My daughter was diagnosed with whooping cough at 11 weeks, but we are the lucky ones.
Many people gawk at the statement before I clarify we are, in fact, lucky. We are lucky because we are one of the families able to bring our precious baby home. Many are not as fortunate.
The words ‘luck’ and ‘fortunate’ are not typically synonymous with watching your baby struggle to breathe; watching your newborn cough so hard they are deprived of oxygen; watching the ‘Emergency’ call button be pressed in their hospital room numerous times.
But here I sit, watching her run around our lounge and she is with me. She is here. At the end of the day that makes me the luckiest mother in the world.
In early June 2014 my daughter woke up without a wet nappy. Being a fabulous 10-hour-plus sleeper (again, the word luck comes to mind), her waking without urinating was a huge concern. The persistent cough she had had for almost three weeks was growing in intensity, but the dry nappy terrified me. I immediately made another appointment with our GP for the earliest time slot we could secure: 1pm.
We went about our morning as usual: feed, play, sleep. During her first nap I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong; something much more wrong than the bronchiolitis she had been diagnosed with a fortnight earlier. I called our GP’s clinic again. No earlier appointments had opened up. I decided to break every parenting rule by waking my sleeping baby to bundle her into the car.
We live approximately 25 minutes away from our closest children’s hospital. As Murphy’s Law dictates, traffic almost doubled our travel time. Throughout the journey I kept switching between thinking I was overreacting and knowing I was doing the right thing.