I’ve been either growing or feeding a tiny human with my own flesh and bodily fluids for nearly six years. I have no memory of what it’s like to be a human in a non-symbiotic relationship. My body has not belonged to me in a long long time.
A couple of months ago I was picking dates for my future emancipation. I decided on a weekend in April when I would be travelling to San Fran sans kids. I was ready to stop nursing, but I first wanted to get my two-and-a-half year-old through cold and flu season with the yummy antibodies my breast milk provides him. I wondered with great anticipation how different I would feel and how saggy my boobs would become. Then it happened…. CORONA TIME!
I am aware of the fact that children are not as susceptible to the virus as adults, but my little guy, Charlie, does not have the best track record when it comes to respiratory infections. His first visit to the ER took place when he was five months old. He had a cold, but was struggling to breathe and he had red cheeks and an elevated heart rate. When we arrived the nurses discovered he had low oxygen saturation and he was given four breathing treatments of Albuterol to open his airways. We had been doing a pretty decent job up until then of limiting Charlie’s access to screens, but the need for him to sit still and breathe in medicine outweighed the guilt over exposing his developing brain to TV. Thus his love affair with Teletubbies and Peppa Pig began.
Since that initial visit to the ER Charlie has used a nebulizer, which turns liquid medicine into mist, whenever he gets a chest infection. With an older brother constantly bringing home germs from school this happens quite a lot. Fortunately as he grows, each year has gotten incrementally better, and we’ve only had to dust off the nebulizer a few times this winter. However, unfortunately there’s a new scary bug in town and as a parent I’m going to do all I can to protect my prone to illness toddler against it. If this means nursing him until a vaccine can be developed, so be it. My boobs can take it.