Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Being Quarantined During the Holidays

Roxy came home on November 11, 2009.  Two weeks before Thanksgiving.

Our hospital had placed strict rules on visitors to the NICU and Neonatal Nursery during Roxy’s last two months because the flu epidemic had gotten so bad in our area.  Only parents and biological grandparents were allowed to visit during October and the beginning of November.  So you can imagine how excited our family was that Roxy was coming home just in time to meet everyone during the upcoming holidays.http://www.preemiebabies101.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/quarantine-sign-355x450.jpg

It was then that we had to started breaking the bad news – and breaking my mom’s heart.  The hospital had told us no large gatherings for four months after Roxy’s release.  That meant March for us.  While we did attend Christmas with Roxy in tow at the smaller gatherings, my mom’s family (well over 50 people at one place at one time on a slow holiday) was too large for us to take Roxy with us.  Although Russ and I attended both Thanksgiving and Christmas without Roxy, it was hard for people to understand why she couldn’t come even though she was out of the hospital.  We explained a lot about how she was still so fragile that she couldn’t be exposed to any kind of illness.

In the end everyone understood why she wasn’t there and looked forward to seeing her on Easter (the first holiday that Roxy would meet most of my extended family).  You still have to deal with hurt feelings and broken hearts.  My mom was hurt because Roxy was able to attend Russ’ family dinner and my dad’s family dinner, but couldn’t come to hers.  She understood, but it still felt unfair.  In the end, we plied everyone with pictures and promises that they would meet Roxy soon.

Was your preemie quarantined during the holiday?  How did you deal with it?

Samantha Pridgen About Samantha Pridgen

Samantha (KY) is the mother of Roxy, a micropreemie turned preschool princess. Roxy was born at 29 weeks weighing only 1 pound, 9 ounces. Now a healthy 4-year-old, Roxy has no long-standing complications from prematurity. Samantha writes about her family as well as Roxy's early arrival and prematurity at Mommy to a Princess. You can also find Samantha on Twitter, Facebook, or email her at samanthap@mommytoaprincess.com.

Comments

  1. We didn’t intend to quarantine during the holidays, but most of our nephews came down with a cold the day before Thanksgiving, so we skipped it in favor of keeping Addie healthy.

    We also missed Christmas that year, but I can’t remember if it was weather or illness that kept us away.

    Nobody in our family understood why we were being so protective, but one of our younger nephews contracted RSV in January of this year–he was a healthy, full-term baby–so now everyone is much more conscious of their germs.

    This year, Addie will be having hernia surgery in October, and I’m hoping she manages to stay healthy through the winter!

  2. I’ll say a prayer for Miss Addie! Hoping the best for the surgery and for an illness free winter!!!

  3. We quarantined our preemie over Thanksgiving and Christmas. We knew early in the pregnancy that we most likely would have a premature baby so we told our families that we could not have any visitors for the first three months and explained why. We did not get the support we were hoping for.. Some of our family members said some really mean words and we even got laughed at. It was a very difficult time for us having to deal with a family who didn’t want to understand and who kept on complaining even after our baby was born. When the doctors said that we could have our family to come visit some people, those who complained the most, didn’t come.. I am pregnant again now but this time I know I will not turn to our family for support.

    • Sandra, that’s just awful. Our family (for the most part) didn’t really understand either. They even complained that their young children couldn’t come in to the NICU to see her, even though it was hospital policy, not ours.

    • Sandra, that’s just awful. Our family (for the most part) didn’t really understand either. They even complained that their young children couldn’t come in to the NICU to see her, even though it was hospital policy, not ours.

  4. i have no idea what we’re doing yet for my 29.5 weeker. i’m very interested to see what other parents do

  5. Last year we didn’t take Ailyn anywhere but doctor appointments. I even homeschooled my 5 year old. It was very lonely. But, ailyn who was born at 1pnd 14 ounces didn’t get one cold! Well worth it!

    • We were fortunate as well. Roxy has only been sick with one ear infection since she’s been home. (Knock on wood!) I hope this year is as easy as last.

  6. I will be at home with my 27 weeker twins. Only going to take them to doctors appointments. It will be a long winter but better that then have either of my babies get sick.

  7. I have a 3yr old preemie that was born in Aug. We did spend out first yr at the house most of the time. Dr offices and only close family that i knew did not have any illnesses is where we went. Advise make sure to keep your hands washed …and to stay away from really busy places even if you go alone try to go at off times so you don’t bring something home. with these steps and more things you can do. My 3yr old has only had one real cold this past summer he was almost 3 and had strep. So it does work but takes a lot of will power.

  8. OH and things to do bundle your baby up and go for a drive to no where. They are safe in the car and it gets you out of the house to.

  9. I am praying my 25 weeker now 15 months qualifies for a second year of Synagis!

  10. my doc are saying to get it my daughter is only 5 months old and i have a 4 year old so I am not sure on what to do.. any ideas

  11. my son was born in august. came home in the beginning of OCT. We did everything like we normally did..

  12. My 23 weeker was out of the hospital March of last year. Yes we did quarentine him and the rest of the family last winter. It really stung missing out on so many holidays, but having a healthy baby at home vs. a sick baby in the hospital was well worth it.

