I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Having a preemie baby is scary. Having three preemie babies is terrifying. I think about that time in my life, just over a year and a half ago, and my heart aches for anyone who has a premature baby. Even if the time in the NICU is simply to allow for additional time to grow, gain weight, and learn to eat (which was the case with our boys), it’s still such a worrisome time. There is equipment surrounding you and your babies that you don’t understand. Strange beeps and alarms go off at random occurrences. And you’re lucky if you get the same nurse two days in a row. There’s so much uncertainty.
We were blessed that our babies were able to come home within the span of a month. But I was still anxious over the babies’ weights and prematurity. So I keep them under lock and key, homebound, for several months. My plan was to wait out the germ season before literally taking them anywhere. And it worked. We made it over a year before they got sick.
But when they finally caught a sickness, it wasn’t just the common cold. All three of my boys caught the dreaded RSV virus at the same time. For almost an entire month, we were battling wheezing, snotty noses, fever, and terrible coughs. The boys went for multiple breathing treatments at their doctor’s office. We had a month of sleep deprivation and rounds of medications. I can only hope and pray that this winter is better!
I knew about RSV because my daughter had it when she was about one and a half. Therefore I already had some experience with it. I did hours of research on RSV when she had it simply because it helped calmed my nerves. With my healthcare background, I can cope with sicknesses that I know about, but I get anxious about those that I don’t. So I knew that RSV would be a possibility for our boys. The virus typically affects children under the age of two between the months of November to March. I also had friends whose children had been hospitalized in the past due to the RSV virus. It was because of my prior experience and research regarding RSV that I knew my boys, as preemie babies, were twice as likely as full-time babies to be hospitalized due to complications from the virus. Needless to say, my anxiety level was through the roof the entire time that they were sick until I knew that they were out of the woods.
Throughout all of my kids’ experiences with RSV, I was surprised at how many of my mom friends (and even my mom herself) had never heard of RSV even though almost all children have contracted it by the age of two. The symptoms of RSV are many times mistaken for a cold because that’s the way that RSV often begins. However, persistent coughing, bluish color around the mouth or nails, difficult breathing, and high fever can all be a red flag for RSV. While the virus spreads rapidly and easily, there are a few things that can be done to minimize risk. Washing hands constantly, avoiding crowds, and keeping toys clean can help to a degree. The best thing to do is to become educated on the virus by talking with your child’s pediatrician and reading the data and information on www.RSVProtection.com.
For those with preemie babies like myself, November 17 is World Prematurity Day. Especially if your children are under the age of two, I encourage you to visit www.RSVProtection.com and become educated on the RSV virus before this year’s RSV season starts. Early diagnosis is key in preventing hospitalization, so don’t be caught off guard.
Have you had any experiences with the RSV virus?