The Nest: Free to be Flu-Free
One topic near and dear to my heart is the protection of the health of my child. My own dedication to my health before my pregnancy was consistently inconsistent. I had my great stretches of working out and feeling great, buying those organically labeled food items from the grocery store only to be interrupted by the occasional Dominos impulse delivery. As I thoroughly enjoyed my Domino’s extra cheesy pizza I would hear that little voice inside my head fight back and forth - “How many miles do you need to run to burn that off??” vs. “You get you some pizza, honey!” and the battle raged.
If I am being honest, I felt the same tug-of-war in the beginning when choosing vaccinations for my child. There are theories and scare tactics and numerous Facebook debates on the efficacy, the necessity, and the moral obligation to supply vaccinations to our future generations. It is a broad topic, and considering I’m too busy to consistently get a pedicure, let’s narrow the topic down for all mothers to one vaccination, the flu.
Disclaimer: I am not here to debate whether vaccinations are necessary, but to give you a personal viewpoint of a new mother who is also a nurse with pediatric experience.
It is 2019. Viruses have mutated. Viruses want to survive. Viruses want to infect an easy target. That easy target being the very young and very old. I happen to have many people in my life in both of those categories that I have every intention of protecting for a very long time. So it is important for me to research this topic fully with those people I love in mind. Ultimately, it is my goal to provide the best life for them and you can be certain that I will do everything in my power to protect them. When I think of the flu, I picture the virus trying to enter into the systems of the human population like Eminem walking up onto the stage in 8 Mile singing:
“If you had
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment”
As I hear Eminem singing those words I ask myself, “If the flu virus is ready for us, are we ready for it?”
My baby had RSV last year. Yes, you read that right, RSV at 6 months and it was horrific. I know there is always a chance of exposure, but I wish I had been more diligent when it came to the vaccinations and our “kissing boundary” for family members. I cannot use the excuse that it could happen to anyone, when I am in charge of my baby’s health. I felt uncomfortable in the beginning telling family members to refrain from kissing him, and telling close relatives to please consider receiving their flu and TdAP before visiting. I shouldn’t feel that way and neither should you. Watching him suffer and struggle to breathe, while sleeping with him night after night on my chest in our recliner was not worth accepting the uncomfortable nature of telling someone, “please wash your hands before holding him and save your kisses.” My husband and I are responsible for his health, and with that comes finding comfort in standing our ground. Just one last thought- if you have family members who refuse to assist you in protecting your child in a way you find important, then they probably aren’t generally supportive so don’t give their opinions too much weight.
Just some support, momma, because I hear you on this.
Back to the flu in particular. ‘Tis the season, you see the advertisements, the free flu shot clinics are happening, and there is information readily available on the topic. So what do you do? First, decide if this is for your family. It is for ours, and I find great value in this vaccination. I know there is a lot out there to frighten you, but I want you to consider the fact that you may survive this season flu-free because your family obtained the vaccine. Beebe offers this vaccination for free. Wait, repeat that? Free!
At this point in my life, I am clipping coupons to splurge on fancy face cream so yes, free is welcomed here. Once your village receives their vaccines, support yourself in the health realm. Oils- gasp, did she just mention a holistic approach to healthcare!? In addition to holistic supportive therapies consider consistent family time=happiness, proper hand hygiene before meals, managing your stress level (LOL), and please, please don’t be afraid to say no.
So, freedom to you mommas and dads - you are free to be flu-free this year.