A couple weeks ago Mike came down with a head cold and was sneezing all over the place. He kindly slept on the couch for the worst of it in an attempt to keep Annabel and me from getting sick, but unfortunately he has very ambitious germs, because I got it, and how.

Last week the cold was in my head, and now it’s in my chest. I lost my voice almost completely, and my lungs…they are just suffering. I can’t take a deep breath without coughing for ten minutes.

It is, in a word, lovely.

If I had been this sick when Maddie was here, I would have literally had to move out or send her away. She could not have afforded to get a bad chest cold like this, and Mike and I lived in constant fear that she would. Then, when Maddie passed away, there was no reason to be afraid anymore. Our greatest fear had come true.

But then I became pregnant with Annie and my fears returned. I started to have a reoccurring thought that Annie would get a respiratory infection and something awful would happen. I spoke to my therapists at length about this, but no matter what they would say I couldn’t shake my fears. What if it happened again? Even considering the possibility shook me to the core.

You would think that my fears would have subsided after Annie was born healthy and we were able to take her home after only a couple days, but they didn’t. I still imagined her getting sick. And then I imagined things falling apart again. In the same, horrible, life-shattering way.

This is why when I noticed Annie was congested as well last week I freaked out. I  contacted Dr. Loooove who was a great help. She told me to stay calm and gave me tips on how to help Annie by doing things like suctioning her nose and keeping her upright. As I did those things, I tried to stay calm. I told myself that things were different – that Annie was a big, healthy girl – and to my relief Annie quickly showed that she could handle a cold. She coughed a little, but it was clear she was going to be okay.

History does not have to repeat itself.

This doesn’t mean that I’m not going to worry about her getting sick, I will. But maybe, just maybe I won’t drive myself sick with fear anymore.