7.44am. I am lying in bed, wide awake, terrified to check the baby monitor that is still silent. Still quiet. Still not stirring. My heart is racing, my stomach churning. I am terrified. TERRIFIED. My mind is saying things to me that I know are probably not true but I can't completely ignore them. What if? Oh, what if? My mortal enemy.
Hugo wakes up between 5.30 and 7 o'clock. 7 at the very latest. That's a sleep in at our house. We usually hear him well before that. He's an early riser, as was Xav before him. They certainly didn't inherit this trait from their father or I. We love a good sleep in. So consistent is this early waking that we don't even set our alarms anymore, because we are always awake well before they go off at 7am.
Last night Hugo wasn't feeling the best. He's in good spirits but has a bit of a cough. Nothing major, just that runny nose, cough thing that little kids get fairly regularly. He had a slight temp, so I dosed him up on some Nurofen before bed.
He slept through, which in itself is not a rarity anymore. He often does. But his sleep was punctuated by bouts of coughing that had us in checking on him, making sure he was okay. It wasn't croup, his temp did not return, he was okay. I checked him enough times before midnight to make sure. I watched the flickering of his breathing & movement monitor on the tiny screen in our bedroom and knew he was okay.
I woke up at 7.20. 'Wow, a sleep in!' I thought as I snuggled into my doona, savouring the last few quiet moments before the shouts of 'Mama!' Dada!' echoed through the monitor. By 7.33, I had worried myself into a frenzy. The only reason he wasn't yet calling for us must be a bad one. The worst one. I just can't bring myself to get out of bed and check. Not him. I pray. Not him too. I'm already convinced something terrible has happened.
I concentrate on my breathing. In with the white light, out with the blackness. Right now, everything is fine. Right now there is nothing to indicate things aren't fine. In. Out. White. Black.
I summon my courage and bad down the hall, though the lounge and stand at his door. Xav is still sleeping, I can hear his soft snore through his open door. I listen through the door of Hugo's room, hoping, praying that I'll hear his little piping voice.
I take a deep breath. I turn the hand. I enter the darkness of his room. The white noise still plays rain and wind. I stand in the doorway, panicking.
The blue light of the breathing monitor still pulses, and he is lying facing away from me, those red curls a mass of sleepy knots. He smells of all things Hugo, that baby smell is tinged with dirt and farts nowadays. But it is oh so dear to me.
My heart races and I take the few steps towards his cot, and lean over the put my hand gently on his back to check if he's breathing.
He rolls over and those big grey eyes smile up at me. "Hi!" he giggles and I scoop him up into my arms and cuddle his dear little face to mine. My heart calms. My breathing calms. My rational thoughts return. My baby is fine, if a little snuffly. He's fine.
He puts his hand up to my face, snuggling in. "Mama loves you," I whisper to him.
"Doodle," he replies, giggling.
"Mmmmm, I'm so glad you learnt that word, you clever thing."
Back to reality. Anxiety conquered again. For now.