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The unwanted milestone


Diary of a First-Time Dad
Edwin McGreal

There’s so many big milestones in your baby’s young life, but the weekend just passed gave us one not quite as desirable as the rest.
For the first time in her four-and-a-half months on earth, our baby Frankie was sick. It was as unwelcome as it was inevitable. In truth, we’ve done well to last this long without her picking up some bug out and about, but the obvious preference is for it to last a good bit longer.
As Friday went on, it became obvious Frankie just wasn’t herself. She was very blocked up and coughing, and so a visit to the chemist kickstarted operation ‘Get Frankie Better’.
But Friday night saw things get worse and Frankie vomited that night and the following morning. In between, she struggled to sleep as she normally does, with her usual means of breathing through her nose severely restricted.
The vomiting, more so than the head cold, brought the need for a visit to Westdoc on Saturday morning to make sure there was nothing more amiss. There we were told the head cold was causing the sickness due to Frankie, and any baby’s, inability to do what we take for granted ourselves - blow her nose.
As a result, too much ‘bad stuff’ (we won’t get too scientific or vulgar) was going into Frankie’s stomach, and coming back up.
The only solution was a small little device called a nasal syringe so off we went across the road to the chemist. Unfortunately, it was out of stock, and the downside to living in Achill means a trip to Newport for the next nearest chemist. They were out of stock too so it was onto Westport, enviously eying all the people on the Greenway and out the front of the pubs on the glorious summer day.
We got what we needed though and the journey was worth every mile as Frankie hasn’t b been sick since. It never crossed our minds to not make the journey. In fact, had it been impossible to locate in Westport, we’d have gone to Galway if we had to (yes, I know Castlebar is nearer, and we might have got lucky in Ballinrobe, but stay with me).
The point is when your baby is sick and you so helpless, so when you actually can do something to help, you will go to whatever lengths necessary to do so.
Frankie is slowly recovering, although her attitude throughout it all has been much more chilled out than her parents.
She’s laughing and smiling as normal and, bar some frustrated cries when trying to breathe through her mouth and feed at the same time (which makes a spluttery aul mess), she’s been a little trooper.
Perhaps as a thank you for our trek on Saturday – but more likely because she was wiped from the journey – Frankie slept for 12 uninterrupted hours on Saturday night.
A sleep in until 8am is a glorious thing these days, believe me.

In his fortnightly column, first-time-father Edwin McGreal  chart the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.

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