I have been rather quiet on the blog as I’ve had a household of germs for nearly three weeks.
When I became a mother I was looking forward to Winter so I could bundle our little people into cute beanies and fluffy jackets and all their cuteness. I rapidly realised how much I despise Winter.
The leaves start falling off the trees in Autumn and the air turns crisp and you can smell the cold. It’s one of the most gorgeous times of year, and then I hear a sniffle, a cough and watch a little nose get red from being wiped, watch my little people become miserable and I remember how much I hate Winter.
When I was twenty I had cancer. After I came through the other side I found it very difficult to trust my body again. Every sniffle scared me, every ache scared me and there was plenty of sniffles and aches because once you’ve had cancer and especially had treatment for cancer, that poison that makes you so sick, kills off everything in your body to protect you, to keep you alive, it totally hammers your immune system.
After cancer I was always sick. Someone would sneeze and I’d end up in bed for two days with a hideous cold or worse the year I actually got influenza.
Along came pregnancy and with it, I got everything you possibly could get.
At 8 weeks I fell down a whole flight of stairs and did so much damage to my body I was amazed the little baby inside me kept growing, let alone how amazed the medical staff were that I could even walk.
At 16 weeks I was hospitalised repeatedly for severe “morning sickness”, they call it morning sickness but it plagued me 24 hours a day until I was a heap on the toilet floor heaving with not even bile left in my stomach.
At 20 weeks I was told my baby was growth restricted, he had no room to even stretch out in my tiny body.
At 26 weeks he stopped growing.
At 30 weeks, 31 weeks, and finally at 34 weeks I went into labour and they stopped it. I had been having monitoring every second day since 26 weeks to make sure he wasn’t distressed.
At exactly 35 weeks after three days in hospital on bed rest my labour started AGAIN and this time I was whisked up to have an emergency caesarean.
When they held up my screaming little bundle the drs didn’t even think he would weigh 1.8kgs, he surprised us all, he was 2.1kgs.
Within his first hour of life he went into respiratory distress, at 24 hours old he was so sick the drs were telling us to prepare for the worse.
We were lucky, after four days he came through the other side. Fourteen days after he was born we got him home safely in our arms. But, his little lungs were already damaged.
We cannot count how many hospital admissions he had in his first year of life. Today he is our adorable, nearly seven year old with chronic asthma. He is sick a lot. We haven’t attended soccer training in nearly three weeks because its too cold for him and if he goes to soccer training he’ll be sick by the end of the week and won’t be able to play the actual game that he loves so much on the weekend.
I can look at him and see a particular look in his eyes and know that within an hour without even a sniffle he will have an asthma attack. That is just how it is.
Fast forward to our second child, whose pregnancy created even more hospital admissions than the first. I had over 30 ultrasounds with her. I was admitted around six times before she actually arrived. My waters actually broke at 23 weeks but by some miracle we got her to 38 weeks. Our biggest baby by far at 2.6kgs, she was our only baby to be in my room after she was born.
At six weeks old, I heard that sniffle. She too had similar health issues to our son. At age two like her big brother she had her adenoids and tonsils out due to constant infection and sleep apnea. Eight weeks ago, our local hospital sent her home when I took her to emergency as they believed me to be an over-protective mother. Two days later she was diagnosed with bi-lateral pneumonia. Since then she has been sick constantly.
Our youngest daughters pregnancy was the most difficult by far for me. Carrying twins usually is tough but at 13 weeks I ended up with a virus around my heart and was admitted to hospital for a week to recover. I had so many ultrasounds with the twins I lost count. Born at 27 weeks and weighing only 749grams and 802grams, of course that’s a rough start for any child but after losing her sister, our baby girl fought even harder. We nearly lost her three times in her first few months of life.
Amazingly she was released home after 87 days into my arms without oxygen but with a label of “Chronic Lung Disease”. This means that even a sniffle can be fatal for her. If I could’ve, I would’ve kept her in a bubble, but I couldn’t – so instead we stayed at home as much as possible and were fastidious with anti-bacterial and visitors.
One of my closest friends recently told me she remembers a day when I had our precious baby in the pouch and she asked to see her, so I diplomatically stepped away from her and gave her a quick peek before covering my bundle up again so the air so full of germs wouldn’t get her.
Because of all these reasons I hate Winter. All of my children had a rough start to life and have terrible immune systems. We eat healthy, we have an active lifestyle, I actually do not wrap them in cotton wool as it makes things worse, they have vitamins, oils, fresh juices, natural remedies, preventative medication but they still get sick.
I have heard lots of people say to me or others “her kids are always sick”
Does it annoy me? Totally. Please don’t judge us, because you never truly know the full story.
It is a fact of life, people with kids know that especially in Winter the germs work their way into our homes and slowly move from one person to another. The more children you have and the lower your immune systems the longer they seem to plague you with their presence.
I am lucky though, because my children will quite happily take their medicines and vitamins without drama, they may be miserable when they’re sick but they rarely complain. They are happy little people who, like their parents, count down the days to Spring when the evening chill is no longer in the air, the skies are blue and warm, the sun is bright and full of Vitamin D, the beach is calling our name and the air outside is as free of germs as we’ll ever get.
Only 93 sleeps left till we are a carefree family, enjoying the warmth of Spring and Summer once again.