This is an incident that happened when Andrew was around 9 months old. I had just started back at University and things were going fine. It was the week my first essay submissions were due and the boys had winter colds. …But events took a harrowing turn.
I’d spent most of that day at the Library. The weather outside was wet and miserable. I’d sat and read for a long time listening to the rain beat against a nearby window, seeing it get darker and darker out there from the corner of my eye. Finally, as the last of the daylight slid out of the sky, I borrowed some books and left for home.
I got on the 38 from the bus stop outside the library, then the 57 at Union Street. The city centre was very busy with people making their way home from work and it took a long time to get out of the busy traffic. It took a good half hour longer to get to my bus stop outside Andrew’s nursery.
When i got in the girl’s reported that Andrew wasn’t really himself, he hadn’t eaten (very very unlike him), he’d cried quite a bit (quite like him) and he had just had a wee bad day. When I picked him up I noticed immediately he looked ill. His eyes were glazed, he seemed quite limp and sad.
I put his hat and coat on, put him in the buggy and practically ran up the road. Now people who know me, all know i am not one to panic, especially when it comes to the boys being sick because they are at daycare and usually pick everything going.
But by the time i picked Laurence up at his daycare, Andrew looked worse. I picked him out the buggy and he was totally limp. His temperature was sky high and his eyes were rolling about in his head.
When I got home I phoned NHS 24, who said to take him to A&E immediately. We got staight in the car.
I sat in the back seat, with Andrew wrapped in a blanket and I held him in my arms. He drifted in and out of semi-consciousness and I couldn’t get any kind of response or reaction from him. Then he lost consciousness altogether.
I lost it. I was crying so much i could hardly speak. I thought the was going to die, I honestly thought my beautiful little boy was going to die in my arms in the back seat of the car. I held his little limp body and stroked his cheek. I thought about how, because I’d suffered such bad post-natal depression, I hadn’t bonded with him for months- I hadn’t loved him. But that had changed and now I loved him with every inch of my heart- and here I was…losing him.
Laurence stopped the car outside the A&E door and I ran into the hospital. The receptionist took one look at me, this red, mascara stained faced girl holding a limp baby boy, who couldn’t really string a sentence together and told me to go straight to the cubicles.
I clung to my son and walked up a long corridor until I came to a room where a bunch of A&E doctors were standing around talking, looking relaxed, probably enjoying a rare quiet moment in a Glasgow ward. I stood at the door until they had all noticed me, which seemed like ages but was probably just a second or two, they fell silent.
They just stood looking at me with a strange stricken look on their faces, looking pretty terrified. The scene must have been frightening. Here was a young mother, a complete emotional wreck, clutching a limp little baby in her arms. No wonder nobody rushed over immediately…they were probably too scared to because they thought the worst. I don’t blame them.
A young, really good-looking male doctor came over to me and took Andrew off me. I tried to explain what was wrong but it was so hard i was crying so much.
After some more attempts to rouse him, Andrew came round. He opened his eyes but he was very limp and hot. The doctor immediately gave him some medicine to bring down his temperature. It was dangerously high.
He decided Andrew had an infection of some sort which he couldn’t locate the source, and Andrew was rushed to Yorkhill.
By this point, the temperature had come down and he was a little more responsive. Yorkhill, gave him more medicine for his temperature and slowly he came round to normal.
Andrew had had a febrile convulsion which happens when the temperature of a child spikes too quickly. Now I realise it was probably because i put his hat and jacket on when I picked him up from daycare, but it’s a natural instinct for a mother to want to keep her sick child warm on a winter night.
We left the hospital at around 9 o’clock at night. My heart was in tatters. Next day Andrew was perfectly normal. Happy, busy etc.