Cue the moaning and groaning.
It is no. fun. at. all. Plain and simple. There is no way to describe RSV season in preemie land other than a plain ol' yucky. But you do what you have to do. You isolate yourself to protect the most precious thing in your life - your miracle baby. Nothing will or should get in the way of that.
We spent two years in full RSV isolation. It was one of the hardest things emotionally that I've ever been through. Our doctors and nurses all recommended it. Other preemie parents recommended it. It was a no brainer for us. We knew a simple cold to another kid could land Jack in the hospital. We wanted to steer clear of the PEDS floor at all cost. There is nothing worse than being in the hospital surrounded by a bunch of sick, hacking kids, trying to protect your immune suppressed child.
It's interesting because this year I am seeing a trend. Now before any of you get offended, hear me out. I consider myself a sort-of "veteran" preemie parent. Sure, Jack is only three, but when I started this blog, there were just a handful of other preemie blogs out there and it took quite some time to connect to other parents. It felt very lonely. There was such a small community of us and the consensus was that all micropreemies (those born under 28 weeks or under two pounds) should be kept in isolation for the first two cold and flu seasons. I even saw some recommending three full seasons of isolation. The thought process behind this was that those two years are the healing years. 24 months was the baseline for preemie lungs to "catch up" or heal from damage caused by ventilation, premature birth, and zero immunity at birth. It was just a given and we were told by our neonatologist, pediatrician, and pulmonologist simply that this was so.
Now I am seeing a trend. Some are skipping the second year isolation guideline. Why, I wonder? Is there new research out there that I am no aware of? Are doctors recommending public places and being around other kids the second year?
I totally get that it is completely hard. Trust me, I do! I blogged and blogged and blogged about my lonely isolation days. It was the best therapy. Here are some of those posts.
Our two RSV seasons were no fun at all. But, Jack didn't get sick Was it worth it? Yes, worth every single lonely minute.
P.S. I am not the only one blogging about this big day in preemie land. My friend, Lindsay, had this to say this morning. She is entering into her second year of isolation. You can do it, mama!