Tuesday, September 8, 2009

RSV, Flu, and Cold Season

We want to start by saying thank you for the outpouring of support we have received from everyone. So many people have done so much for us, and every bit of help we have received truly is appreciated. We are experiencing the biggest challenge of our lives, and we’re lucky to be surrounded by so many family members and friends who have shown us so much love and support. Most people have not heard of RSV. Babies born earlier than 36 weeks are at the highest risk for serious complications like pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and other sometimes fatal complications. Our girls were born extremely premature at 25 weeks, are multiples, and had low birth weights; these are among the highest risk factors for contracting RSV and developing serious complications. Preventing the spread of RSV is very difficult. We must be very careful about keeping our babies safe during RSV season (October through April). The virus is spread through physical contact, in the air via a cough or sneeze, or by touching an infected object. The virus can live as long as six hours on hands and up to twelve hours on objects. We ask that all visitors do the following: 1. When you arrive, please wash your hands, use hand-sanitizer as needed before touching the babies. 2. Please, if it is possible, get a flu shot. 3. Please refrain from coming over if you are currently sick and have not been symptom free for at least 5 days, if you live with someone who is sick, or have been in close contact with someone who is sick. 4. If you smoke, we ask that you change your clothes and shower and refrain from smoking prior to visiting, as a preemie’s lungs are very sensitive to smoke. Most RSV sites recommend against passive smoke exposure. 5. If you are parents to babies, toddlers or school aged children, refrain from bringing them to our house during RSV season. Unfortunately we will not be attending any events during RSV season. Our goal is to make it through this and the next RSV seasons without the girls contracting RSV or any other serious illness. Their lungs are still very fragile and will be until they are 2 years old. Please understand that this post is not meant to offend anyone, just simply to provide an explanation. We hope you understand, and we appreciate your help keeping our babies safe. If either of our girls get sick we will most likely end up in the hospital due to their compromised immune system. I am still trying to decide if we will be having a 1st Birthday party for the girls. It gets me pretty emotional to even think about not having a celebration for their 1st Birthday. I know the girls will not remember having a 1st Birthday party or not, but this is what I have thought about since the day they were born. "If we can just make it a year". We are almost ready to celebrate 9 months so 1 year will be here before we know it.

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