Preparing for Winter Hibernation with Our Micropremie
[Editor's Note: Bears aren't the only ones who hibernate. Kayla Aimee recently wrote an interesting and informative post explaining why they engage in a sort of "winter hibernation" in their home as well. Her daughter, Scarlette, was a 25-week micro-premie. Her health is their primary concern, which means they're nixing holiday celebrations -- and Scarlette's first birthday. Read the whole post to learn more about why they won't let you come over this winter -- and why it's the best possible decision. -Jenna]
We knew before we brought Scarlette home from the NICU that we would be in a pretty strict quarantine for most of her first year. The fall/winter months are the most dangerous for micro-preemies because of it being flu/RSV season. RSV is our big worry.
Scarlette’s lungs are still not fully developed and so they are just not equipped to handle any sort of respiratory illness. She is doing remarkably well for a baby with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia but having had it so badly meant a lot of tissue damage to her lungs. And being on the ventilator caused a lot of scarring. In addition to all of that, the best “treatment” for Scarlette’s lungs is simply for her to grow and develop new tissue. The problem is that Scarlette’s digestive system still has a lot of issues and so she is smaller than her adjusted age of seven months. Her lungs are only the size of a four month old baby, with a decent bit of damage. It is a miracle that she isn’t requiring any extra oxygen support at home.
Photo Credit: brilling.