Experiencing the kind of tiredness that comes after going to hospital in an ambulance with your little boy, still a baby really. Knowing it’s a just-in-case kind of journey, because convulsions aren’t so unusual, temperature too high yes, but still feeling that there’s a kind of horrifying dimension to it all (what? In an ambulance? so suddenly? little boy bare on my chest, making me think of when he was first born, all arms and legs and vulnerability).
But mostly a kind of guilt at all the nightmare fodder suddenly for his sleep – bright lights and strangers touching him when he wants to be left alone and scary things attached to his little feet. He won’t stop staying ‘mama cuggle, mama cuggle’, even though I’m holding him exhaustingly for hours as close as I can. And then, if he loses sight of his dad, it’s ‘dadda cuggle, dadda cuggle!’.
His relief when he hears we’re going home, suddenly he can look around and take note of things of interest. The sweetness of coming home, I’m feeling another kind of guilt for taking it for granted – the sweet, sweet darkness and the closeness all in a bed together, feeling for his little hand or leg all night and hoping for coolness. And the adrenalin seemingly taking days to switch off, making sleep seem good when it comes, but somehow irrelevant at other times.
A strange feeling of something finishing inside me, as if rocking him through the experience has rounded off my own pre-historic memories of hospital stays and soaring temperatures. A sense of closing off something bad and, most of all, a sense of exhaustion.