Winter is not my favorite time of the year. It reminds me of the cold season in Nairobi when we were younger. I would wake up at night with a congested chest and a whiz, walk to my parents room and knock for an inhaler. My mum always had one handy (ventolin to be precise) that worked like magic. After struggling for the better part of the night 2 puffs would work the magic and I would quietly go back to sleep… happy!
Last month at the onset of winter, due to weather changes my wife and I got the flu which we promptly passed on to our little one 😦 This turned out to be a serous bout of flu for her- From coughing to blocked nose to running nose to fever … the works. Surprisingly though she was still up and about and eating well in spite of all the symptoms. We gave her CALPOL which took care of the fever and we had nasal drops for the congestion which did not always work. She had difficulties breathing because she could not breath through the nose and as a result she also struggled to breast feed.
The mucus accumulation in her chest made her cough as though to spit it out but she did not know how to get it out. So she would swallow it right back in. Usually while feeding her she vomited and it came out with a heavy supply of mucus which was a relief for her because soon after that she would eat without a hustle. Of-course this was not pleasant if it happened right at the end of a feed- that meant you start all over again as you cannot let her go to sleep hungry.
on the 2nd or 3rd evening while we were putting her down to sleep I heard the sound of a whiz from her chest. My wife heard it too and we were both terrified; for different reasons … my wife for fear that the cold and flu symptoms were getting worse and I for fear that she could have the asthma genes that my grandma, my mama and I have battled with. My heart sunk and I almost teared but I had to man up for my galz. My wife suggested that we take her to hospital. I did not object … Tip: Always trust your wife’s instincts. So we dressed her warm and headed to the nearest Medi-clinic.
At the Medi-Clinic the doctor checked her chest and listened to her breathing and decided to nebulize her. A Nebulizer is a drug delivery device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are commonly used for the treatment of, asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases (Wikipedia). Watching my baby with the Nebulizer mask over her faces tore my heart to pieces. I was so sad and prayed that God would not allow our daughter to suffer the same chest complications my mum and I have suffered for a long time. As I held her and as my wife and I praying over her she quietly slept as her chest opened up and her breathing became easier. She lay there peaceful and quiet … and in deep sleep.
Next we had to take her for X-rays to determine if there was any infection in the lungs. Obviously this woke her up as we undressed her and held her down amidst screams and kicks. We thank God there was no infection in the lungs. The doctors gave us medication for her and thereafter allowed us to head back home. We were shaken but happy that she was alright. Thank you God for healing her and keeping her safe. You are Jehovah Rapha – The Lord Who Heals!
nb: My mum and I have since stopped eating eggs and using animal milk. And as result we have no complications for as long as we can remember. I do not even have ventolin (Inhalers) at home for just incase. God healed me.
Yesterday when I got home I was tired! The only place I wanted to be was home … with Keshi and Ciiru. They make me feel peaceful and safe. My wife makes me feel like a teenager because of how much I love her. And Ciiru …. Ciiru brings out all the childishness in me. She makes me feel like a baby again! I love watching her trying to put her hands together, rolling over, drooling, blubbering … the works! But yesterday they shocked me! When my wife opened the door for me I remained speechless for a while … there she was … my little angel in ‘matutas’ (English for that?! … corns I suppose) … For the 1st time in her 7 months of life she had her hair made! She looked like a new person to me. Like I was experiencing her for the very 1st time. She looked more like a girl than a baby now. My little angel is growing up fast and furious!! and it got me thinking.
I remembered Susan Engel saying “When they’re little they sit on your lap; when they’re big they sit on your heart” … Apparently having little kids is a breeze. As long as you hug them a lot and make good food, things seemed to be, for the most part, O.K. You can fix many problems, and distract them from others. Your home can be a haven from all that might be painful and difficult in the world beyond.
All of that changes when they are grown. They fall in love, break their hearts, apply for jobs, leave or lose the jobs, choose new homes, can’t pay the rent for those new homes and question their choice of profession. They forge their way, all just outside of your helping reach. Then, when bad things happen, they need you like crazy, but you discover that the kind of help you’ve spent years learning how to give is no longer helpful.
This poem by Brad Anderson came to my mind:
Can I Carry You?
I guess I can hold you one more time before you grow
And tell you that I love you so that you will always know
Please let me feed you again,One day you’ll feed yourself
And when you think back to this time, I hope it’s love I’ve shown
Can I help you put your coat on? Can I please mush your food?
Can I swing you around in my arms? Can I pick you out a treat?
One day you might just care for me,so let me care for you
I want to be a part of every little thing you do
Tonight could I please wash your hair? Can I put toys in the bath?
Can I help you count your small ten toes before I teach you math?
And one more time can I stand near to make sure you don’t fall?
Let’s take another space-ship ride Up to a distant planet
Before our Cardboard Rocket doesn’t fit us anymore
Please let me help you up the hill while you’re still too small to climb
And let me read you stories while you’re young and have the time
I know the day will come when you will do these things alone
Will you recall the shoulder rides and all the balls we’ve thrown?
I want you to grow stronger than your Dad could ever be
And when you find success there will be no soul more proud than me
So will you let me carry you? One day you’ll walk alone
I cannot bear to miss one day from now until you’ve grown!
Today my wife and I turn 7 months as parents. And for the first time in my life I really do care about the outcome of the Kenya General Election. I was in Kenya during the 2007/08 post election violence and would not like to see what happened then repeated. Being in the diaspora, obviously I have no vote but I care about the Kenya I will one day be bring my children to. Whoever wins, I hope they will deliver on their pre-election promises… whatever they are. They are always good anyway.
Meanwhile, Ciiru is 7 months today- how fast time flies … it was 6 months just the other day! And look what she can do … She Turns towards sounds and voices, imitates sounds, rolls in both directions, reaches for objects and mouths them and sits without support!Am afraid soon she will crawling … then all hell will break loose 🙂
She is also getting cheeky and enjoys playing ‘picaboo'(A game for a small child in which one covers one’s face, then revealing it and saying Boo! or Peekaboo!) … my diction grows everyday … what did we used to call it anyway?!. She now understands that when you are out of sight you don”t cease to exist … and so when she cant see you she starts looking for you in anticipation.
Ciiru is also reaching for things with a sweeping motion and is Imitating speech sounds (babbles) and is Banging objects together. One author had the guts to suggest home implements are very useful at this stage … pots and pans and all such utensils. Our home is slowly turning into a bedlam of noise …
In the last 7 months I have seen my wife transform literally right before my eyes. I wish I could do a time lapse … I have seen her move from girlfriend to wife to mum with such grace that I say “thank you God” at every thought of her. Ciiru is lucky to have such a mum and am blessed to have her for a wife!
So here’s to the coolest wife … and I can speak for Ciiru … “here’s to the coolest mum!!”