In preparation of Margaret's homecoming, Wade and I are doing a great deal of cleaning, organizing, and most importantly researching. We know that we cannot recreate the NICU, but we want our home to be a clean and safe environment for Margaret. The amazing NICU nurses continue to take great care of Margaret, and during this open-crib phase (the final phase) they have given us complete control (when we are there) of taking her temp, changing her diaper, and feeding her.
The nurses also provide us with little tidbits of information about premature babies and their care. They seem to always stress the importance of protecting Margaret from RSV (Respiratory Synctytial Virus) and other illnesses. Hand-washing, hand-washing, and more hand-washing!!!!
(These paragraphs are taken from a pamphlet by MedImmune Inc., Your Premature Baby and RSV, 2005)
RSV is a common and highly contagious virus. In most children (and adults) it causes mild cold-like symptoms. But babies born prematurely who have not received natural virus-fighting substances from their mothers, and those with lung or heart problems, are at high risk for severe RSV for the first few years of their lives. It is spread through kissing, touching, sneezing, and coughing. It can remain active for hours on household surfaces. It spreads rapidly in crowded households and in child care centers.
To help prevent RSV, you can wash hands with soap and warm water every time before you or anyone else touches your baby; wash countertops, toys, crib rails, and other surfaces often; promptly discard used tissues; don't expose your baby to crowds at malls, buses, subways, or large family gatherings; don't smoke near the baby or in the baby's house (smoke can increase danger of RSV infection); and limit contact with the baby if you have a cold or a fever.
Wade and I think it is very important for our family and friends to know about RSV and hand-washing!!! Once Margaret is home, we want visitors. However, we are going to be pretty strict about hand-washing, short visits, limited touching, and only healthy visitors (with healthy family members at home). Wade and I are going to do all of the holding for a while---remember, we have had limited holdings for the past three weeks! We hope that everyone will understand that we just love Margaret and want her to have a healthy beginning at home. She needs to focus all of her energy on growing instead of fighting an illness.
If you would like more information on RSV go to www. rsvprotection.com or www. synagis.com.
Thank you for reading this---we love you and promise to focus on cute pictures and Margaret's progress next time!!!