The first winter - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those of you who've done it, how bad was it? What were your fears regarding RSV and other illnesses? Were they realized? What exact precautions did you take? I want to be prepared, but I also want to be realistic, and not living in fear of everything, if that makes sense. We've already planned how to handle not taking DS2 into public at all. Our older kids aren't in school, so that isn't a concern either. But what beyond that?
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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I'm wondering the same stuff. My preemie was a 33 weeker, so we haven't had to be too careful over the summer about taking him out in public, but I'm concerned about the upcoming winter.

We have a 14yo who goes to school, she's actually my stepdaughter and she lives with us but visits her mom sometimes so she's exposed to that whole family's germs too. And we have a 2yo who stays home with me, but we go to toddler/play groups a couple times a week.

My preemie is right on the cusp of being able to get synagis or not, we'll see if the insurance company approves it.

Any advice would be appreciated!

-Morgan

me(31)dh(38) dsd(18) ds1(5) ds2(3) GBG triplets (turned 1 in Jan '12!)

 

Hypnobabies Instructor and Birth Doula, PM me with questions!

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Old 09-25-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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My girls are 29 weekers born in March so they were about 6-7 months old when winter started. They were getting RSV shots, we hardly went anywhere, and people were very good about not coming to the house sick.

The second winter, we DID get out and about, and we picked up nearly every bug we could find Roseola. Random cold. RSV. The flu. The flu was the worst. They were fine but I about lost my mind (the coughing. make.it.stop)

So for us the first winter was a cakewalk. Actually I think they were nearly a year old before they even got a runny nose. Pretty good for formula fed kids (just think how great they'd have done on breastmilk!)
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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Our DS2 was a 35 weeker born in March. We didn't do anything unusual that year other than make sure everyone washed their hands and avoid anyone who was sick. When I did take him out, I always wore him in a moby to make sure no one would get to close.

His second winter, he got sick a lot. A lot more than his brother. I think this may have had to do with being a premie in the first place.

This year, we're anticipating that I'll have another preemie sometime this fall, hopefully not too soon (24 weeks pg now). To prepare, we're catching the older boys up on the vaccines for the worst illnesses (PCV, HiB, Dtap) and we're doing flu vaccines for the first time for the whole family.

We'll also have everyone take probiotics and fish oil and do additional immune support as needed (vitamin c, echinacea, zinc, etc.). I've found that paying attention to vitamins B and D also helps support our immune systems. Dad and I will try to exercise, eat, and sleep well and to reduce stress as much as possible, again to improve our immune systems.

If baby is born before 34 weeks (which would be end of November), I'm sure we'll end up with the synagis.

We'll do everything we can to breastfeed. If I need to go out, I'll wear baby in a moby or other carrier that protects him from strangers. We'll carry purel and antibacterial wipes everywhere. We'll be strict about removing shoes and washing hands indoors. We'll buy everyone their own water bottle and avoid drinking fountains and other germy places.

The older boys will be in preschool, sports and sunday school at church, so we will be around other kids.

As I've been on bed rest, we've been ordering groceries online. We'll probably continue to do that while baby is really little.

I personally think that the first 6 months (adjusted age) are easier than the following year. They don't crawl, you can wear them everywhere, you control what goes in their mouths, etc. It is that second winter when they are in to everything that babies get sick all the time.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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Mine were 29-weekers born in January, came home in March. So technically their first winter was in the NICU. But that first full winter started when they were 9-10 months old and they both got Synagis.

Other than that, we didn't do any activities - no gymboree or library classes or anything like that. We got together only with my closest friends and their kids - one of whom also has 29-week preemie twins 10 days younger than mine - and everyone was extremely cautious as far as health, handwashing, etc.

I Purelled like it was going out of style, and so did my husband, especially after coming off the train. I stuffed breastmilk (I was an EPer) into them even more than usual if I felt a cold or anything coming on.

It paid off for us - they had 1 cold the entire season. I wish you all with young preemies the same kind of good health!

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:29 AM
 
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DS was a 33 weeker and was 5 months old when his first winter began. We were VERY careful- we made it perfectly clear to everyone that they needed to tell us ahead of time if they were ill or around someone who was ill. We also did a lot of hand washing. DS ended up with one small case of the sniffles in mid-December (thanks to my teenage cousin who came to visit us from Arizona and was so excited to come visit that he hid the fact that he was sick!), but other than that we did great.

One other thing we did was always call ahead when we went to see people and asked if anyone had the sniffles. People don't mean to, but they always seem to forget when they are mildly sick, so it's always best to gently ask ahead of time.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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The first 2 RSV seasons of my twins lives (they were 30 weekers born extremely healthy) we stayed indoors through RSV season. We would still visit friends and families homes, but we did not go into public with them. We practice good hygiene by washing our hands, etc. Now they are 2.5 and I'm not really concerned about it anymore. They have never had RSV, flu, etc. nothing more then a runny nose due to teething.

