A Christmas Miracle

Happy new year, folks, and welcome back to work, or wherever you are.

You’ll be pleased to hear that Millie is finally free of disease, although it took a nerve-wracking trip to A&E on Christmas Eve eve to finally achieve that.

Millie woke up that morning worse than ever: the ear infection, conjunctivitis and cough all joined forces for one last big offensive that day.  She was coughing almost continuously from the moment she tried to open her eyes (and couldn’t, because of the conjunctivitis).  We kind of hoped she’d calm down a bit after having her milk and some cereal, but  the poor thing was obviously  a very very unhappy baby indeed.

Things then got worse when we discovered a leak in our toilet, leaving the Lovely Melanie in tears, worrying about both Millie and plumbers.

So we were incredibly grateful to our old friend Nik once again, who I texted to ask if he knew a good plumber. He texted back just minutes later offering to come round and have a look at the leaking loo himself.

He arrived soon after, with his neighbour, Matt (who knows about this sort of thing) and they managed to fix the leak.  By this time Millie was looking and sounding very unwell, and just would not be comforted, so Nik offered to take us to Lewisham A&E in his car.

Lewisham, you may remember, is where Millie was born; they were very nice and even more efficient, so that when we went home late that afternoon Millie was already looking and sounding much better.

Of course, it had buggered up our plans a bit, as the girls had been about to catch the train to the in-laws in Hatfield just after lunch, and I was meeting some friends for a Christmas drink in the evening, before joining them the next day.

As it was, I felt a bit  too frazzled to go out, Millie wasn’t well enough to tackle the Hatfield express, and we eventually ended up calling in the cavalry the next day in form of Mel’s sister and her boyfriend, who generously came down in the car to pick up all three of us.

We used a up a lot of favours this Christmas, I can tell you.

Thanks to Nik, Matt, Kristine and Tim, who selflessly helped us out over that horrible 48 hours: you really did save the Carter family Christmas!

Despite – or, more likely, because of – Millie’s meals over Christmas consisting of more antibiotics, ibuprofen, cough mixture and eye drops than actual food, we had a very nice time, and the girl herself is now fighting fit once more, and finally putting on some of the weight she’d lost over the last month or so.

That was what made her so ill in the first place – she’d been fighting an endless stream of illnesses for a month, all of them had weakened her, and she just had nothing left in her with which to fight this latest onslaught.

We knew she’d lost some weight (and she didn’t have that much to lose!), but it wasn’t until we looked back at photos of her before she got ill that we realised quite how much.  Her face had changed from a circle to an oval, and the pink-ness in the cheeks had pretty much gone, too. 😦

New Year’s, Millie came with us round to the house of my old friends Jimmy and Si, and a gang of us welcomed in the new year in fine (if relatively subdued) style.

Even so, we were very “tired” in the morning, and would have probably failed any parenting exams if we’d had to sit them yesterday.  Fortunately, Millie was pretty sleepy, too, due a much later bedtime than usual (she was playing with all the great stuff in Jimmy and Si’s living room) and being woken at 2 in the morning to catch a taxi home…

Oh! Oh! Oh!  I can’t believe I forgot this!

Millie took her first solo steps on New Year’s Eve!

She’s been “walking” for a while, but always holding on tightly to some form of support, stopping to crawl between places that had no obvious handholds.

Well, on New Year’s Eve, just before lunch, she deliberately took a single step without holding onto anything!

And then promptly fell over.

But she wasn’t discouraged, and that afternoon took quite a few more steps and didn’t fall over.

She’s still pretty unsteady, and will only walk if it’s absolutely necessary, but she can do it – she can walk!

And here are some Christmas pictures, because you’ve all been so very very patient.