Recently, Charlie has been given permission from her doctors to be in the presence of other kids. The social experiment has really gone well. The other moms and kids are wonderful. However, today we discovered that there is a mild illness circulating through the local kids. Although it is minor, I am still a little nervous. Charlie has made it to a year old and has not had an infection or virus that we are aware of.
To non preemie parents, that sounds impossible. On one occasion we thought Charlie had a cold, but she was just starting to teethe. How was this feat pulled off? We seldom strayed from her doctors’ instructions. For the first year, Charlie rarely made a public appearance, we washed our hands like we were scrubbing up for surgery, we carried hand sanitizer everywhere like we were crazy germaphobes, we avoided people who were sniffling or coughing as if they had the plague, everything she touched was sanitized, she was vaccinated against just about everything, she received monthly synagis injections, and I wore a mask and touched Charlie as little as possible (while taking tamiflu) when I had the flu. Because of these precautions, she has had many issues stemming from her premature birth but she has not had an infectious illness.
I have to admit, it makes me a little nervous knowing that her first one may be soon. The uneasiness that I am experiencing is that of someone embarking into the unknown. I know it is silly to be apprehensive and that it is normal for kids to get sick. The knowledge of such things does not help the concern. It was difficult to relax on enforcing the doctors’ suggestions. (I once asked another kid at a park not to touch the baby out of habit.) Will it be just as hard to see her get sick like a regular kid for the first time? Do other preemie moms go through this?
I had not thought about it before today. Her first communicable illness is in the near future. If it is not the illness that is circulating now, it could easily be the next one. I am sure that she will be fine whenever it is. I just hope that her dad and I will be.
Picture taken by Monica DeMariano.