Sunday, November 13, 2005

Obsessive Hand-Washing

We did SO good last winter. We went almost 6 months without even a trace of a cold. It was really amazing, especially when you consider that the average micropreemie is hospitalized 2-3 times within the first year after discharge. Unfortunately, we just spent pretty much the entire month of October, and the beginning of November, sick. Three viruses in a row, starting with the worst one October 1st that ended with Holland in the hospital being treated for pneumonia. Her lungs seem to have suffered a bit more damage from being so premature and on the ventilator for so long, and she gets the worst of it. Eden handles being sick a little better.

I don't know why I can't seem to stay healthy. Before having kids, and even while they were in the NICU I was very healthy and rarely got sick. Something has changed. It could be stress, lack of good sleep, not eating well, or maybe a combination of these that's got my immunity down, but I can't take it anymore! It's so unfair that John NEVER catches any of it. He's always healthy as a horse. What's up with that??? He swears it is because he is a better handwasher than me. Maybe I could use a little of his OCD (okay, he doesn't REALLY have OCD, I just like to tease him).

We're on a serious mission now to get and stay healthy. No more fun and games. We're back on lockdown like we were last year. We'll be spending much more time at home without visitors. We'll only take company that has been symptom free for at least 48 hours, and anyone approaching the babies must WASH THEIR HANDS!

I hate having to be the handwashing gestapo, but I hope everyone will be sympathetic and understanding. It is just too hard on me and on the babies to be sick. They don't eat or sleep well, and they require a lot more care in general. That would be hard enough. When you add in me feeling like total crap, it just creates a mess.

I guess I just gotta do what I gotta do. The girls' health is my number one priority. It is one thing when you have a normal kid who gets a cold and gets over it. It's a whole different scene when you have to worry that your kid is going to end up in the hospital because they can't breathe with every little cold that they get. I can't take it. We need to do better...


Kate Giovinco Photography said...

oh man I hope that making people wash their hands and staying in more helps. That stinks that you guys have been getting sick.

Uck hope all is feeling better soon!

Anonymous said...

I totally understand the obsessive hand-washing! My twin preemies (25 weekers, boys) keep me washing my hands constantly. I recently put a sign on my front door (RSV season and all) telling people they have to wash their hands when they come in so I dont have to tell them to their face (mostly because I am a coward :P). We have been sick too... so dont feel bad at all, its just a part of having preemies...

~Kelly from Texas
Hope you do not mind me, I found your blog recently and have loved keeping up with Holland and Eden! They are just too cute!
(and in case you are interested: <- my twin blog)

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right, Billie! Do everything you can to keep your girls and your entire family as healthy as possible this winter. I hope all of you will be feeling much better for the rest of the winter.

Don't apologize for taking sensible precautions - but you can say it's "Doctor's orders" if that makes it easier to impose rules on friends and family who want to visit. Maybe you could keep one or two of those RSV brochures around to show people, if they question you. (Are the girls receiving RSV immunity boosting shots this fall?)

We had signs up about handwashing during our babies' first year, both by the front entry and in the main bathroom. The signs also reminded people not to visit if they or a family member were sick. I am convinced it helped us to stay healthy. And we wanted to be sure we would have no regrets or guilt, if we did catch a virus or other infection.

Best wishes to all of you,
from a mom of 5 year old triplets,
SheilaC (

Meh said...

totally understand and can relate.

my two are sick now and its no fun for any one, not for them, not for me.

so you just do what you need to do.

smooches to you and the babes.

MamaChristy said...

Damn Nazis gave the gestapo a bad name...

Stick to your guns and don't let anyone tell you to do anything differently. My dad is always telling me that people will think that I'm crazy because I won't put my boy into a (filthy, disqusting, nasty) shopping cart unless I have my floppy seat. I told him that I don't care what people think - especially since the people who would think that aren't anyone I know or will ever see again. Oh, and are they going to come take care of my child when he's sick in the middle of the night? I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, the three of us just got over the stomach flu this past weekend - not fun when almost eight months pregnant - so I can relate a little bit to what you're saying, though my situation is different. It just sucks, plain and simple. Maybe you could have a antibacterial hand-sanitizer dispenser posted under the mailbox?? Okay, maybe that's a bit much, but I would probably do it, along with a sign that reads "We love it when you visit, but have a special request. Please sanitize your germy hands before you come into our nest." Okay, I think I had too much coffee this morning - nobody should attempt to rhyme after three days of vomiting. Much love to you all - Jess

Anonymous said...

Never feel guilty about taking care of the girls or yourselves. Most of us who have children understand and remember what it's like to want to protect our kids from all the bugs floating around. Wait until elementary school!!! Lots of joy ahead. But I understand and sympathize. Are you taking vitamins? You need to take special care of yourself, especially when you have so little time to pamper yourself. You're important, too. Don't forget that. God bless you. Connie Wilhoite

Anonymous said...

Great goggly moggle is that baby on her knees cooking?!?!

Billie said...

That's exactly what she's doin!:)

Anonymous said...

That's totally understandable! No appologies necessary. Billie, you may be feeling the rath of returning to school with all those germy kids as well. I bet John would be distroyed if he ever spent a day at an elementary school!

I love the girls pictures, they both look like they are having so much fun. How sweet! Germ free hugs and kisses-donna

Anonymous said...

haven't posted because i have been a little under the weather. didn't want to infect :) JK, but honestly, i DO NOT blame you. i feel the girls' pain -- the past year, everytime i get a little sniffle, it turns into bronchitis (4 times last year). yep, that's what i have now. so as a fellow "sick girl" i totally stand behind you and your gestapo-ish ways:) stay strong! keep washing! also, drink LOTS of water. love you guys!

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, i give you props for teaching the girls to cook so early on. who cares if they have to kneel to do it :)

Anonymous said...

I understand your issues. We never got sick while my 25 weekers were in NICU but this year since turning 1 we've gotten some serious yuck stuff.

I agree we are doing the same thing regarding hand washing.

Hope you and the babies feel better soon.

Love the visit to NICU, it was wonderful returning and showing off our babies.