Tough but delicate

Benjamin has been through a lot and has come so far. And hopefully he will be home very soon. But as much as we will try to put the months at the hospital behind us, it is going to take a lot of luck and care to keep him from going back. While he is much healthier than he was, we need to be very vigilant with keeping him healthy. Because of his lung disease from prematurity and being on the ventilator so long, a simple cold, the flu or RSV can land him in the hospital and put his life at risk.

So with that said, we want to apologize in advance for seeming crazy and overprotective for a while. Because we will seem crazy and overprotective. Besides being first-time parents of a preemie, we have seen more doctors than we ever want Ben to see. Even worse – cold season is coming up fast. He has not come this far to be taken down by germs.

So for a while:

  • Benjamin will need to avoid indoor crowds.
  • We are going to be hand-washing hawks – washing your hands is the best way to avoid spreading disease.
  • Hand sanitizer will be everywhere.
  • We will be those parents with a sign on the stroller asking strangers not to touch the baby.
  • We are going out to get flu shots tomorrow and we ask anyone who plans to spend a lot of time with us to get flu shots too. (This is mandatory for grandparents <that means you Pop>). (Though, flu shots are smart for everyone and you can get them everywhere – the sooner you get it in the season, the better.)
  • Anyone with a sniffle, cough or ache will be be asked to stay away.
  • No smoking. Smoking increases the risk of RSV and other respiratory illness in preemies.
Also, for good measure, go see Contagion – that should freak you about germs a little too.
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13 thoughts on “Tough but delicate

  1. It is totally understandable! If I was in your shoes I would be the same way, it is what’s best for Ben and you both have every right to be as protective as you feel you must be for your son’s benefit! You both as well as Ben have endure too much to let anyone have him have get in danger in any way when you are trying to avoid it. I hope he comes home soon for you and I have a feeling everyone that is extremely close to you both and loves Ben will do what you ask ESPECIALLY the grandparents 🙂
    Funny you should mention that movie Contagion, I saw the preview with my friend and told her ppl that have phobias already with germs will get more nuts over it and maybe it’s a movie I may just have to show to my boys so they can understand why I am so like ‘Don’t Touch This! or Don’t put your fingers in your mouth….you want to catch nasty germs!”
    Every parent has EVERY right to feel the need to do whatever they feel they must do to meanwhile place their child in a “bubble” as I like to call it, I do it to my children for a different reason (some kids are too wise nowadays and I don’t need them to learn something they don’t need to at their age) and you have to avoid Ben catching any germs…it’s a job that we have but it’s for teh best because that is what love does. I will enjoy you posting pics of him on here or on FB especially videos. I respect your wishes. I look forward to meeting him in person next year when you Aunt Geri comes by. And I HAVE to say it again Ben is an awesome baby! he is a true toughie and will continue being a CHAMP!

  2. Good for you for speaking out for what you need! Anyone who cares and loves you three will understand and comply. Benjamin’s needs should and will come first for you and keeping him germ-free is a priority. Go Ben!

  3. Congratulations!!! Making the “I don’t want to seem crazy but I’ll beat you down in the street if you even THINK of touching my baby with that germy finger!” is, to me, a rite of passage for all (micro) preemie parents! I made all therapists and family members remove their shoes at the door or wipe the soles with hospital grade wipes (Cavicide kills just about everything – including staph – when directions are followed). I had soap and hand sanitizer everywhere. I had signs on the doors of our house and on the stroller – and even at 29 months, we still use Clorox wipes to clean the buggies at the market. I said all along that I relished the time when I could be considered a super over protective lunatic for limiting visitors, not allowing anyone to come inside our house if they had been exposed to or had ANY illness during the 10 days prior, bleaching our floors (we had ceramic) weekly – and especially after a therapist came through (they work with kids all day and go in and out of daycares). Our efforts proved effective. Our babies were almost 2 before they ever had a runny nose. I am still pumping which helps- but being aware of possible crowds or dangerous situations does wonders for their overall health – just last weekend, we left the Children’s Museum because a kid came in with a hacking cough. Much luck to you guys! Hang in there!

  4. I’m here to join my voice to the chorus of “Good for you!!!” I sent a very similar email out when Twyla was born to my fellow Moms of 2 year olds, and I don’t even have a micro preemie! Neither of my girls saw any indoor crowds for months after birth. You are not crazy, you are being smart. being overprotective is your job…. Good job.

  5. Sorry, I have no time to write! I’m on my way to Walgreen’s for my flu shot!!! Hurry home Ben!!!!!! We love you!

  6. great post. you are the parents and you call the shots! thinking of you three.

  7. I work with Ebola virus but I was more scared of RSV when we brought Jack home. There will be people who think you’re going overboard, but they never sat at the hospital with Ben as much as you did. They’ll get over it easier than Ben will get over a cold so they can deal with it. When you go for the flu vaccine, insist on the shot and NOT the mist. The mist is a live vaccine and you shouldn’t get that if you’ll be around Ben. Also make sure you insist on the RSV immunoglobulin shots for Ben. Insurance companies try to get out of it, especially after the first year. You’ll have to fight for it, but it’s worth it!

    I am so excited that the “H” word is getting close!

    Love to you guys!
    Vic

  8. I haven’t had a flu shot in well over 50 years. I’ll be getting mine next week.

  9. So let me get this straight. If I visited and was holding Ben, you don’t want me to sneeze in his face and wipe my nose on his blanket? Seems unreasonable, but OK. 🙂

    Seriously, I doubt that anyone would fault you for being overly cautious with that special little guy.

  10. He got Synagis, right?? We already had our first RSV of the season at work. And it’s only August!!!!!!!!!!!! As much as I love Ben to death, I do NOT want to be taking care of him this flu season on 9East. I would have to wear a gown, gloves and a mask and then I just couldn’t bite his cheeks (Although this is me we are talking about and I would find a way)!

    • He didn’t get synigis yet, but we’re all planning on it. I’ll try convince him that there are other ways to see you than visiting nyu 😉

  11. Lily got synagis shots when she was 6 months, then at a year, then this past winter when she was a year plus. You can never be too cautious! The shots were once a month, for about 4-6 months- nothing that Ben can’t handle! And if you have him out and about in a stroller, you can keep on the rain or bug guard even if the weather is fine- it will just be an extra layer of protection from the outside world. I totally understand since my little girl can’t afford to get sick either. She’s over 2 and only had one cold- not bad!

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