James is sick. What started as a simple runny nose over a week ago has turned into double ear infections, sinus infection, and chest congestion with a bad cough. He is on his second antibiotic (ears were much worse after 4 days on the first one) and we’re doing breathing treatments every 4 hours for his cough and congestion.
I will do anything I can to prevent him from being sick, mostly because I hate to see him hurting and miserable, it breaks my heart, but also because I hate the guilt that comes with it. With each breathing treatment and each dose of medicine I can’t help but think it’s my fault. The failure of my body being able to carry him longer caused his lungs to be very underdeveloped. Months on the ventilator caused further damage to his lungs. And because of that, a simple runny nose turns into multiple doctor visits, a simple cold turns into an ICU stay.
Thankfully his lungs will continue to grow and develop until he’s 7 or 8 years old. In the future a simple cold may just be a simple cold. But until then I will do what I can to keep him healthy. Many families of micro preemies go into “lock-down,” allowing no visitors and visiting no one until the end of cold/flu season. We aren’t that extreme, but we will take some precautions.
James spent 3 days at daycare over the past 2 weeks. When he’s healthy we’ll try daycare again, and If he’s sick we’ll know we need a different solution for his care while I work 3 days a week. We will avoid large groups of people indoors. With holidays on the horizon it makes life a little messy, feelings get hurt. We ask that people don’t come to the house if they aren’t feeling well…family, friends, therapists. All of this is to try to keep James healthy, not because we don’t want to spend time with you. Cold/flu season can be pretty lonely for families with micro preemies, but we do what we have to do. My body failed him once, I will not fail him now.