Happy New Year and welcome to the first post of 2017! My household is in full swing to get organized and make healthy resolutions. Our baby was born last month, so as soon as I get the clearance from my doctor, it’s back to the gym to reach my pre-baby weight (and by pre-baby, I mean before my two-year-old was born, so I have a ways to go.) Even my husband wants to lose his sympathy weight. My toddler doesn’t know it, but her resolution is to learn to use the potty in 2017. And throwing toys in it does not count as “using it.”
Since we’re all blessed with a chance for a new beginning, this post is focused on health for both mom and baby. Let’s start with mom:
FREE CLASS AT TOTAL FUSION
Total Fusion is teaming up with BabyGotChat to offer a free class at their location in Harrison. The 60-minute class is called Build & Burn and it’s a combination of classic cardio and strength training with a contemporary twist. If you’re interested in attending, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first 15 readers to email will win the opportunity to attend. The class will be scheduled on Saturday, January 21 at 8:30 am. I can’t wait to see you all in class! Find out more about Total Fusion here.
BE INFORMED ABOUT RSV
My husband and I just got home from an 8-day Pediatric ICU stay at Maria Fareri Hospital in Valhalla, all thanks to a scary-to-newborns virus called RSV. Seeing your 2-week-old hooked up to oxygen, an IV tube, and heart monitor wires was devastating, to put it mildly. Read on to learn about RSV, find out who is at risk and what you can do to prevent it. I’ve heard that this season has had particularly high instances of RSV, so please keep your loved ones safe. We were stuck in a hospital room for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and if we had been more informed about the disease, we might have been able to avoid an ending to 2016 that was…well very 2016-like.
RSV is a contagious viral disease that affects the lungs. Nearly all children will catch by the time they are 2 years old. Because it’s viral, it can’t be treated with antibiotics or other medicine. In most children, RSV causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, but in newborns and other high-risk children, it can cause a lung infection that can lead to hospitalization. Children born prematurely are at high risk for the disease.
RSV is spread like the flu, through contact, coughing, or sneezing. Our two year old had a runny nose, cough, and sneezing that we assumed was a cold. Her pediatrician told us to let it run its course. Though we tried to keep her away from our newborn, we were unable to prevent her from giving the virus to us and to him. (It probably had something to do with her sticking her wet hands in our mouths for fun, or sneezing and coughing on everything, or the delight she gets out of taking a tissue from the box, wiping her nose on it, and putting it back.) Needless to say, we were all sick. This being our second child, we didn’t want to be panicky parents, so when we noticed our newborn was congested, we waited to see if he had any other more serious symptoms. His nose wasn’t running, he didn’t have a fever, and he wasn’t vomiting, so all the signs that would typically send us running to the doctor weren’t there. Plus it was the day before Christmas Eve.
Then that night we noticed he was breathing rapidly at times and his skin had become more translucent and gray. We decided to take him to PM Pediatrics. I stayed home with my toddler and diligently assembled the gingerbread village I was going to decorate with her the next morning. My husband arrived at the urgent care and they put an oximeter on his toe. It read 82%. The staff assumed the oximeter was broken, so they put a second oximeter on his other foot: 82%. When it was clear that was the correct reading, my husband reported that every staff member in the place worriedly entered the room. They informed him that our son’s oxygen level should be around 95% and that an ambulance was on its way to take them to the pediatric ER at Maria Fareri hospital. There he tested positive for RSV and we learned that it had developed into a lower respiratory infection and bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways of the lungs. That, along with his congestion, was making it hard for him to get enough air. We were assured that he was going to recover with no long-term side effects, but that we would have to remain in the ICU so that he could receive oxygen and get his nose and throat suctioned out several times a day to help him to take in air.
If you have more than one child and one of them is under 2 months old, make an extra effort to keep everyone in your household healthy. If one of you gets sick, they’ll need to stay away from the newborn and you’ll need to disinfect surfaces and wash your hands before and after contact with the newborn and sick person. RSV is so dangerous in children under 8 weeks old because their airways are too small to handle inflammation and still allow them enough air. In some cases it can be fatal. You can find out more information about RSV here.
Till next time,
Andrea at BabyGotChat