Friday, October 1, 2010


To keep the germs away
Well, it's here. October 1 has arrived and brought with it strict instructions from our pediatrician, Dr. Calm. You'll recall that last month after Bea's 6 month well visit, Dr. Calm sent us home with orders to basically keep Beatrice Kate in a bubble until March. Why March? Well, while germs are all-seasonal... the kind that come out in winter are particularly terrible to micro-preemies like Bea who have weakened immune systems and weakened lungs.

Bea goes in next week to get her flu shot and then again in November and each month after until spring arrives to receive a vaccination against RSV. Casey and I will also be receiving flu vaccinations next week as an extra layer of protection for her. As another preemie mom said to me, "When your doctor uses the words 'death' and 're-hospitalization' about your baby, you tend to follow their orders!." We have the same doctors :)

I know we've already covered what all our cabin-fever inducer quarantine entails... but we've gotten a few questions from friends and family about what it all really means. So, here's a little reminder of the "rules" from Dr. Calm, with clarification from us in bold italics.

1: No large crowds over 4-5 people (Unfortunately, this means no Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings with my giant family, no parties,etc.) Yes, this means we won't be home for Thanksgiving and we'll need to find a creative solution for Christmas. As much as we want to be with everyone for the holidays, getting Bea through this winter (the most critical winter in her life) is our first priority. Trust us, we know how stinkin' cute the kid is and how she would look REALLY cute in an elf costume but if I have to choose between a cute photo op and a healthy baby... I think we all know what we would choose. The photo. A healthy baby.

2: No hanging around other kids; especially kids who go to daycare, school, hang out in public, etc. So, no playgroups that meet indoors, no sharing toys with other kids, etc. Yes, we can still go to water aerobics on Saturdays because (and this is where my expensive Chemistry degree finally gets put to use), Chlorinated water kills germs. If it didn't there wouldn't be any public swimming pools. Yes, we can go for walks outside with our friends. All the kids are contained in their own strollers and unless Bea has sprouted Go Go Gadget arms and manages to reach across the walking paths- we'll be fine.

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. This is a big one. Any doctor will tell you that the easiest way to stop the spread of germs is to simply wash your hands with warms water and soap. We're taking it step further and insisting on the use of antibacterial hand gel as well. Just for the soap-resistant strains! Please don't take this as a slam on your hygiene. Rest assured, we will be asking/watching/stalking everyone who comes in our house.  Also, we haven't been as strict about this as we should be- but please, please, please take off your shoes when you come in our home. Most people don't think about all the dirt, germs, disgusting-ness that you walk through everyday. Bea plays on our carpets. I prefer to have a dirt-free place for her to lick play on. If you don't like the feeling of your bare feet on our floors, buy a clean pair of shoes to wear ONLY in our home. If you smoke, be prepared to change into fresh clothes BEFORE you hold Bea or come in our house

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). Luckily, Grandma Betsy made Bea a fabulous new cover for her car seat that serves as a cloth bubble and stranger-touching deterrent- so we don't have too much to work about in this area. We won't be bringing Bea to church until March, with the exception of maybe LoveFeast or something similar. We'll be alternating attending church and staying home with her on Sundays. I tested out the "online grocery shopping" this week and I think it will be an OK alternative to our weekly Wednesday trips to the store for food. I will at least be able to get most of our items this way and make smaller runs when Casey is at home and can stay here with Bea. 

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.This is the one that has the potential to make us crazy paranoid. The trouble with RSV is that, in your or I, it appears to be just a mild cold. Maybe a sniffle, maybe a little cough. But, bring that tiny sniffle around Bea and within days it easily could morph into pneumonia or respiratory distress or worse. If you show up at our door and even if you are 100% positive it is just "allergies", or your brother's sister's cousin's grandma just got over the flu or you're just feeling "under the weather but aren't actually sick"... we will have to turn you away. We cannot take any risks this winter. 

Anyway... Bea hates wearing her protective mask- so don't make her have to... please?
This SO does not coordinate with my outfit

1 comment:

  1. I so remember the quarantine days. I had twins at 27 weeks and they too had the RSV shots and things. I guess in a way it was good that we lived away from family (like 1100 miles) so we didn't have to worry about the big family holiday gatherings. They are extremely healthy 8 1/2 year olds now. Will say a little prayer for you guys when I think of you. (I just found your blog through Menu Plan Monday and I really like it)