Yesterday a parent apologised to me. This is not something that happens very often.
I realise this makes me sound bad but bear with me.
Now don’t get me wrong, having a sick baby who you have to kiss goodbye everyday while they stay on the unit and you go home is one of the most stressful and heartbreaking things I can imagine.
Having been on both sides after my son was admitted to hospital twice before he was three weeks old I’ve experienced the stress, the anxiety and the fear that invades every corner of your brain. I’ve had my whole being screaming at me to just DO something, anything to help my baby.
I know the sheer helplessness of being a Mummy with a sick child.
I know all this but it still doesn’t make it any easier being screamed and shouted and sworn at when I’m doing my best to help a baby and support their parents.
Sometimes I just want to shout back, to tell them to give me a break. That I haven’t been to the loo since I left the house at 0630 this morning, that in the last 3 days I’ve had about 8 hours sleep because my little one is teething and that I really need to go and stop another baby from crying or my hormones are going to make my head explode.
But I don’t say any of that, I can’t. Its not their fault that I’ve managed to raise a child who hates sleep or that the unit is full to bursting or there’s a baby in the next room who’s just had a cardiac arrest so that’s why they can’t speak to a doctor.
I stay calm, I try to calm and reassure them and I try to avoid eating copious amounts of the never ending supply of cake in the staff room when I finally get a break.
There is a reason why I’m still trying to shift most of the baby weight.
I don’t expect apologies, I know parents have far more important things to think about and rightly so. But when they do happen they have a healing effect that’s far better than any amount of cake.