Please, Just Stay Away

There he was, 15 days old, laying in a hospital bed, being bagged by a nurse and surrounded by multiple doctors, specialists and more. Questions being thrown at me right and left. Questions I am trying my best to answer as I stare at my littlest. Trying my best to hold it all together for him and my five year old, whose hand I am holding a little too tightly.

For myself, and many other mothers, this situation is far too common. Not only is it common, it is somewhat preventable.

My son spent 12 days in the hospital, spending the first several days fighting hard in the PICU, because he was sneezed on, by accident. For 12 days, he was poked, prodded, tubed, and more to try to keep him stable and breathing, from a sneeze. That is all it takes when it comes to an infant. That one sneeze led to him developing RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and bronchiolitis, which caused a lung to collapse.

In adults, RSV is nothing but a cold but to infants, it is much more. So much more.

So what is this all about? Why am I bringing it up? And why will I be snarky? Well, this post was brought about when a fellow CMB mom asked that no one come see her infant daughter unless they had their flu and pertussis vaccines, and not to be sick. While she did it in a jokingly fashion, she was also dead serious, and yet, her wishes were not respected.

Like in this mother’s case and so many others, people do not abide by our wishes. And I do not know if people do not care or think we are just overprotective mothers to our infants (think mother bears), but these are our little people. Little people we carried for nine plus months, birthed, and have to care for, usually with other children in our care.

Laugh. Get mad. Whatever, but it is all true. 

While tossing ideas with other CMB moms and friends, I was amazed at the responses and experiences from them with their own children. If you know someone who has a newborn (a year or under especially), PLEASE, for the love of them and all children, STAY AWAY FROM THEM! If your children have been sick in the last 48-72 hours, keep yourself and your children away from them. If you think your child may have some junk in their eyes, ears, throat, whatever, STAY AWAY FROM THEM!

Most importantly, do not lie to the parents of these sweet infant children or try to keep your children away from them while under the roof if they have been sick. Germs from their ‘junk’ can be spread all too easily. Keeping our infants well in the winter months while having older siblings in school, etc. is hard enough on us mothers. So, when others we know who want to lie to us about their ‘well’ children is just infuriating to us. And it is wrong on so many levels.

Not only can those germs affect our little ones, they can also affect us mothers. A couple Christmases ago, I picked up the norovirus. I was out of town visiting in-laws and other family members when it hit. Luckily, I did not give any of those family members, or my immediate family members the virus. However, several family members got some version of the stomach virus that Christmas. We thought at first we had food poisoning of some sort until we were told that someone’s child had been sick with that stomach virus within 24 hours of being in that house.

Now, take that above scenario and apply that to someone with an infant. I am lucky that my children did not get this virus, but some of the other children and adults did ‘catch’ it. And I am not the only parent who has deal with friends and family coming around their children, especially infants, during the holidays or special occasions, who have been or who are sick. The winter months are the worst months in which people are sick and that is due to low sunlight, lots of enclosed spaces, etc. Keeping our children healthy is hard enough during this time.

Yes, mothers of infants may turn down birthday parties, baby showers, and even weddings because we do have an infant. Especially if it is in the winter months. We do not want to subject our little one to possible germs and what not and those who we turn down should understand this. Not question our parenting. We know what is best for OUR children.

They are ours. Our responsibility. And that alone requires respect from everyone.

Please, from all mothers with infants, please respect and honor our wishes and requests when it comes to our children. If we ask if someone has been sick or tell you they can’t go to some event or gathering because one of them have been sick, respect that decision. Not only are they trying to protect their family, they are also trying to protect yours.

In the end, my son recovered after spending a total of 12 days in the hospital. Those days were hard. Those days were scary. Those days really opened my eyes to how easy it is for those littles to be easily infected. And how easily something as small as a sneeze, can affect someone, especially an infant.

So please, out of love and respect of those you know who have an infant, just stay away if there is any possibility of sickness or if someone has been sick. I promise, we would show you the same love and respect.

