My daughter Alexis has a cold. Big deal? Huge deal! There’s been times before when I thought she was terribly sick and rushed her to the doctor to be laughed at, as she smiled and put on her best behaviour for the nice doctor. Doctors can’t do much for babies colds anyway, so I won’t take her to the doctor unless it gets really bad. Theres only so much “just keep an eye on it” that one woman can take. Besides its only since closing time that she’s come down with it this bad.
She’s been unsettled for a few nights but we didn’t think much of it. She’s teething and she’s learning to stand so a certain disruption to sleep is to be expected. But tonight is different. There is so much snot in her tiny little nose. It sounds like she can hardly breathe. Feeding is difficult. She falls asleep easily but stays asleep for only 15-20 minutes. A quick cuddle, sometimes a feed, and she conks out again. We have been doing this dance since about 9pm. Every time she wakes the cry is more forceful. She is desperate to sleep. She is frustrated and I suspect also in pain. Tears everywhere, she cries “dad dad daddy” and “mum mum mumma”. She is looking to us to make it better. There is not an awful lot we can do.
We try to use the nasal spray and aspirator. She bats it away and turns her head hysterically from side to side. She holds her breath in defiance. We try panadol in case she is in pain. Manage to get most of it down. Hopefully it works. She really needs sleep. Of course I am tired but its not me I’m worried about. Corey and I are taking shifts to sleep while the other cuddles her. But I know she will get better quality sleep in her cot.
Its the old dilemma do I cuddle her and let her sleep or try to put her down so she sleeps deeper and longer but risk her waking up and having to do it all over again. But what hurts the most is seeing her suffer but not knowing what is upsetting her the most or being able to fix it. I wish I could feel her pain for her and take her sickness and protect her from every bad thing, but I can’t. I am powerless. At least while she is sleeping here in my arms I feel like I’m actually doing something. For the moment she is peaceful. She is comforted knowing I am here for her, and that comforts me.