Henry turned six months today. He spent the last night of his first half year at A&E. Vomiting.
There is nothing more worrying, nothing that induces more of a sense of utter helplessness, than watching your poorly baby knowing there is nothing you can do about it. Between being sick he appeared largely fine, he had no temperature, he was not sore, no rash, not crying, and, generally, himself. Apart, of course, from the oral excretions.
Which highlights for me how utterly illogical being a parent is. It matters not what you know to be true, what you deem to be ok for you, what the rational part of your brain tells you. When there is something wrong with your child you enter a Twilight Zone of paranoia and great, galloping leaps of thought that in the cold light of a day when considering ANYTHING else you would scoff loudly at people for coming to those conclusions.
As it happens, Henry is now, and was rather quickly last night too, considerably better. It is always a highlight, I am finding, when a highly qualified and pleasant medical professional wakes up your son - who has just nodded off because, as far as you are concerned, he could be at death's door and is trying to eke out some last moments of comfort - and proceeds to examine him, eliciting great beaming smiles from your hapless infant as he does so.
"Ah, he would appear to be considerably better, doctor. Sorry to waste your time. We'll just get our coats."
I am fairly sure these Health heroes see this frequently. And whilst on the topic, I would like to praise how incredible it is look up information on the NHS Direct website, subsequently speak to somebody on the phone, and an hour later be seeing a nurse followed by a doctor, and all for the pittance I pay out of my monthly salary. The NHS is a wonderful institution and the two times I have needed to visit with Henry (and the countless times for myself) they have always provided an excellent service and do so thousands of times a day. Like social workers we only hear about it when it goes wrong - it goes right an awful lot more.
Thank you to all those that helped us last night. As parents we felt listened to (vital) and reassured (immeasurably vital). My wife still slept on his floor through the night, but as we hoped he is much better today and we have made it through to tonight without falling asleep, whilst Henry sleeps upstairs utterly oblivious to the grey hairs that I have sprouted.