It’s one in the morning, and my two-year-old son has finally returned to sleep after two hours of crying and struggling to breathe. I listen to his breathing; I track it. After twenty minutes with the nebulizer he’s finally found a smoother rhythm, but it’s shallow and ragged—he hems audibly between each inhalation. My own body has adapted to his; I can’t breathe deeply enough. Each time he coughs, my own lungs tickle.
I wonder if it would be okay for me to fall asleep here next to him, if I can trust the design of his body, or the design of my instincts to wake me if his breathing worsens.
At four am, I wake halfway. I note that he is struggling, but the heaviness of sleep draws me back in. I doze until he wakes wheezing and then crying in frustration.
Many times tonight I’ve considered taking Stump…
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