Very Nervous!

Sarah - posted on 10/13/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My Daughter was born at 27 wks weighing 1lb 6oz. She was in the hospital for 2 1/2 months and had very few complications. She was only on the Vent for 2 days and CPAP for a week. She came home on low flow oxygen Feb 24. And went off the oxygen a month and a half later. She has never been sick before, but I had also sheltered her and her older sister. I had finally started trying to let Hannah (she's 2) socialize at a local play place. Well this weekend Caitlin ran a fever the whole time, I thought it was due to the fact that she is cutting teeth, but got up yesterday and she had a rash all over her. Her doctor wasn't available so she seen a doctor from the office (which makes me nervous because she didn't know her history) and I was told that she has Roseola. One of the worst cases that she had seen in a while. Told there was nothing that could be done, just let it run it's course. My first daughter has already had Roseola so she shouldn't get it again. But then last night my oldest daughter starts sneezing and coughing. I'm so afraid that she is catching something and then going to pass it to Caitlin. Right now I feel like the worst mother... I have never been such a nervous reck.
Is it really fair for me to keep Hannah, who is a healthy full term child locked away? But then is it really fair for me to let Hannah go play and possible bring back germs that could harm Caitlin? It's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place!
I hope that Hannah isn't sick and that it's just allergies.

I just had to vent, I'm not sure how much sense that all makes. Thanks for reading.

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4 Comments

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Monika - posted on 10/25/2009

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This is different in so many ways, but I want to chime in because it may be similar enough to help you feel a bit better about the choices you're having to make with all of this.

When I was 4 and my sister 2 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer. My mom had to do whatever she could after my sister was finished with chemo to make sure she did NOT get sick. I think it's totally fair (and smart!) for you to be careful of what germs Hannah brings home. Maybe you can find your own balance so that you feel like you're being careful enough without feeling like you're "locking her away" - I know that's rough. But whatever you decide, I just want you to know, I totally do NOT remember the precautions my mom took, and I was a whole 2 years older than your Hannah. The things I do remember from that scary time was being glad my sister was doing well, and being able to play with her because she was home and not in the hospital. That was the best for me as a big sister!

I am totally feeling like a germaphobe lately... I bet all of us preemie moms feel you on the worry that comes along with all of this. I went to church this morning, and passing the peace with everyone - shaking hands and hugs and all - totally freaked me out. I wouldn't touch DD when I got home until I'd changed clothes and washed up really well. It's rough, how having a preemie makes us view places as threats. But the important thing is that we feel good about how well we are protecting our babies. (((hugs)))

Sarah - posted on 10/14/2009

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Caitlin will be getting the Synagis Shot again this year once the medical community decieds if Home Health Care is going to provide her shots or if I have to take her into the Peds Unit at the Hospital (which is generally dreaded by Preemie parents.) Plus as soon as the shots come in she will be getting the H1N1 and seasonal flu shots.
I know that I can not protect her from everything and that I shouldn't try to either. But I was just hoping to make it through the first 2 cold and flu seasons without getting sick, to give her lungs time to catch up.
Thankfully she is over Roseola. And now just has what seems to be a mild cold. It doesn't seem to have affected my girls near as much as it has me. Probably lack of sleep, Caitlin decided it was time to play at 4 am this morning, which is when I noticed that the rash was mostly gone.
Thanks for your input.

Julie - posted on 10/13/2009

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Well, I'm going to try to give a little help from someone who had a preemie that is soon to be 5 (in two weeks). He was born at 32 weeks 6 days, he was 5 pounds 5.5 ounces (yep, a big brute for that early). He received the Synagis shots the first winter at home -- he spent 5 days on the ventilator because of undeveloped lungs, and we were really lucky because he never really got sick, just the usual cold, cough, runny nose over the first few years. However, when we talked to the dr, he just responded, that just means when he goes to school, he's going to pick up everything. Wow, way to burst my bubble... lol



And only 4 weeks into school, he already has picked up something & now 2 1/2 weeks later finally getting over it.



My point is this, no matter how careful you will be either one of them can and will pick up something, but they need to pick up the little things to build their immunity. Your instinct is going to be to shelter Caitlin & Hannah, but you can't shelter them from everything. You just need to be picky about where you take them & what you let them do. And speaking from experience, I've become much more diligent about washing my own hands because I can pass it to my boys (I also have a 2 1/2 year old) just as easily as they can pick it up somewhere too.

Lindsay - posted on 10/13/2009

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I know how you feel. My situation is a little different, my daughter was also a 27 weeker with minimal complications. She will be 2 in January. I sheltered her almost ALL last winter b/c the first cold she ever got turned into pneumonia and bronchiolitus. Luckily she got Synagis shots last winter. This year she will not get the shots. Since she is older I feel she needs to socialize more this winter, but am terrifed she will get sick. Our first fall playdate was 3 weeks agao and she got sick from it.



Is your little one going to get Synagis shots this winter? They should qualify simply due to their gestational age at birth. Insurance should cover all or most of it. The shot contains anti-bodies for RSV (a respiratory disease that is very harmful to preemies, but like a common cold in others).



Some other tips to keep your preemie from getting sick are to carry lots of purel, teach your older daughter how to wash her hands (my 21 mos old is learning right now), our playgroup has a strict illness policy (even though we are just some local moms that decided to start a group) that includes a no runny nose rule. If your kid has a runny nose don't even think about coming to a playdate. I would stay away from public play areas during the winter, they do not get sanitized as often as needed. Try to set up at home playdates instead. You can also buy little signs to attach to carseats, strollers, etc... that say please wash you hands before touching mine...they are great!



Good luck keeping illnesses at bay this winter!

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