy. It’s a massive responsibility and I am not comfortable putting it in someone else’s hands.
I also realized that I better get used to that uncomfy hospital chair. I will be sitting in it often. This helped reinforce the feeling that I am doing the right thing. Staying home to care for him and work as much as I can in between the “good days” because that money is going to carry us when I am spending weeks by his side in recovery. I also laughed at the thought of my previous employer being OK with me taking two to three weeks off at a time to care for Seth. I’m sure they would have been on board for a little while but it just isn’t fair on them.
Then I started thinking about Seth. He’s such a trooper and he doesn’t even know it. He takes all of it in his stride. Of course, this is his normal and he’ll never know any different, but man, it is so inspiring. Fook I love this kid.
Fourth week of July
Life is back to normal. We’re healthy, going for walks to play in the park and trying our hand at homemade ice cream. It’s bliss. The rough start to the month is long forgotten.
Seth has a third tooth popping through. His first for the top row. His bottom two teeth are also slowly getting bigger and it looks like a reverse Bugs Bunny. It’s too adorable.
He’s figured out how to crawl this week. He’s been earth-worming his way all over the house but now he’s getting up on all fours and taking two awkward motions forward before face planting into the carpet. I am so proud… and so scared! ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED!
“Mama”, “dada” and “hello” are getting better and he’ll spend ages mumbling and screeching to his bunny and dinosaur plushies. Who knows what he’s telling them. Probably plotting ways to escape his cot and world domination… or laughing at farts. It’s hard to tell.
He’s got two new party tricks. The first one is shouting “MAMA” followed by him shoving his slimy teethers in my mouth. Thanks kid. Sharing is caring but I’ll pass. Poor Sophie.
The second one was shocking the first time it happened. I got such a fright. I was carrying him on my hip when he tuned his head violently towards my face, mouth open, and full on bit my chin. I had two tiny red dots on my chin for the rest of the day. What the hell? He now tries to bite my chin whenever he’s near my face. It’s cute but kind of gross and quite painful. I’ve gotten quick and shove Sophie in his mouth before the shark attacks. Poor Sophie.
And that’s all I can think of!
It was a good month. Tough times are just there to help you grow. I trust in that.
PS: His outfit is from Primark & his bunny is from Jellycat.