As a mum you know when something's wrong with your baby. You just know. Sometimes even before it becomes physically obvious. Its instinctual. Its the tug deep down in your heart telling you something's not right. Its that tiny little voice inside your head gently whispering in your ear as you shrug it off assuming you're overreacting.
Thank goodness for mothers instinct.
Last Monday bub woke a lot later than usual and promptly wanted to go back to sleep. That was the first sign. For a baby who normally wakes early and doesn't sleep much during the day it was definitely out of character. She was sleepy the whole day and when she wasn't asleep she refused to leave my side. If I tried to put her down she'd lock her arms around mine and start screaming hysterically. Nothing could calm her. Not dad. Not toys. Only mum and lots and lots of mummy cuddles.
So the tugging and whispering began.
As the cuddles and sleeping continued I noticed she was getting a lot hotter than usual. Her face was bright red and her skin was burning up. T shrugged it off because she'd been sleeping on me so much, but I knew something wasn't right. The voice grew a little louder. I took her temp and it had sky-rocketed to 39.3. I started to mildly panic on the inside. Daddy came in cool, calm and collected and gave her a bath and Panadol and her temp had gone down to 37.6 within an hour.
The voice quietened down, she went to sleep and all was well. So we thought.
Monday night she woke screaming every forty minutes throughout the night. The voice inside grew louder again. By 4am I noticed a rash on her little hands. She had tiny red marks around her mouth. I had to go out in the morning and leave her with dad, but the voice was yelling at me not to go. He convinced me to go out and I booked her a dr appointment for straight after I got back. Reluctantly I went out and left her at home with dad.
A couple of hours later I got a text from T "we're not going to the dr we're going to the hospital". Daddy is normally the cool, calm one so for him to send me that message I knew something was very wrong. My hands we're shaking while I was driving home. Its weird enough not having her with me, but knowing shes sick and not being with her took my anxiety and panic to a new level. The whole time home the voice in my head was screaming at me. Cursing me for going out. Willing me to drive faster to get home quicker.
By the time I got home she was covered in a red rash all over her arms and legs. Screaming hysterically. Her face bright red and covered in tears. I could see the pain, panic and fear all over her face. I took her in my arms and the screaming subsided, but I knew mummy cuddles wouldn't fix everything this time. Off to the hospital we went.
At the hospital the nurses were great. They got her seen within minutes and had her diagnosed soon after. My poor baby girl has hand, foot and mouth - a viral infection that's extremely contagious and spreads quickly among babies. The poor thing has blisters all down her throat and around her mouth. The rash continues to spread all over her little body. There is no treatment other than pain relief (and all important mummy cuddles). We just have to let the virus run its course which takes roughly ten days.
Its not like her allergic choking episodes. They happen so fast there's no time to think, all I can do is act as quick as possible. They're over as quick as they start and in a short while shes ok and back to her normal self. This is different. I feel helpless. I can offer nothing except pain relief and cuddles. Although cuddles are amazing, they don't stop her physical suffering. I can still see the misery on her face. The pain etched in her eyes and the angry rash spreading all over her body. There's nothing more heartbreaking than watching my helpless baby suffering, knowing all I can do is reassure her it will be over soon. Even though I know soon is still days away.
And so here we sit for the next few days tucked up on the couch holding hands and snuggling. On hiatus from the outside world.