There he was, 15 days old, laying in a hospital bed, being bagged by a nurse and surrounded by multiple doctors, specialists and more. Questions being thrown at me right and left. Questions I am trying my best to answer as I stare at my littlest. Trying my best to hold it all together for him and my five year old, whose hand I am holding a little too tightly.
For myself, and many other mothers, this situation is far too common. Not only is it common, it is somewhat preventable.
My son spent 12 days in the hospital, spending the first several days fighting hard in the PICU, because he was sneezed on, by accident. For 12 days, he was poked, prodded, tubed, and more to try to keep him stable and breathing, from a sneeze. That is all it takes when it comes to an infant. That one sneeze led to him developing RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and bronchiolitis, which caused a lung to collapse.
In adults, RSV is nothing but a cold but to infants, it is much more. So much more.
So what is this all about? Why am I bringing it up? And why will I be snarky? Well, this post was brought about when a fellow CMB mom asked that no one come see her infant daughter unless they had their flu and pertussis vaccines, and not to be sick. While she did it in a jokingly fashion, she was also dead serious, and yet, her wishes were not respected.
Like in this mother’s case and so many others, people do not abide by our wishes. And I do not know if people do not care or think we are just overprotective mothers to our infants (think mother bears), but these are our little people. Little people we carried for nine plus months, birthed, and have to care for, usually with other children in our care.
Laugh. Get mad. Whatever, but it is all true.
While tossing ideas with other CMB moms and friends, I was amazed at the responses and experiences from them with their own children. If you know someone who has a newborn (a year or under especially), PLEASE, for the love of them and all children, STAY AWAY FROM THEM! If your children have been sick in the last 48-72 hours, keep yourself and your children away from them. If you think your child may have some junk in their eyes, ears, throat, whatever, STAY AWAY FROM THEM!
Most importantly, do not lie to the parents of these sweet infant children or try to keep your children away from them while under the roof if they have been sick. Germs from their ‘junk’ can be spread all too easily. Keeping our infants well in the winter months while having older siblings in school, etc. is hard enough on us mothers. So, when others we know who want to lie to us about their ‘well’ children is just infuriating to us. And it is wrong on so many levels.
Not only can those germs affect our little ones, they can also affect us mothers. A couple Christmases ago, I picked up the norovirus. I was out of town visiting in-laws and other family members when it hit. Luckily, I did not give any of those family members, or my immediate family members the virus. However, several family members got some version of the stomach virus that Christmas. We thought at first we had food poisoning of some sort until we were told that someone’s child had been sick with that stomach virus within 24 hours of being in that house.
Now, take that above scenario and apply that to someone with an infant. I am lucky that my children did not get this virus, but some of the other children and adults did ‘catch’ it. And I am not the only parent who has deal with friends and family coming around their children, especially infants, during the holidays or special occasions, who have been or who are sick. The winter months are the worst months in which people are sick and that is due to low sunlight, lots of enclosed spaces, etc. Keeping our children healthy is hard enough during this time.
Yes, mothers of infants may turn down birthday parties, baby showers, and even weddings because we do have an infant. Especially if it is in the winter months. We do not want to subject our little one to possible germs and what not and those who we turn down should understand this. Not question our parenting. We know what is best for OUR children.
They are ours. Our responsibility. And that alone requires respect from everyone.
Please, from all mothers with infants, please respect and honor our wishes and requests when it comes to our children. If we ask if someone has been sick or tell you they can’t go to some event or gathering because one of them have been sick, respect that decision. Not only are they trying to protect their family, they are also trying to protect yours.
In the end, my son recovered after spending a total of 12 days in the hospital. Those days were hard. Those days were scary. Those days really opened my eyes to how easy it is for those littles to be easily infected. And how easily something as small as a sneeze, can affect someone, especially an infant.