Turi stopped breathing this morning. I still don't know what happened. The morning began like any other morning. Turi woke up early as usual and ran smiling to the bathroom for a nappy change and then to the kitchen to ask for breakfast. He ate two weetbix and then went to play in the lounge room. He was his usual spritely self, laughing, running and full of energy. He ran down the corridor to say good morning to his dad and Minty who were having a sleep in but the door was closed. He was crying loudly and then the crying stopped. He staggered into the lounge where I was standing and made a strange whimpering sound. I knew instantly something wasn't right - it wasn't his usually loud and lusty cry and he is always so deliberate and sturdy on his feet. As I picked him up he began to go limp and gradually stopped breathing. His lips were blue and his eyes were fixed and lifeless. I screamed and sobbed for help. My husband started hitting his back, sure he was choking. He tried to put his fingers in his mouth to prize out whatever was blocking his throat but his jaw was locked. By now I was sobbing on the phone to the ambulance. And then as suddenly as it began, it was over. He started to cry loudly, and move a little. He never coughed. Nothing ever came out of his mouth in the way of a choking hazard.
During those everlasting two minutes where I thought he might die I didn't pray. I guess maybe that means I'm an atheist after all.
The ambulance came, we went to hospital. His heart was monitored, he was examined, he was watched for hours. Nothing notable could be found. The doctors suspect epilepsy. There will be more tests and specialists but for now all we do is wait. Wait and watch terrified it will happen again.
I can't begin to describe to you what it's like to hold the lifeless body of you child in your arms and really believe they might be dead and then that afternoon to be cleaning the kitchen and cooking dinner as though nothing has happened while the children play together in the lounge. Every muscle in my body aches from the constant tension. Every time Turi stumbles or doesn't move for a second I am convinced it is happening again. I have no idea how long it is going to take for my terror to subside and complacency to resume. I keep checking to see if he is dead or just asleep. I don't think I will be able to sleep at all tonight and if I do I'm sure I will relive the nightmare of this morning.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to compulsively check that Turi is still breathing again.