Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Letter to our Friends and Family

Dear Family & Friends,

We want to start by saying thank you for the outpouring of support we have received from everyone. We are experiencing the biggest challenge of our lives, and we’re very lucky to be surrounded by so many family members and friends who have shown us love and support.

Some people have offered to help in the future, whether it's helping bring meals, laundry, playing with Tyler, feeding babies, or coming over to help watch babies so that mom and dad can get some rest, and we appreciate these offers, however we would like to find a way to organize volunteers ahead of time so we don’t end up with extra volunteers one day and not enough the next. As far as the feedings go, we are planning on having a small group that we can rely on consistently to help with the feedings. If you are interested in being a part of this group, let us know. We are hoping we can get people that can consistently fill a small period of time (approx. 2-4 hours) on the same day each week so we can get some kind of routine going.

To assist us with scheduling, our church is appointing a person to help us with scheduling and an internet calendar will be set up to sign up to help. We will let you all know who that person is and the information on the calendar when we have it.

We will also be bringing the kiddos home right at the beginning of RSV season and want to do everything to prevent the babies from getting this. We don't want to be rude to anyone but our babies health is our number one priority, especially this first winter. If you are not aware of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), you are among the majority. Most people have not heard of RSV, even though nearly every child has had the virus by age two. For full-term babies, RSV typically is not any worse than the common cold, but for preemies, the virus can be quite different. Babies born earlier then 36 weeks are at the highest risk for serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and other sometimes fatal complications. Our babies were born prematurely, are multiples, and have low birth weights. These are among the highest risk factors for contracting RSV and developing serious complications. 
You may ask, “Can’t they fight it off and build up their immune system? Kids need to get sick, right?” The simple answer is NO. Since our babies are pre-term, their immune systems are not strong enough to fight off infection. If they contract RSV, they could be hospitalized and develop serious complications.  For this reason we will not be attending many events this coming winter, including church with the babies. The picture below demonstrates the difference between a full term and pre-term babies lungs.
                         LUNGS OF NORMAL BABY                    LUNGS OF PREEMIE BABY
While we appreciate and are thankful for each and every offer of help, we do want to maintain some privacy and control in our home and family. We will be requiring all visitors and volunteers, including family, to follow a few requirements to help make this transition easier for all involved.
1 – When you arrive, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer before touching the babies, as well as in between handling babies.
2 – Get your flu shot, as well as update your TDaP (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis) vaccine. This needs to be renewed every ten years anyways. No time like the present.  You can get the vaccine from the health department, or at your doctor’s office.
3 – Please don’t come over if you are currently sick, or have had symptoms in the last 5 days, if you live with someone who is sick, or have been in contact with someone else who is sick.
4 – If you smoke, we ask that you change your clothes, and refrain from smoking while visiting, as preemies lungs are very sensitive to smoke. Persons smelling of smoke will unfortunately miss out on holding the babies.
5 – If you are parents to a baby/children, please leave them at home during RSV season, however, we would love to hang out after.
6 – When coming to our home, please take a moment to greet and spend some time with our son Tyler first. It is very important to us that he not feel left out.
Please understand that this letter is not meant to offend anyone, just simply to provide explanations and to set expectations. We hope you understand, and we appreciate your help in keeping our babies safe.
With love,

Allen, Katie, Tyler, Alexis, Allison, Daniel, and William


Shawn G. said...

The RSV is very serious Lillian was hospitalized for a week or so with this problem. Good looking out.