I was hoping that my next post was continuing from the last but that was before Elbie decided to get sick.
Elbie’s sleeping habits over night are pretty terrible if I’m putting it politely but Tuesday night was particularly bad. It’s not unusual for her to wake every hour but at least she will last until 6am. So she did her usual waking every hour, hideous I know (that routine I was previously talking about isn’t working out for us so far), but then did not go back to sleep after waking at 3am. As you can imagine I was not much impressed with her alertness at this ungodly hour but I did what any mother would do. I dragged myself downstairs, child in one arm and eye rubbing with the other hand muttering to myself how tired I was as if someone somewhere would feel sorry for me. Elbie can nearly always be nursed to sleep so I thought that this was what was going to happen and eventually we could head back up and catch some more Zs. Instead of falling back to sleep though I found myself dealing with a monster code brown which required a full strip and bath. Though unusual for Elbie to create such a mess over night she seemed fine and enjoyed her 4am bath.
Later in the morning I could see Elbie was getting tired and was rubbing her eyes which made me very happy as I knew that was also my cue for a nap. We headed upstairs and I put her in her cot and I laid down on the sofa bed next to her. The moment my head hit the pillow which was bliss for all of a millisecond I heard Elbie be sick. It’s funny how fast you can move once becoming a parent, I even surprised myself. As I went to pick her up vomit came out of her like a space rocket and covered her, her cot and me. She looked a bit startled but otherwise fine. I began the clear up process and laid her down. This was where things changed. She looked at me and started to make a strange gurgling noise so I instantly picked her up so that she was upright and she started retching up bile, this happened a few more times so I picked up my phone shaking and trying to stay calm. Eddie was sick a few weeks ago, people get sick all of the time and it’s horrible but it is OK. I would not have needed to tell myself to stay calm if anyone else was being sick, it’s part of my job after all. I would make a pretty crappy nurse if I panicked every time someone was vomiting. But this was my baby. My tiny precious baby who had never been unwell before and couldn’t protect her airway or tell me if she felt dehydrated. I called our GP and made an appointment. They were very good and managed to find me a slot straight away. Elbie continued to vomit bile every 5-10 minutes and when I put her down to get dressed myself she suddenly became very drowsy and limp. This was when I dialled 999. Calling an ambulance is not something I would do lightly but I was not going to take any risks with my baby’s health. I held her close keeping a constant eye and reassuring her while I waited for the paramedics. They were with us in minutes. By this point Elbie seemed to have stopped vomiting and had her eyes open more although still very flat. I instantly felt silly for calling an ambulance out as to anyone else she probably looked fine, they don’t know what her personality is usually like and to them this could be the norm. She even gave them a smile. They were incredible and very thorough with assessing her and told me that I had done the right thing. I had done the right thing, I wouldn’t have done anything differently and right then she started the retching again. Although I didn’t want Elbie to be sick I was glad that she had done it in front of the paramedics so that they could see. It was heartbreaking watching her little body curl but she was so brave and didn’t cry once, I think that may have been due to exhaustion more than bravery but I will stick with it. Anyway off we went in the back of the ambulance and this was where mummy had to try to not be sick!
I knew that Elbie was unwell and needed medical observation which was why we were taken in but I also knew that nothing was seriously wrong with her. At this point I knew all I could do was cuddle her. The innate feeling of protection over your child is almost overwhelming and something I have never experienced before having Elbie. While my nurses hat stayed on my motherly instincts were most definitely ruling that day.
After 4 hours of observation and keeping her feed down we were allowed to come back home where we had lots of snuggles and kisses. I can’t thank the paramedics, doctors and nurses enough for their kindness and dedication to their jobs. They were all fantastic and made me so proud to be a nurse and part of the NHS.