Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Home Quarantine

I am angry and frustrated today. I think that it is okay to be angry and frustrated every once and awhile. I've never been one to sit around and feel sorry for myself. You won't find me thinking that I can't accomplish something if I don't put my mind to it but, you know what sometimes life is just hard.

So what brought this on you might ask? Well, simple enough it was Kate's 9 month well baby check. I never really like these appointments to be perfectly honest. The pediatricians office is a slow, and there are lots of screaming kiddos with equally stressed parents. And for those of you that don't know this is one of the only places we take Kate in public.

Anyhow, after 15 minutes in the germ filled waiting room we head back. Strip down the baby for the weight, height, and head measurements. I then raise Kate off the scale too fast and bonked her head on the adjacent cabinet which sets off screaming and tears. Feeling like a buffalo of a first time mom, I walk sheepishly back with my screaming baby. Now there is more waiting with a naked baby in the exam room. I am trying to entertain her without actually touching anything in the room. Today they put us in a room that the most see older kids in because it was full of brochures on things that I hope to not discuss with Kate for another 20 years (i.e. Tobacco use, Teen Suicide, Using condoms, Cervical Exams). We wait, I check my watch, Kate grabs her toes and we wait some more.

The doctor who we do enjoy, was busy arranging for another patient to be admitted to a hospital was in and out of our appointment a few times. The actual exam went well, and Kate is doing very good. Her growth continues to be strong and her development is typical for a baby so premature. We then discuss sleeping habits, eating solids, and the home quarantine.

Home quarantine is the term I use to describe how we live with Kate. Since we came home for the NICU in September of 2009, under the advise of her doctor(s) and that would be at least four of them: she only leaves the house for doctors visits and walks. We have limited company coming over and no contact with young children. And we have adhered to this the entire time. In general there are a lot of positive things to say about home quarantine. The biggest being that Kate has never been sick. She has not gotten RSV, and has not been readmitted to the hospital. We have spent lots of quality time with her and have saved money by never leaving the house.

I was under the impression that our home quarantine would be over in April. Today I was informed that we need to wait until May. There are just too many illnesses in our area at this time that we need to continue to keep her isolated until May. So, one more month. What is the big deal you might ask? Or you might say it will be worth it in the end? And maybe even combine it with at least you have a healthy baby.

All statements very true. And my anger does not mean that I don't know this and appreciate every single one of those statements. But, excuse me while I scream a little about how frustrated I am. I have waited fairly patiently to take my baby out in public for 9 months and now I have wait until she is 11 months old. I only want to feel like a normal family with a normal baby for a brief moment, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

When you have a preemie, especially when you have one some 300 miles from home all the normal parts of being a new parent don't happen. Ed and I had far from a normal birth experience. There was no coming home from the hospital with a baby some 3 days later. We spent an entire summer living apart and with a baby in an intensive care unit.

There were no 'normal' baby showers. Even when we got home Kate home she could never go to a shower and be passed around. There have been no professional pictures, no going to see Santa, no shopping for clothes or toys. We spent holidays with her in the car while we each went in to see family. There is no taking her to visit friends, or baby groups. We don't even have strangers tell us how cute she is, because she doesn't go out in public. We don't run errands together, or try to get a quick bite in a restaurant. We keep her inside safe and growing.

In short I'd say give me a break if I want to sit here and be upset today. Because, you know what it isn't easy. This isn't exactly how I pictured it all. I am thrilled to have a happy healthy baby, especially when she had to beat so many odds to be born at 25 weeks. And I know that time will continue to go by, and soon everyone will be tired of seeing so much of her cute little face. But for now I am frustrated, angry and upset that we continue to be sitting alone at home.


  1. Hey! It is your blog and you are 100% allowed to feel the way that you are! What you are feeling isn't wrong. I'm sorry they are going to make you stay in till May, but you are a damn good mom!

  2. UGH I cannot even imagine what you are going through! Especially since the weather is getting nicer! Hang in there!