Baby, its cold outside. A week after Virginia's first hurricane (on the outside at least, she was in my belly for Irene last year) she is watching her first snowflakes at home. It snowed a few times while she was in the hospital but it was unseasonably warm when we brought her home in late February and before we knew it Spring was upon us. Virginia isn't bothered by the cold but finds getting bundled up just as frustrating as we find getting her bundled up.
The cold and snowy weather is a reminder that cold and flu season is upon us. We have definitely been staying home more and doing a whole lot of handwashing, but we are still awaiting an appeal for synagis. Synagis is the vaccine that protects premature babies and babies with certain heart and lung problems from the RSV virus. Unfortunately Virginia falls 9 days short of the automatic cutoff for the vaccine. The cutoff for babies born prior to 28 weeks gestation is that they be under 1 year old by the start of RSV season, which is November 1st. The frustrating part is that had she been born 9 days later , she would have theoretically been a healthier 26.5 weeker and would qualify automatically for the vaccine. We are in the middle of the very frustrating appeal process, and while our insurance company has been amazing this past year we are seeing the uglier side of the process and bureaucracy. The synagis vaccine is quite expensive, about $1800 per injection making it about a $9000 expense for the season. What is beyond my comprehension is how an insurance company who paid out around 2 million dollars related to Virginia's prematurity would gamble on a $9000 expense. That $9000 would pale in comparison to the costs of one readmission to the hospital because of RSV. Unfortunately insurance is a numbers game and we will have to see if our company is going to take that risk. Whether she gets the vaccine or not we will be doing our best to limit her exposure to germs and be vigilant about any illnesses that she does get.
Since it is Prematurity Awareness Month, I think it is a good opportunity to point out just how many obscure impacts prematurity has on an entire family. The health and safety of a premature baby is the number one focus of any family, but there are so many extra challenges, burdens, and stresses that overwhelm the families that are impacted by prematurity. Some of the more random and non medical affects of prematurity on our family:
Our weekly schedule almost always includes at least one appointment for occupational therapy, physical therapy or a specialist appointment; these appointments are nearly impossible to schedule outside of the 9-5 workday.
We had no option but to hire a Nanny to come our home because we could not send Virginia to daycare.
I exhausted all of my maternity leave 8 weeks before Virginia even came home from the hospital.
We put almost 10,000 miles on our cars in the 4 months that Virginia was in the hospital.
Our once healthy lifestyle (eating well and exercising) has suffered along the way. Something we need to work on.
Our most important purchase for the nursery was an air purifier.
We met our 2012 medical insurance deductible and co-insurance maximum by January 3rd.
This girl makes us smile all day long...