So I told you all I would be writing a post about RSV. And I’ve been putting it off and putting it off because it has started to feel like homework.
And if you know me well, you know that means I’ve been dragging my feet and making excuses and avoiding.
Procrastinator is, after all, my middle name.
Okay, it’s Marie. But Procrastinator would’ve been better.
So here I am, October 26th, finally writing my RSV post.
Did you know October is RSV awareness month?
Because I sure didn’t.
And as I typically do when I get down to the wire, I’m going to take a shortcut. I’ve provided a few YouTube videos and a website link that will help you understand why we need to keep Stephen isolated and why we’ll be limiting our exposure to others as well.
This video is from Hand2hold.org. The first half of the video provides information about RSV, and at around 5:30 in the video, a mother recalls her 25 weeker daughter’s fight with RSV.
This video is from the National Coalition for Infant Health. Although this is aimed at children born a little later than Stephen was, and although he should have no problem qualifying for the preventative Synagis shots, he is still severely at risk due to his Chronic Lung Disease and narrow bronchial tubes.
The next two videos illustrate what RSV can look like. Video one shows two different babies in the ER receiving treatment, and video two shows what breathing retractions look like. Beyond how terrible they sound, look at their chests. Look at how hard they’re working to breathe. That’s what Stephen looked like until after his final surgery, the aortopexy. That’s not a sight I’ll soon forget and not one I’d like to experience again.
And finally, this link will take you to another preemie mama’s blog. It’s a letter explaining RSV isolation to her family.
If you are our family or friends we see often, I hope you take the time to watch these videos and visit the other blog. We’ll be keeping Stephen in a bubble from now until probably April/May, which means one or both of us adults will be missing out on socializing during the holidays. It’s very important to me that you really understand why.
What I hope you get out of this post is that this will be harder for us than it will be for you. We know you love us and will want to see us and the kids, but we spent six months in the hospital once already. We spent weeks in the beginning not knowing if our son was going to survive. I will do everything in my power to not be put in that situation again. This is our first RSV season out of the NICU, and I’m TERRIFIED.
Please don’t make us feel bad or guilty. Even though I know this is absolutely necessary for Stephen’s safety, I am not immune to guilt trips. And if I’m made to feel bad, although I will probably not say anything, it will severely damage my relationship with you.
Okay, tough talk over. :)
I’ll have an update post with some cute pics up tomorrow!