Germaphobe

So there’s nowhere I’d like to be able to go regularly again as much as the gym.

I’m a gym junkie. I went five days per week until I gave birth.

I miss classes. I miss seeing gym friends (I know, I’m lame).

I miss the ritual of it…the dedicated time for working out without other distractions. I miss Spin classes and weight machines.

But I don’t think I will take the baby until he is six months old.

I know some people think that’s crazy. I think it’s a little crazy to take a six week old (the minimum age) but trust me, I understand why one would want to.

I’ve been noticing how I’m so much more cautious about germ exposure with my baby than many friends with similar aged babies. I know why:

When my daughter was three and half months old, she was hospitalized for several days with RSV bronchiolitis.

She wasn’t premature. She didn’t have any added risk factors. I didn’t take her anywhere either, except for the doctor and the drugstore to get meds she needed. She was just a winter baby, like Henry is.

And as much as I hated feeling stuck at home over the winter, I hated seeing my precious baby in the hospital even more.

Helping nurses hold her down as they tried again and again to find a vein in her tiny arms, only to have to do it again after it blew.

Watching her chest rise and fall, counting breaths to make sure she didn’t need more oxygen. Worrying over every ounce she ate, hoping to get her off IV fluids. The Googling…the horrible Googling of worst case scenarios for a panicker like me. She wasn’t even that sick, in the context of babies hospitalized with RSV, but it was sick enough for me.

If there is anything I can do to avoid that again, I will.

I hear the argument that “babies need to get sick to grow their immune system.” I completely agree, once the baby is old enough to withstand common infections without putting their life at risk. No joke: things like the flu, colds (RSV) can be life threatening for small babies. Never mind illnesses they aren’t immunized for yet…whooping cough, meningitis.

Once Anna was six months old and it was spring, we went everywhere. Now she has a very healthy resilient immune system.

I also hear: “Well, if you baby is breasfted they won’t get sick.” I am pro-breasfteeding, but it’s not magic.  Breastefed babies can, and do, get sick.

I’m sure some of my friends think I’m a germaphobe…that I’m overly cautious. I think I’m realistic and informed. I think it’s human nature to thank ourselves for our own good luck: if I text and drive, and don’t get into an accident, I don’t think “Pheww, I was lucky. Better not do that next time.” I think, “Hey, it’s not so bad to text and drive. I can handle it because I’m good at it.”

Same thing applies to “Hey, I took my one week old to the zoo, and a children’s birthday party, and everywhere in between and she was fine.” Being lucky doesn’t always mean it’s the right thing to do.

I can’t imagine a bigger germ factory than the gym daycare. It’s one small room and the big kids are all over the little ones. It’s going to be a long winter for me, but it’s what I feel like I need to do.

How much do you worry about your baby getting sick? Do you keep newborns out of public places during flu season or do you just take your chances?

 

4 Comments

Filed under Life & Style, Parenting, Pregnancy and Post Partum Fitness

4 Responses to Germaphobe

  1. You are not crazy. I wouldn’t drop my kid off at a gym daycare even if I had one available to me until probably 6 months too. And even then I have a hard time trusting people other than family to watch my kids (actually truth be told the only people I really trust are my sisters and my mom). Kids are as much resilient as they are vulnerable. As parent we have to do what we think is best for them.

    • admin

      Thanks for making me feel less crazy! Most moms I talk to think it’s over-cautious and I see tiny babies so many places I wouldn’t take mine…it makes me wonder if I’m too weird about it!

  2. Debbie

    This is exactly what my little boy went through at 5 months. And exactly what I went through too, having to help pin him down while they tried to get a drip in. It was terrible. That was two years ago, and I’m still incredibly anxious about every little cough, sneeze, grimace my two little ones have. I really think it scarred me, especially hearing other little children cry out for their mummies in the middle of the night when we were in hospital. With baby number three due in 11 weeks, and my oldest starting kindy just two weeks before bub is due, I’m already feeling incredibly nervous about what this might mean for my little one :( I so, so hear you!

    • admin

      So far we’ve been very lucky with Henry avoiding several colds that my daughter brought home. Maybe the breastfeeding helped? You will get through it. So many moms before us gave, right? I will be happy when spring is here though!!

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