  13. @ Angela– I have 27Wk Triplets that are now corrected 13 months- THey had RSV shots last year, but Peditricain said this year , they really don’t need them.

  14. @ April– I would get them for sure!!! they helped alot

  15. i have no choice but to carry on as normal. I have 2 school aged children so my 27 week prem baby now 6 months old has to come out everywhere with me. I had to do this with my daughter who was 31 weeks prem now 4. Apart from the odd cold she was fine. If they aren’t exposed to anything at all all winter then they will never develop a full immune system. Obviously i wouldnt take him somewhere i new he would be a risk but i will just carry on as normal with a few extra blankets x

  16. we won’t be going anywhere but the doctore i have a 26 weeker (now 18 months) and a 23 weeker (now 8 months) last year we got together with family twice she got sick both times plus she got sick just from dad coming to and from work!

  17. Claire–I agree with your way of thinking. I had a 26 week preemie who is now 3 years old. At birth she was 1 lb and dropped down to 14 oz. She spent 6 months in the hospital, came home on oxygen and with a g-tube. I had to take her places with me all the time. I was just careful and wiped things down with wipes and sanitizers and such. She did get sick. And once or twice took a nice little ride in an ambulance. But I’m a believer that she needed to be exposed to germs a little bit to help build her immune system. She doesn’t get sick that often, and actually never has. Lucky for her (and us)! I’m also a believer that every preemie is different though and that as parents we know what is best for our individual preemie.
    Good luck to all you sweet mama’s this cold/flu season. I hope everyone stays healthy!! 🙂

  18. We have a 29+1 weeker (adj 3 mo) and he will definitely be quarantined except for dr appts. We are even hoping insurance will pay for the Synagis to come to us (as our dr told us they sometimes will). It’s going to be really hard, esp with holidays, but we know in the end it’s best for him under his circumstances 🙂

  19. I have 4 other children. I cannot possibly stay home or avoid going anywhere. we are washing hands often, we all will get flu vaccine, I make my kids change clothing when they get home from school and am hoping insurance covers synagist!

  20. Yep, we will be quarantined again! My son was a 23 week 14oz. baby. He just turned 1 on Sept. 14th. We were quarantined most of the past 6 months we have been home. Now we are getting ready for another round of quarantine. My daughter …goes to pre school, so we wash hands, change clothes, disinfect every night and only go to dr. appts. During quarantine this past year, we did not even let family come over for the first 2 months he was home, per dr.’s requests. I am searching for good movies and trying to find new hobbies for this fall/winter.

    • My first quarantined winter I scrapbooked 3 boxes full of scattered pictures from my growing up years. It was an amazing feat! My second quarantined winter I loom-knitted over 50 hats for a homeless shelter. I also watched every movie we own probably twice.

      Being quarantined indoors with a preemie and being on bedrest are great times to do some projects you will never have time or patience for again! Learning to knit and crochet was fun for me.

  21. My 31 weeker now 13 months had the Synagis last year and we mostly stayed home all last winter. He didnt get sick at all. We recently sent in our predetermination letter to the Insurance company and are hoping that he is covered again for… it this year!

    Insurance companies should cover and any parent wanting to vaccinate should have that option. Makes me so mad that he may not get it.

    I have a friend who has a 32 weeker and is 9 months adjusted and he is only 12 lbs (he was over 5 lbs ar birth) and he was denied! He got RSV last season and he spent 17 days in the NICU with it. They will pay the hospital bill but not the shot to prevent it? Makes no sense at all!

  22. We are planning to only go where we have to with our 26.5 wk’r, now 5 months unadjusted. Have two school age boys & one only a half day that needs a pick up … Our small fry will have to ride in car for pick up. Very nervous for the entire flu season.

  23. Valerie Gilmore says:

    I am a proud mommy of a 31 weeker now 4 months (chronological). We have been quarantined since coming home from the hospital in November. She only goes out for doctor’s appointments and if I or my husband go out or come home from work we shed the clothes, scrub in, and hit the shower before touching anything. So far the three of us have stayed very healthy. I go back to work on the 28th of February to teach a room full of five-year-olds so I am a little nervous about myself getting sick since I have been gone since October and bringing anything home. Most of our family seems to be very understanding of our quarantine, but friends on the other hand not so much. They try I think, but often times offer comments like, “Doesn’t she need to be exposed to germs to build her immune system?” While there is some truth to that, its just not time for a 31 weeker in the middle of Flu and RSV season to be exposed to germs! Some days are harder than others because of course we want to share our beautiful miracles with friends and family, but after spending time in the NICU and going through this experience we will do anything to protect our precious baby. We want her to be bigger and stronger before asking her little body to fight off infections! We just keep trusting God to protect her and look to His plan for her life! I also feel very blessed to have had this extra special time with her at home where I am forced to put other things and busy schedules aside and focus on her amazing life! I just have to keep reminding myself that if you haven’t experienced it first hand you just don’t know. Praying for a healthy winter and year for all parenting preemies! God’s most special gifts! God bless!

    • Thank you for your comment. It is so isolating keeping your new baby quarantined. I hope the remaining months go quickly for you and you can keep yourself and your preemie healthy after you go back to work. Best wishes to you and your family!

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