Sunday rewind

An old post for a new day. This one from April, 2011, when we found ourselves in hospital with a tiny Ivy with pneumonia. Today is splinter-free and easy breathing, hope your Sunday is too. xx




It's not all about the birthing. Or the nursing or the sleeplessness or the timeless, endless juggle. Actually for me it's not about that at all. 

It's about the yards, really, the hard yards.

And if you'd told me in the beginning that holding a sick child would be a good and strong moment, I wouldn't have believed you. 

But that is where it's at.

When you hold your baby and they're burning up with a fever, I reckon that's when the real mother or father in you comes out. Not at breakfast, or storytime or bathtime, although these things are critical, it's at the bottom, right down in the dark and scary moments that we find ourselves as parents. 

It's doing the time. Carrying the torch. Holding the lantern. Particularly the first time they're really sick. You realise at that moment that you are fundamentally vulnerable. This little person is so much more important than anything else. You can feel the earth shift. Or maybe it's you. 

Little blighters. 

With Henry we found ourselves in hospital, in surgery, when he was only 6 weeks old. Inguinal hernia. I opted to hold him while they gave him the general anesthetic. For his four subsequent surgeries, I made Adam go in. There's nothing like holding a small person as they drift into unconsciousness, I could do without it again, thanks. 

Being there when they wake up, that's also a highlight. And if we're collecting parenting merit badges I'd have to list any time your child is strapped to an MRI or xray trolley, bound tight with adhesive medical tape to the table, another cannula in their arm. Oh Henry, I hope you become a wonderful cook and I can be a little less of a parent and a little more of a dinner guest.  

It'd be good to think you might get through without any of these moments. 

That's not going to happen. 

Unless you are so super careful that your smallie doesn't do anything or go anywhere you're probably going to cop a hard yard or two. 

My mother, like yours I'm sure, is full of war stories. A baby going into febrile convulsion in the car, miles from home. Glandular fever knocking a child out for three months. Children falling off the top of slippery dips. Broken bones. Dreadful burns. Spectacular injuries. 

And although they're awful, these moments really count. 

So there's more to my Good Friday story. As Adam and I were walking out the door between the doctors visit and the hospital, Tilly showed me her thumb and said, "it's really sore, Mum." I looked at it. I thought: please don't let that be an almighty splinter right under her thumbnail, the whole length of the nail. 

It was. With no end-y bit to pull it out. 

My excellent mother in law (who was a nurse for many years) reviewed the situation while Adam and I were with Ivy at the hospital. There was no way around it. She needed it taken out. So once Ivy was settled and had seen the pediatrician, Adam went back, got Tilly and took her into Accident and Emergency where she proceeded to involve the entire waiting room in her colouring in. 

While Ivy was having xrays upstairs in the children's ward, Tilly was bravely having the mother of all splinters extracted. I believe she was stoic and wonderful up until the point the doctor stuck a needle with local anesthetic under her thumbnail. Even then, according to Adam, she was pretty fantastic. And able to see the benefits of injury (chocolate). I saw her just after the extraction and she was pretty upset but valiantly holding onto her smarties. The doctor said to Adam that there was a reason this (splinter under fingernails) was used as a medieval torture device. It's bloody painful. 

I'm so proud of my stoic little person. What a champion. 

Even though there was still a big red line under the fingernail where the splinter had reached the nail bed, she checked up on her little sister, gave her a pat, and then suggested Adam take her home. Which he did.

Unfortunately you can't drink alcohol in a children's ward. Or even hot coffee or tea.

I've carried over my allowance. A nice glass of merlot. Which, frankly, makes me a better parent.





6 Comments on “Sunday rewind

Just Joyful
January 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm

What a day that must have been!

Congrats on getting a mention and a photo in today’s Sun Herald. I recognised you two and the view before I noticed what the article was about. This should be great publicity for you. Well done!

Mrs Homespun
January 20, 2014 at 5:46 am

Being a mummy is scary but oh, so worth it!

Merryl Chantrell
January 20, 2014 at 6:33 am

Your post conjures up some memories. One in particular was when it was my first husband’s 40th birthday. I was waiting at home for the kids after school to take them into Adelaide to pay the deposit at the hotel where his shindig was to be. My 10 year old son came home but no 12 year old daughter??? After a short time I got very worried. I was about to go back to her school and see if she had just forgotten the time.When I opened the door there was a policeman on our doorstep. Policeman??? What are you doing on my doorstep??? He said ‘Do you have a daughter called Sarah?’ Yes I said. He spoke again ‘Well she’s in Hospital with head injuries’. Talk about the earth shifting or stopping…well it did something that’s for sure. I went over to the hospital which is not far (thankfully) and into Emergency and there she was. Sarah looked like she was covered in sugar. Turns out it was powdered glass from when she went through the windscreen of a car!?! Her Guardian Angel was watching that day because the accident happened outside a Doctor’s Rooms. The paramedics were just going to pick her up and put her in the ambulance but the Doctor said to use a Jordan Frame to support her back and neck. When I first saw Sarah after the accident she recognised me so that was a plus. Sarah’s clothes were all torn (thankfully it was winter and she was wearing her winter uniform). She had concussion and lots of superficial cuts and bruises but was relatively unscathed and with no paraplegia thanks to the quick thinking of the Doctor (whose name escapes me). 20 years later Sarah is alive and very well and has her Nursing Degree and has a family of 3 girls. So the Rhythm of Life goes on in a never ending spiral. Sarah still has no memory of her accident on that afternoon in June 1989.

January 20, 2014 at 8:17 am

Holy gazooly Merryl. That’s full on! An earth-shifting moment alright. Did your husband get a birthday? And how wonderful Sarah turned into a nurse. Thanks for sharing that story!

January 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm

lots of sighs and a little head nodding here. My second is the “hospital one”. The one who’s file at the local hospital is far thicker than a boy of his age should be. Holding a baby down for anaesthetic is something I’d rather not as well, and also sent the husband in for the subsequent ones. Makes me shudder just thinking about them all, but definitely stronger as a parent.
Thanks for the re-wind.

Merryl Chantrell
January 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm

My 1st husband did have a nice 40th birthday at home. We were all very thankful because it could have so easily been Sarah’s funeral.


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