I’ve experienced worry plenty of times. I’ve worried over whether I’d pass my driving test (no, no, no, no, yes); whether my car has enough petrol to make it to the next garage (always except once); whether the dentist would need to extract all my teeth following an eight-year absence (not even a filling).
Last night, I experienced a new level of worry, wrapped up in panic and swaddled in guilt. The past few days I’ve had an unpleasant head cold and, somewhat inevitably, I passed it on to M baby.
She was sleeping in her Moses basket and had seemed fine, but unbeknown to all of us my germs were clearly rampaging through her little immune system like 28 Days Later’s Rage virus, because at around 10pm it suddenly became clear she had hit another baby milestone and developed her first ever cold.
There are plenty of sounds you don’t want to hear coming from your child’s bed: creepy horror film singing; the flap of blankets when she has finally finally gone to sleep, the spraying of sick over clean onesies, sheets and sleep sacks. You definitely don’t want to hear a panicky, wheezy, breathless gulp as your child chokes on its own mucus and briefly convinces all three of you that things are Extremely Serious and you should probably go ahead and phone an ambualnce.
But, once we realised it was actually just a cold and ruled out A&E, Beta Daddy and I spent our first night (probably first of many) tending to our poorly child. It wasn’t fun, and was punctuated by swapping rooms, retrieving the nasal aspirator (if you don’t already know, you don’t want to); snuggling; shushing, sobbing (the baby, although we did both consider joining her) and bed sharing.
By the morning, she was much better. It may take her parents longer to recover.