It's only 9 months... but it feels like Maternity...

Now Known As Postnatal Oppression

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I've suddenly remembered why I didn't write anything in between New Year and now - I was reeling from having to cope with both the Husband and Spawn being incredibly ill at the same time. This was in January.

The Husband came home from work one day, and I'd made him a sandwich for lunch. He didn't look too great (and hadn't been feeling 100% for a couple of days) but he said it was because he was tired and just wanted something to eat. So he commenced with the sandwich. Half way through it, he rushed to the loo and threw most of it back up. Now I'm not exactly Nigella, but I didn't think I could get a sandwich that wrong. And in fact I couldn't remember the last time he'd been sick where alcohol hadn't been involved. Spawn had been particularly ratty for most of that day, but I'd put it down to that great catch-all, 'Teething'. I asked the Husband if he thought Spawn looked a funny colour, but he just said it was probably because Spawn was tired. Anyhoo, I carried on, bathed and put Spawn to bed, and attended to dinner.

After about an hour, the Husband looked at Spawn on the baby monitor and said "Is he - I think he's - oh shit!" We raced up the stairs, to find poor Spawn spewing like a volcano. I'd got there first, just as everything fountained back down onto him - his entire head was covered, and the shock of it had frightened him so much he was gasping. I grabbed him, turned him over onto his front and just held him as he then carried on puking his poor little guts up onto his bed.

By now he was wailing, but I just stripped him out of his sleeping bag and whisked all his bedding off the cot. The Husband took him into the bathroom and tried to see where to start undressing him - the poor little sod's sleepsuit was covered. Luckily I hadn't emptied Spawn's bathwater out and it was still warm. "Just put him straight in," I said. In he went, clothes, nappy and all. As I got everything off him and began rinsing him, the Husband sank down onto the floor in the hallway. Running up the stairs had knocked him for six and he'd gone dizzy and felt sick again. "Get into bed you," I ordered. Spawn had stopped wailing and was sobbing unhappily, then he looked at me with his big brown eyes and started to cry just as he had to let go from both ends into the bath. I lifted him out of the bath and sat him in the sink, and washed him for the third time that night from head to toe. When I laid him on his towel and bundled him up, the poor little thing was shivering and sobbing. I sang a couple of songs to him, and told him that he was a good boy, and he calmed down, but he was so tired and yawning. I dressed him in a clean sleepsuit, cleaned and remade his bed, put him in a clean sleeping bag and put him back in to sleep, and the poor baby lay quietly and dozed off within minutes. I then cleaned the bath and sink with sterilising fluid, and put all the dirty clothing, bed linen and teddies in the washing machine.

When I went in to see the Husband, he was lying in bed wearing pyjamas, with the duvet and 2 extra blankets over and he was shivering and freezing cold to the touch. I went downstairs and made him a hot water bottle - something I don't think I've had to do for him in the 13 years we've been together. By now it was about half past nine. I put the washing into the tumble dryer and settled down to try and eat some dinner. I glanced at the baby monitor and noticed Spawn starting to twitch in his sleep. I looked, and he suddenly started to thrash. I ran upstairs, and as I got into his room, the volcano was back. We went through the whole procedure again - but this time I was on my own. I stripped him out of his sleeping bag and raced him into the bathroom. He had his fourth bath, again puking into it but luckily right at the end so I could just swoop him out of it before it started to drift. I bundled him up, soothing him with songs and cuddles, then dressed him in yet another clean sleepsuit. The Husband had heard the commotion but was too weak to even move from the bed.

At this point, I'd run out of clean sheets and sleeping bags for Spawn, and wasn't happy about him sleeping in his own room if he was going to be sick again. But I hadn't anything else for him to sleep in - he was way too big for his basket now, and if I put him in his pop-up travel cot and he puked in that, it would be quite a job to get him out of it quickly, not to mention to clean. In the end, I folded up a towel, laid it on his change mat, and he slept on that, on the floor in our room, with a blanket over him. I could tell he was feeling like crap because he quite happily accepted the arrangement when I put him down on it. The Husband reached down from the bed and stroked him, which was as much as he could manage. I had another load of bedding and clothes to wash and dry.

I managed to get into bed by about 2 o'clock in the morning, and after listening to Spawn sleeping, had finally managed to doze off for about 30 minutes, when a loud noise outside awoke me. Suddenly there was the sound of two people screaming at each other, right outside our house. One young man's voice was explaining to a young woman that he did not care for her any more and she was a strumpet, who was to please leave. I couldn't believe it - I thought I was dreaming for a minute, but the Husband had leapt out of bed and was at the window. The screaming continued, as did the loud noises - the boy/man was smashing the wing mirrors off cars parked in the road as he made his way down it. The Husband, forgetting that he was in the middle of a viral illness, went into Policing mode, threw on some clothes and went out after them. A few neighbours were also out, and the Husband got in the car and drove down the road. I was leaning out of the window trying to see where he'd got to, when I heard more screaming, and what sounded like the Husband's voice, then the voice of the young man shouting "I'll fucking stab you!" I went cold - ran downstairs, and tried to see where they were from the living room window. I rang the Husband's mobile, but just got his answerphone. For the next 5 minutes I rang his mobile constantly, consciously NOT imagining what might have just happened and thank the Lord he suddenly answered it, saying "Yeah, I'm just driving back - little fucker threatened to stab me." He came back, then went over to let some of the neighbours know that he'd 'called it in', and then, we tried to go back to sleep. (HA!) We managed to miss the police car that drove down the road a few minutes later, but that was the end of that really.

And bless his little heart, Spawn had slept through the whole thing, on his change mat on the floor. We didn't hear anything more about it from the police, and the Husband and Spawn were poorly for another couple of days and the next week respectively. I did remind the Husband that running around streets in the middle of a winter's night in pyjamas and a jumper tackling drunk knife-threatening hormonal teenage delinquents is not a recommended course of treatment for Norovirus.

And - this is not the normal sort of goings-on for my street. Honestly. This is a nice respectable neighbourhood, I'll have you know. Probably. Oh, and I was absolutely fine. I don't have time for being ill, you know.


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