A Minor Illness: How Lucky We Are

The last couple of days have been put-everything-on-hold, stay-at-home-and-snuggle kind of days with Natty. 

There's been a temperature, there's been vomit in our bed, ingrained in her PJs and even over daddy Downs Side Up's cashmere mix sweater (eugh). There's been a small croaky voice, sore throat and pallid brow, some floppy afternoon snoozes, but essentially she is OK.

She's still managed to make me laugh with her silly impersonations, she's eaten small amounts of toast or mashed potato, she asked for a 'dip, dip, dip egg' and her little giggle has filled the air. She's been well enough to request that awful purple dinosaur on the iPad and to read me a school book. In short, it's a little bug and her body is coping with it.  And as awful as it is to see your child under the weather, I have enjoyed the closeness and the enforced pitstop it has given me.

All of a sudden I realised how grateful I was. How much stronger she has become. A couple of years ago a bug like this would have sent us to hospital with a closed throat, chest infection, pneumonia, croup, laryngitis, broncialitis, a febrile convulsion. I still worry. A lot. But since her heart operation she has been more resiliant. We are not on red alert the entire time.


Natty after her heart surgery


And then I look around me at my online friends, and I see many still living through that heightened state of alert, of worry, of uncertainty. Steph Nimmo into her 3rd week in hospital with Daisy, Renata moving bravely forward with Dom's recent issues, Baby Harry's family still waiting for him to smile after his stomach op. Friends Rachel and Vicky at home, watching over their vulnerable ones for the first sign of change that can signal a long period of illess. 

And then, today, the desperately sad funeral for a tiny little angel with Down's Syndrome who didn't make it through pregnancy into the loving arms of her parents who we had got to know via Downs Side Up. She was so wanted and so adored, and she has changed the world for the better without even realising it, for she has changed opinions and brought family together in an unexpected way. 

Baby Daisy, I have thought of you all day, a wild, windy passionate storm of a day. Tiles flew from my roof, greenhouse smashed, trees fell and cables were torn down and I imagined your parents hearts matched the rawness of the elements as they said their farewells to you. Rest in Peace little one.

And as I write, heavy-hearted, I have a tear in my eye, for I realise the fragility of life, of all our lives, but particularly the life of a child with Down's Syndrome. Pregnancy is a minefield, in more ways than one if you have a detectable extra chromosome. If you survive that, then you are one of only 6%.

Tonight I hugged our girls a little tighter.