Oh, they are completely unvaxed too, we did not do the synasis shots.

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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My first winter like pp have said was a cake walk compared to the second!

But in all fairness, dd1 entered kindergarden and that is a huge petri dish of germs!
For the first year:
Maggie was actual during flu season about 8 months old but corrected about 4 months old. I breastfed her, wore her in a sling and a wrap. Her sister was in preschool and we kept close tabs on any illnesses. We didnt attend birthday parties outside of our normal circle, avoided crowds, people we didnt normally see (esp w young families) didnt go to the mall, and if to the Dr, the first appt of the day and told them ahead of time we were not going to wait in the waiting room with the germy patients. 99% of the time, that was fine.
One time Liz came down with something and we kept the kids literally on different sides of the house. DH took off work and we each took care of a kid. My ped even mentioned having Maggie go stay with one set of grandparents which we didnt do. Maggie did fine that first year plus she also received the RSV shots which were covered no problem with a 24 weeker who came home on O2 and had a school aged sibling.

My kids and us are usually pretty healthy with exception to last year. All the bug brought home got even us pretty ill. Dd1 had the stomach flu a few times for the first time ever. During this time, we realized where dd1 Liz if ever got a bug was better within 24-72 hours where Maggie keeps things sometimes for a week or even longer. She was stronger last year and did fine but ugh I hated when she got sick. She is also as was last year in a Parent Tot class as well as a Parents Day out class. She seems to be doing fine w the germs so far.

I think, if you stay within people you normally see, avoid crowds, stay healthy yourself, you will have a better chance of the preemie doing better.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure whether to feel encouraged or not. It sounds like this year will be fine, but next year, when we'll probably have a kindergartener and DS2 will be a toddler will be a bigger problem. But one step at a time. I'll worry about that next year. Thanks everyone for weighing in.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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We have yet to have a good winter. : DD2 wasn't a preemie but got pertussis as a brand newborn which let to chronic lung disease, she was O2 dependent for 6 months. That winter was really tough since the pertussis lasted so many months. We didn't take DD2 out at all, but 4y old DD1 went out some with other people, and would bring back sniffles, and influenza once, which of course DD2 got. I second the others that the flu was BAD, it set us back months with her. She got Synagis that winter. The next winter she turned 1 in Oct and it was rough again. She got RSV (she went back on O2 for it), pneumonia, croup, hand, foot, and mouth disease, chicken pox, many, many colds/coughs and stomach bugs. I did my best to keep her away from ill people, but DD1 was 5 by then and had things to go to and I no longer had help that could drive her around for me while I stayed home with DD2. She literally went no more then 2 weeks between illnesses from Sep until late June. She has already been ill three times since Sep 1st, we have only gone a couple days between bugs, so I'm not liking how this winter looks already. On the plus side though, we haven't had to use nebs/inhalers so far this season....



We take precautions, everyone knows not to come around us if they have anything, no matter how slight it is. We use the antibacterial hand stuff while out, wash hands, eat heathy, try to take care of ourselves, I'm anal about making sure she gets enough sleep, but DD2 catches every single germ that she is exposed to no matter what I do.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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This year I'm making sure the girls take their CLO and probiotics. Hopefully it gets us a better winter. I say this as we're battling our first illness (this one is totally my fault - I caught it - now everyone has it - sure wish it'd go away)
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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The first winter (2004) with Kaia I kept him away from everything.. We dont do daycare so that wasnt a worry.. He was not around anybody..

The second year (2005) I had Alo.. so again we were away from everybody, but Alo spent a lot of time in the hospital so we were at the hospital with him.. It wasnt until Alos 2.5 year winter (2007) that he got sick.. We made it through 2004-2007 with no illnesses.

Im in no way a germophobe when it comes to everyday stuff but with a trach/vent I just cant take any risks.

I think breastfeeding will help you out though. Just be careful around people.. Oh and FWIW We will not be attending church past this Sunday.. Im actually more worried about Alo than Aybra.. I just dont want to risk him getting sick this winter especially since he might not get synagis..
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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My ds, now 6, was a preemie who was 4-5 months at the start of his first winter. Our older dd was in preschool, and we decided that she would continue to attend despite the possibility of illnesses. Ds got RSV and did end up with asthma, so we were doing nebs. and steroids, etc. all winter. He also had rota-virus. There weren't vaxes for either of these avail. to him at the time. It was a challenge, but he made it through. At 6 he still has asthma, but far less severe than early on, and otherwise is healthy and strong and wonderful! You'll get through the winter! My advice, having BTDT-prepare, prepare, so that you aren't caught unaware. Have your freezer stocked, alternate caregivers lines up for the other kids, emergency playdate options, etc. If your baby becomes ill it will take lots of your resources to provude good care, so advance planning is great. If you don't need to use any of your emergency meals or babysitters, etc.-great, but it's nice to be prepared. AND, take really, really good care of yourself. Don't be shy about saying no to visitors or going out, if need be.
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