I found seeing my son very sick for the first time was a huge emotional struggle for me. With the additional sleep deprivation, from being up all night, it culminated into an emotional breakdown.
It happened a few weeks before I was diagnosed with PND. I don’t think that was a coincidence.
It’s heartbreaking to see your little one so vulnerable. You want to do anything to make them better. When this happens for the first time it can come as quite a shock as you realise how much you feel for them.
Your emotions become incredibly powerful. I felt intense fear of the unknown. What would happen to him? Was he ok? Should we go to hospital or not? What if something happens before we get there?
There is also the sadness of not being able to make them smile and seeing them so lethargic and helpless.
I found though, somehow, you put on a strong front and go into autopilot, to survive the situation. But afterwards, when they are over the illness, the breakdown can hit because you feel completely the opposite of strong. This is a totally normal reaction to such an intense time.
I don’t doubt that the feeling of helplessness and the shear fear will always be there when your child is sick. I just think the first time you’re hit with these powerful emotions can be quite shocking and it can take time for you to work out how to handle them.
Parenting is a tough gig but somehow we’re programmed to survive. We grow from these experiences. We become stronger and learn how to be the best parents we can. Try not to be too hard on yourself if you experience this – we aren’t perfect, we can only do what we think is right at the time.