With two confirmed cases of RSV in my house, we've used these bad boys a lot over the last few weeks. I definitely jinxed myself by saying life at home had been easy!
It seems as if someone in this house has been sick since the day we brought Annalee home. Samuel had a cold, then an ear infection, then a stomach virus. But RSV was the kicker. And if that wasn't enough, Samuel has ear infections again!!! Aaaargh!
When I took Annalee in to see the doctor, she had been coughing quite a lot (or at least more than I thought was acceptable for a newborn.) The doctor just sort of glance at her and sent us on our way. "Her lungs sound clear. She's fine." Well...my momma alarm was ringing and this guy clearly couldn't hear it. The next day I brought both kids into the clinic again and saw another doctor. She took one look at Annalee and immediately ordered an RSV swab with a promise that she'd be back after the fifteen minute test was complete. Three minutes later she opened the door. "We didn't need fifteen minutes after all" she said, "The test came back positive almost instantaneously. She has RSV." Of course she does. "And if she has it, big brother has it too. I know he's not symptomatic now, but he probably will be within the week." Fantastic.
This is likely the most unflattering photo of her I could post, but it's the only one that shows the beautiful rash that went along with the other RSV symptoms.
I'm rather proud of myself. I didn't cry. Ok, well...maybe just a tear or two. RSV!!! The kind of stuff that educated preemie mommas have nightmares about. The very disease that we kept Samuel isolated from for two years. The doctor told us that there was a pretty good chance we'd land in the hospital with Annalee. "Because preemies have smaller, less developed airways, RSV is significantly more dangerous for them." Not news to me.
We agreed that Annalee would need her next Synagis shot sooner rather than later and that Samuel would need to double his daily inhalers until it passed.
I'm guessing that the Synagis shot saved Annalee from another hospital stay. And all of the prayers too! The day after she received it, she was a completely different child. It didn't take more than a week for her to recover.
Samuel has been a different story. Despite the increase in his daily inhaler, he was a coughing mess anytime he did more than sit. Do toddler boys ever sit? Combine the coughing with exhaustion, irritability from steroids, and ear infections...and you can understand why I had one BEAR of a child on my hands.
Now, I really hate to jinx myself twice, but I'll go ahead and say that I think we've almost recovered. We're going to wait out Samuel's ear infections to see if they clear up on their own. If not, I'll have another Let's-Talk-About-Ear-Tubes conversation to avoid.
I'm not sure how these kiddos were exposed. Although I'll admit that we weren't using the same precautions that we employed when Samuel came home from the NICU, we are probably the only family you'll meet that goes through a bottle of hand sanitizer every week. Regardless, I'm actually glad it happened. It was like God was saying, "You wanted a normal experience and I'm going to give it to you. These kids are fine and you need to stop worrying." And I have. Now that we've lived through it, I'm sufficiently satisfied that Samuel's chronic lung disease is minimal and that Annalee is a lot tougher than she looks.
Such a relief!