Sunday, September 2, 2012

Good riddance Saturday.

Today, I am grateful for the past tense...for yesterday was the worst. I can't tell you how happy I am to see the back of you Saturday.

The first day of spring was a beautifully sunny one and we spent it in the Accident and Emergency waiting rooms of the Hospital. Isla has had a little cough here and there for the past week, but over the 24 hours before this Saturday it had increased in intensity and frequency. During her 2am feed I curiously jumped on the Whooping Cough website...ten minutes later I was waking Nick up in hysterics. I'd read an example case story; an otherwise very healthy newborn developed a small cough, which started to get slightly worse but not terrible. She tested positive to Whooping Cough and was hospitalised and put on a ventilator. She then developed pneumonia and within days her condition deteriorated. She died at 32 days old.

There was no chance that I was letting that happen to our new baby. We headed off the the hospital first thing that morning when Stella woke to get her checked and to rule out this horrible infection. Although I knew and was hoping that it most likely wouldn't be Whooping Cough, I couldn't live with myself for taking the matter how many frowns I received for 'over-reacting', over-react I still would. When it comes to the health and safety of your babies, you don't hesitate. It turns out that Islas cough is most likely a mild viral infection, and we were to keep an eye on it and return to the doctors for anti-biotics if it continued.

Stress gone and sunny Saturday enjoyed, right? Wrong.

When we returned home, I cooked a special breakfast for Nick to celebrate it being Fathers Day weekend and we then piled the babes and pram into the car and headed out for a walk; determined not to waste this beautiful day. Seeing the sunshine beam off the girls' hair and the smile on Stellas face was heartwarming, it had me dreaming of the warmer months to come and the adventures we could get up to. Winter in Tasmania with a toddler has been very long indeed!

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We decided to end our walk with Stellas favourite, in fact...she suggested it! A 'chino' in the city. Rather than take the pram and face a cramped coffee shop, we opted for the food hall. Looking back through my phone I have a dozen or so pictures of Stella enjoying her frothed milk and turning her nose up at my sushi, it makes me feel sick knowing that these photos were taken only a few seconds before it happened.

As a parent, I like to think that I am always alert and switched on. I am always watching for potential accidents and preventing tantrums, tears and broken toys. I have relaxed a little as my first born has grown and am less partial to the odd spilt milk and broken plate. Sometimes I think you get comfortable and forget how quickly things can happen.

Within what felt like a split second, Nick was holding a screaming Stella with blood gushing over his hands and I was frantically searching for serviettes with Isla rested on my forearm. I didn't even see it coming. She had stood up on her chair on the open side of our booth table and within seconds the chair was behind her and she was on the ground. No one wants to see blood pouring down their child's neck, no matter how old.

She had hit her face hard on the edge of the table on the way down before falling flat on her stomach on the floor, the underneath of her little chin had split open quite deeply. I can't remember leaving or getting to the car...but I remember one thing quite clearly; I remember no-one moving. One lady looked a little concerned and handed us a bundle of serviettes, but not one person got up from their seats to offer us assistance. I was juggling Isla who had started to cry and Nick was applying pressure to Stellas neck, who was still screaming ear piercingly.

We raced the 4 minute drive to the hospital. Here we were again. We waited for 3 hours before they sedated her with Ketamine and put four little stitches under her chin. Lucky the cut was in the spot it was and that she hadn't hit slightly higher, otherwise we would have a broken jaw to contend with. The poor babe was so distressed by all the blood and kept asking for a shower. It was a horrible, emotionally draining day!

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I learnt three things that day that I certainly had not set out to discover;

1. Seeing your child unwell or in pain is absolutely traumatising, but an instinctive 'calm' comes from within to protect and comfort them. None of the fear and distress you feel is expressed for your child to see.

2. Society sucks. What inhibits people from getting up to help, offering assistance or even acknowledging others around them needs to be addressed. We have a duty of care for those around us, whether they are strangers or not. Look out for those in need.

3. You can never be too alert. See the potential accident in every situation, but rather than obsess over it, take swift action to eliminate the danger. It's worth the tantrums!

I am repeating a little mantra that gives me a lift when I need it...'No two days are the same'. There will never be another day exactly the same as yesterday, and thank goodness! Good riddance Saturday.

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Right now? I am investing in a bulk pack of bubble wrap and cotton wool. If you have children under 21, I highly recommend you do the same!
Plenty of love, 
winterlove blog natalie


  1. Aww, that sounds really rough. How is she doing now? It is hard to witness situations like that- I have been yelled at for trying to help before, and it makes you a little shy of situations like that. People don't often want strangers to come too near their children, even in emergencies.

  2. I feel for you Nat! My daughter was assaulted in the Mall on a week day at 1.30pm - by two girls - one she didnt't know with a pair of scissors. No one came to her aid. No one. She was punched and hit in the head with the scissors. The mall was busy.... to busy to care.

  3. It's amazing how, should I dare say it, selfish, people locally can be! I fell over in the rain in the middle of town last week while 28 weeks pregnant with an obvious bump - everyone just walked past quickly to hurry out of the rain. I was disgusted.
    But, for noone to lift a helping hand for a child, that's beyond disgusting!