I have never been an over-protective mum. I think having four boys I would absolutely run myself to the ground if I had to protect them from every danger the world around them represents but that being said, since Oscar died it is probably natural for me to be a little more cautious when they are ill.
Logic, in my opinion, should still prevail… but now it doesn’t. Milo was behaving differently last week and I acted like a first time overprotective mum – one of those I used to laugh at even when I was a first time mum. It’s just a virus, right? He is lethargic, has had some cold sweats, a little fever here and there and really just wants to be in my arms or sleeping. Apart from when his dad or his brothers are here, then he perks up, at least for a while, and plays and laughs before getting tired again.
So the question I asked myself over and over again – virus, hot weather, teething or nothing – he is a baby after all. Or do I go to that dark place and consider a brain tumour? There, I said it. Because that is where my mind went – I looked on the HeadSmart card to check what the symptoms for brain tumours are in babies. I watched him during his sleep to see if I could magically get a sign from him that his head hurts, I checked his eye co-ordination, tested to see if can he still stand. And yes he can stand perfectly fine now and with all the practice from my little tests, he can even stand on his own for a while (something good is coming out of my overprotectiveness!).
I know he is most likely fine and just doing what babies do, but I have become that mum who frightens herself into thinking the worst. This is not helped by the fact that Milo can not, of course, tell me why he is a little out of sorts. It is not helped by my current terrible mood and the fact that this month missing Oscar is hitting me at full force at the moment either. I cannot get away from the fact that I once went to the doctors thinking my son was ill, never imagining being sat in a little room at a hospital and told by three doctors that my son had a brain tumour and an ambulance was now waiting to take him to a different hospital and that all of our lives would be forever changed…..forever saddened, forever traumatised, forever knowing life could change in an instant and we would be powerless to do something about it then.
Normality in the form of everyday family life with an ill baby has all of the sudden turned me into a crying wreck. I need to acknowledge it and keep moving. Let’s look at the positives; my eldest turned 13 and we made his weekend a wonderful birthday party with family coming from all over. My other son will turn 7 soon and we will celebrate that in style. We will go on holiday, we will watch Euro 2016 and Wimbledon with our friends and cheer at the TV.
I am hugely excited by having met Sarah Hewson, our new patron for the charity, and she has confirmed she will be at our ball in September. We met for lunch and she is one of these people who I was just instantly attracted to. She is a mother of two and understands the fear I go through. She understands the need for me to be part of changing the future of paediatric brain tumour treatments.
As a mother who now worries just that little bit more than I used to, I push through it by the strength the positives in my life bring me. The charity, other mums and dads, my children and my wonderful husband who secretly worries just as much as me!