Much love readers.

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7 Responses to Please, Just Stay Away

  1. Natasha January 16, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    Love this! I’m not sure why people don’t have enough common sense to stay away from newborns, especially if they are or have been sick. When my girls were born I wanted to get a shirt made that said, please do not come anywhere near my baby or me, and wear it every single day. My girls are 2 and 7 now and I’m still like this from like October to march when all the sickness is going around. I’m sure a lot of people think I’m rude, because if anyone gets close to my children I look at them like they have the plague and tell them not to get near my children. I’ll never apologize for trying to keep my children from getting sick.

    • Christy January 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

      Natasha! I love the shirt idea! Mine are now 9 & 4 and I’d love for both of them to wear something like that all the time. And it’s not like we are trying to be rude but there just has to be boundaries and limits sometimes.

  2. Nicole January 16, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    Great blog! I am that “over protective mom” who doesn’t take their children any where when they’re sick or when I know other children are sick and going to be around mine. I’m sure there are plenty who say things because they don’t agree. BUT that’s their choice and I’m thick skinned enough to not care what others think of me or my parenting. My littlest is 20 months and started daycare 4 months ago. She has been continuously sick every other week since. We don’t leave the house much on the weekend in fear that she will catch something and end up sick. Like this last weekend, we went to a Birthday party because I can’t shield all of my children from the noramlities of childhood and the next morning the littlest was running a fever. It never fails. One of us will have to miss work again…one of us will have to make a sacrifice…one of us will get no sleep for the next several days. This sickness phase will pass soon but until it does. We will be that family that doesn’t participate in every activity or party because we have a little who gets sick easy, we have jobs, we have mortgages, & we make sacrifices for our children. Life goes on…germs remain.

  3. Kerry January 24, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

    Yes! You are 100% correct. Love this article. When my son was an infant, unless visitor’s had both TDap and the flu shot AND no signs of illness, they were not permitted to visit. Everyone thought I was nuts, but we moms must stick to our guns!!

  4. Pamela January 29, 2017 at 12:30 am #

    My first was born 12/10 – right in the middle of it and two weeks before Christmas. My husband’s overbearing family *forced* us to bring our two week old to see relatives from out of town who said to me “I’m holding that baby, and I don’t care what you say.”. There were 6 of them, and they passed my tiny son around like a football while I sat in the kitchen and cried.

    I was accused of having ppd by these people because I was afraid for my son.

    And he *did* contract RSV, but he was 11 months old and out of the “danger zone”, thank god. It turned into pneumonia, but he recovered, thank god.

    Folks need to start respecting parents wishes. That includes family members, even grandparents.

    I’m so glad your baby is ok.

    • Pamela January 29, 2017 at 12:33 am #

      I should add, I am a photographer, and do newborn shoots. I will not go if myself or anyone in my household is sick. And even if I am well, I politely decline holding the baby, just in case. I keep my distance and use a lens that allows me to not have to get close. Some mom’s find it rude that I refuse to hold their babies, but I explain that my children are in daycare, they could be carrying anything, and it’s my policy not to hold an infant at least until they’ve had their first baby shots.

  5. Christy February 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    Pamela, your story is amazing! I would of been so upset and not able to hold my temper under those circumstances!

    I do not like the fact that people just do not understand that we as moms have a right to do what we want to do with OUR children…no matter what others may want to think. I had a family that didn’t want me to come to a birthday party because I had a 5 day old and were very understanding but then another family member that did not understand why I wasn’t coming to their birthday party with my 3 week old. But, then we ended up in the hospital before that party ever happened.

    Those who ‘lie’ just to cuddle babies and end up getting those babies sick just baffle me!

    I have even seen parents recently whose children were in the hospital for RSV and then two days after being discharged are back in a large crowd of people. I just do not understand why people do not understand and risk the health of their babies and why friends and family do not respect our wishes!