Curse of the Pox by Rhianon

[advert:mpu] Five minutes after returning from a friend's house, I see them.

They look like a little row of bed bug bites around his waistband and lower back and I immediately, guiltily try to remember the last time I changed ds' sheets... when I look a little further up and notice he has twenty or so of the little bleeders on his back and arms. Heart sinks.

He has chickenpox, and we've inflicted a couple of weeks of hell on my friend who has a 6 month old baby and a boy about to enjoy his 4th birthday party. I feel like a heel, but all I can do is call and 'fess up...

At the doctors the next morning, she confirms The Pox, though I must say ds is anything but bothered. And why would he be? He gets a delicious anti-scratch medicine (don't you always have a little taste, too?), a week at grandma and grandads’ and a new Lego ambulance from his other grandma. I get... itchy spots. I seem to remember the doctor saying it was good I'd had chickenpox before, reassuring me that the baby and I would therefore be immune. Anyway, she continued, it would have been much better to get it now, with only four weeks to go, than earlier on in pregnancy, when the virus could have interfered with the baby's mental or physical development. But, thinking you can't get it twice, I wasn't really concentrating on the conversation...

All that changed on the phone to the midwife the next morning, when I told her I had at least twenty spots/ blisters. In a pretty astounding show of NHS efficiency, she told me they store some of your blood from the beginning of your pregnancy just to test for things like this later down the line, so you don't have to queue up at the doc's or hospital potentially infecting a whole bunch of other mums... I hear you gasp in wonder. I got the results late the next day, and they identified that I had already been exposed to the virus and was therefore immune. 'So what about these itchy spots?' I asked. Maybe a new body cream, they suggested, or an irritation from something. Definitely not chickenpox - you can't catch it twice.

Ds in the snow!Down at my parents’ house, ds is having the most terrific time, romping in the snow (see left) - which seems weird given that it was warm enough last week for the daffodils to flower, getting pampered and not suffering too much at all. He even made me a snow sandwich for breakfast when I arrive (peanut butter, jam, marmite and sugar. If I hadn't taken at least one bite it would have broken his heart). Dp has also got chickenpox and is stranded in Germany unable to work or fly home, so we make him a get well card which I've yet to post.

Meanwhile, almost everyone I speak to knows someone who's had the virus twice. And I'm getting spottier by the day... off to see my lovely GP again tomorrow to see if I can be one of those 'rare' cases who gets The Pox twice... poor old baby! I just hope he hasn't grown nails yet so he can't scratch himself to bits!

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