(Esme’s Diary) Chapter 17: Unwell

November 30, 2011

Dear Diary,

Having Robert in my life helps to take away the pain of losing Johnathon, and although Robert will ever replace his father he reminds me of him every day. My Son – wow, I never tire of saying that – is the most amazing little human being I have met, even with this awful cough he’s developed he is still the light of my life.

I’d always expected to be up all night and day with a baby that didn’t sleep. All of Evie’s children had kept her awake all night crying for milk, and rarely slept during the day. But no, not my little soldier, he only woke once at night. I’d give him a feed at about ten thirty or eleven p.m. and then he’d wake again between three and three-thirty a.m.,  have his feed while he is still half asleep,  then go straight back to sleep until the morning.

He is truly a delight to be around. I found myself wanting to stay awake to watch him sleep, but I knew I must rest too.

Nothing completes me more than being with my precious little boy. Robert gripped my finger this morning, it was ever so light but you could feel that there was some pressure there.

Robert’s cough seemed to be getting worse, his whole body is shook as he hacked. I’m no doctor, but it sounded like he had some mucus that he was trying to heave out. Even when he simply breathed you could hear it bubbling inside him. Part of me said take him back to the hospital and get him checked out. But the other part told me to stop being so silly. It was just a cough. The nurses told me it would clear up.

I wished Evie was here. She’d know what to do. I felt so helpless, every part of my body was yearning to take his cough away; I would suffer it myself, and be glad. Just to know he was well.

“Shhhh, my sweet little soldier,” I murmured to Robert as I cradled him in my arms during another coughing episode. This one seemed worse than the others, his face had gone bright red through the exhaustion of coughing and no matter how hard he coughed it just didn’t see’ to clear.

I tried holding him over my shoulder and patting his back to help him, as I had seen Evie do on so many occasions, but it still didn’t seem to help. Surely all this coughing wasn’t doing him any good, this was upsetting me so much I was close to tears, all I wanted was for Robert to be better. Then, as if to answer my question, he  vomited over my shoulder. My heart wanted to literally break for him. As I cleaned him up I started phoning the local doctor; I wasn’t going to just sit by and watch my one reason for living suffer so horribly.

After speaking to doctor, who assured me he was on his way, I began to doubt myself. What if they think I’m not looking after him well enough. Will they blame me for this? They can’t. They just can’t. I love Robert more than life itself.

As I write the tears are flowing down my face in thick streams. I just don’t know what to do! I want my little man to be well so that I can start enjoying spending my time with him and not have to worry about his health so much.

I was watching Robert in his cot, the doctor was due here any moment. The sickness that I am feeling runs right from the bottom of my stomach. I am so scared. Words cannot describe how I feel. I know something is wrong, I just wish with all my heart and soul that I could take it away from my little man.

Looking up I heard the knock at the door. That meant one thing: the doctor was here. As much as I wanted him here, I was petrified at the same time. Taking a deep breath I nervously headed to the door to let him in.

“Good evening Doctor. Please, come in,” I said, opening the door and ushering him into my tiny kitchen.

“Good Evening Mrs. Walker, I’m Doctor Ingham-Clark. Why don’t we start by you telling me what’s wrong?” The doctor smiled at me sympathetically.

Taking a deep breath I told Doctor Ingham-Clark about Robert’s cough, how he’d been struggling to breathe, how his lips had started turning blue occasionally. Once I’d finished he asked to look at Robert.

“Of course,” I agreed instantly, rushing from the kitchen into our communal living room and bedroom. I smiled slightly at my little boy as I gently picked him up from his cot and laid him on the bed, ready for the doctor to look him over.

“Hello there, little man,” the doctor greeted as he leaned over my sick son. “Let’s take a look at you shall we?”

I winced as the doctor placed his stethoscope on Robert’s chest, the coolness of it startled him and he let out a soft whimper. I rushed to his side and sat on the bed, rubbing his little hand in mine to comfort him.

“What do you think it is doctor?” I asked after a few heart wrenching minutes. I honestly thought my chest was going to explode with the speed of my heart rate.

I caught a brief glance of the doctor’s face and it wasn’t looking good. What was wrong with my baby? Surely a cough couldn’t lead to him looking like that?

“I can’t be sure,” he sighed. “I think it would be safer if we got him to the hospital, just to be on the safe side.”

“The- The hospital?” I choked. “Is it that serious?”

“Like I said, I can’t be sure. But I think he has an infection in his lungs.”

I felt the sobs beginning in my chest; they slowly crept up and eventually left my mouth. I picked Robert up from the bed and ran around frantically throwing some of his things in a bag for him. I didn’t know what he would need so I grabbed everything I could think of: Diapers, clothes, blankets, pacifiers.

When I got to the hospital with him I was taken to a children’s ward, the nurse assessed him and she too had the same grave face the doctor had had earlier this evening.

I am now waiting for the doctor to come and see him.

Please let my baby live.

I will write again soon.

Esme. x

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