Monday, September 13, 2010

6 month check-up and T-minus 18 days until Quarantine ...

Today was Beatrice Kate's 6 month check-up at her pediatrician's office, Dr. Calm. (Side note: Her name isn't really Dr. Calm, but she is the most easy going person I've ever met and makes us feel like champion first time parents!)

Bea is doing BEAUTIFULLY, and her weight is finally (for the very first time in her life) able to be plotted on the growth curve. Granted, this data point comes in at 3% level, but we'll take what we can get! Her weight vs. length curve is even better, coming in at a whopping 67%. This means, she's is indeed her mother's child and will more than likely face a lifetime of chunkiness. She's also developing at around a 3-4 month old (which is what we would expect, seeing as she was BORN 3 MONTHS EARLY!)

Also at today's check-up we were reminded that a preemie's most risky time of their lives outside of the NICU is fast approaching... RSV Season.

What is RSV? We're glad you asked. RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus infection) is a very common wintertime ailment. In a healthy adult, it's symptoms are identical to a bad cold (coughing, sneezing, sore throat, etc.) In a premature baby with weak lungs, RSV can quickly turn into pneumonia and a cause for re-hospitalization.To minimize the impact of this virus should she come down with it, Beatrice Kate will begin receiving a monthly shot called Synagis on November 1 until March, in addition to her yearly flu vaccine in October.

It's such worry for preemie parents because kids can die from complications from RSV. In fact, click here to read about a fellow NICU family who lost their 29 weeker (same as Bea) in April 2009.

Seeing as we've had enough of hospitals for a while, Dr. Calm recommended that starting in October, Beatrice Kate (and subsequently Mommy) should be essentially quarantined in our home until cold/flu/RSV season is over. Aside from being bored out of our minds, this means:

1: No large crowds over 4-5 people (Unfortunatley, this means no Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings with my giant family, no parties,etc.)
2: No hanging around other kids; especially kids who go to daycare, school, hang out in public, etc.
3: No being held by anyone other than Mommy and Daddy, unless you've got on freshly laundered clothes and we watch you wash your hands with soap and warm water and sanitize.
4: If we go in public, (for example to the mall for a walk, to the grocery store, to church or to the park) Bea is to be in a stroller, draped with a blanket and no touching by strangers (I'm looking at you crazy old ladies).
5: No being around anyone who is sick, lives with someone who is sick, knows someone who is sick, is thinking of becoming sick... you get the idea.

Basically, we're about to become hermits. But if it means Bea stays happy and healthy throughout this winter (the most critical one she'll ever face), we'll deal. However, if you're in the area with a new movie, book or anything that could keep two cabin-fevered parents busy; feel free to stop by (of course, only if you're healthy and clean :) ).

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