Disquiet

Harry had his 4 monthly consultant’s appointment on Wednesday, which went… well, OK, I suppose. I told him my worries about Harry’s short height and stalled weight gain, and he tish-toshed. I told him that the health visitor had said that his leg creases were uneven, and he pished. I bleated plaintively about H’s perpetual 39 degree fever spikes, and he obediently handed over some urine sample bottles for UTI tests. He listened to H’s chest, and couldn’t hear his VSD heart murmur this time around. So far, so good. 

Then I told him that the seizure-type episodes from Harry’s first 24 hours of life were bothering me still. (He had several occurrences of violent arching accompanied by massive desaturations in the NICU; his lumbar puncture came back negative for infection, which did leave a rather obvious possibility at the time. When a consultant neonatologist gently tells you that he fears your child may have been brain damaged in utero, it does tend to get your absolute and undivided attention.) Harry’s brain scan showed no bleeds, and no-one has mentioned these fits since he was 5 days old; yet they have nagged at me. So I asked hopefully: could it have been the chemical cosh he was given in order to stop him fighting his ventilator that caused them? And Dr said No, not really. And proceeded to be all non-committal about them. He obviously remembered Harry having them, as at no point did he delve back into the notes.

So we still don’t know what these wretched episodes were, or quite what to think about them. I do have some dark suspicions; but Harry does seem to be progressing. Born 3rd August instead of mid late September, he is pincer-gripping, finger-feeding, crawling at high speed, sitting himself up straight and pulling up to a stand on everything he can grasp.

However, although clearly a hearing baby, he is a little behind with his talking – he will croon die dada die (A threat? A warning?!) and such like to himself but will not respond vocally to conversation or join in with singing. He is an extremely, comically wobbly baby, and is horribly prone to bashing into things with his poor head that he must realise are there. He stands on his toes quite often instead of flat on his feet. His head lag took a hell of a long time to sort itself out.

On the days when he is clumsier than usual, in fact, I am not able to stop myself googling cerebral palsy.

I told the consultant about none of this. Nor any of my IRL friends and family. It is all within the spectrum of normal baby behaviour, and I have no wish to sound as paranoid as I am, if you understand me. It’s early days yet, and if there does turn out to be a problem later with Harry’s development, A) it is obviously not detectable to Consultant yet or he would have told us and B) there’s nothing we can do at present except watch and wait. And for me to worry my tits off. 

What I wanted him to tell us was not to worry. To reassure me that Harry is absolutely sound in wind and limb, and his wonderful progress so far eclipses any possibility of things going agley further down the line. A robust ‘Of course your son isn’t damaged in any way, Mrs Hairy Farmer’ would have been just lovely. The combined guilt of faulty uterine housing (two of ’em, both work, but only sort of) and an early end to Harry’s tenancy agreement, coupled with my appalling and iniquitous failure to sit out Harry’s most dangerous hours of life alongside him (hence I actually saw none of these seizures for myself), is a burden I find staggering already. (It gets worse as we move further from the events themselves. It’s almost as if I felt that the closer I was in time to the things that went wrong, the easier it would be to reach back and put them all right. I’m such a dipshit.) Having my suspicions solidify into bad news after all of this would be very hard.

I already feel that I let Harry down enough in the beginning (yes yes yes, I know I didn’t stress him out in utero and then evict him deliberately, but cognitivity’s fuck-all use sometimes) but had thought that he was now free of any lingering issues from the useless half-arsed start in life that his Mummy gave him. I may have been wrong. I hope not. Watch this space.

I was going to save the next bit of news for another post, but I’ve managed to properly upset myself typing all this now, so I’ll get the doom and gloom over with all together: RIP Colonel Mustard II. God knows what Mrs Brahma’s doing to them; that’s the second husband she’s seen into the grave (Actually, the metal dead-bin at the farm. Less dignified but also less digging.) in 4 months. Admittedly these Brahmas are probably on the older side of middle age, but he was in great condition when he arrived a month ago. She could hardly be taking out life insurance policies on these chaps. 

Perhaps she shagged him to deat… no, no, couldn’t have.

Forget I mentioned it.

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