It’s just gone 5am, and Sam’s moved out into the lounge to sleep and I’m playing it fast and loose by moving Mikaere into our bed. He’s on o2, but despite it his heart rate is through the roof, his respiratory rate is ridiculous – he’s working hard to breathe.
There are tubes and wires everywhere, and Mikaere is frustrated at the mask on his face and keeps tangling his fingers in all the tubes.
I’m trying really hard to hold it together. But I hate this. I hate that my baby is struggling. I hate that we have to have monitors and alarms and tanks of o2 by our bedside. I hate that at this point I don’t know whether we’ll still be here in bed in the next hour or in a&e.
We all desperately need the sleep. Sam’s night ‘shift’ finished only three scant hours ago when he finally got to go to bed, and I’m run down and exhausted and poor kaikai, he needs the recovery time. Instead he’s thrashing about trying to get his mask off, and the stats monitor is kicking off because his heart rate is too high. (A typical heart rate for a sleeping toddler is between 80 – 120 beats per minute. The stat monitor reads 173 beats per minute right now. That’s me in the middle of a HIIT class!).
It’s just, Kai being ill is such a trial. And I hate this. I think frequently about how neurotypical parents get to go to sleep at night and not worry whether they’ll end up in the a&e before their alarm goes off. About how they’re not woken by stat monitors, heart racing as they try see if their baby is blue or not.
I hate the special needs life, you guys. It’s so royally awful, and my baby suffers and there’s no way to fix this
I read a book a while back, called ‘Was this the plan?’ about a special needs Mum and how she managed her through daughters life and again through her husbands trial with cancer. She says frequently that you can’t do anything about the cards you’re dealt, but you can decide how you play them. BS, is what I think. There’s no good way to play these cards. There is no way to accept the unacceptable. There is no way I’m going to be okay with my son living a life of pain and suffering. With my baby living a life less than what everyone else expects and enjoys.
And if I’m being honest, that entire book was a factual recount of an awful series of events, pain, grief and death. What was missing was any kind of emotional accounting. That’s what would have been helpful to me. How to manage these roiling emotions when life is one emergency after the next, when you don’t have any emotional capacity left and you’re in the dark place.
Because that’s what I want to know. How do I survive this grief, when I don’t even know whether we’re all going to get through this morning?