Home » Pregnancy 2015 » Ugh, Another Thing to Worry About?

Ugh, Another Thing to Worry About?

So my mother is flying in to visit and stay with us tomorrow morning for three weeks. The idea is that she’ll help me with preparing some frozen meals, Traditional Chinese Post-Partum nourishing soups, and maybe even be around for when Dumplin’s born. She leaves on his due date though, because she still works, and this is all the time she could take off.

I have a complex and challenging relationship with my mother, but we won’t get into that today.

Today, we’re gonna talk about something that has kept me up all night, stressed.

So my mother has family in Asia, and she likes to travel, so for the three weeks before coming to visit us, she’s been visiting family in Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Lovely tropical places right? Yeah, except that she got diarrhea in each country, one of which was of an amoebic variety, and now has an unidentified respiratory illness, that has her feeling like crap and coughing like crazy. She’s now been home in Vancouver since yesterday, but did I mention that she arrives here tomorrow morning? 

So this is what stresses me out:

unidentified, respiratory infection from ASIA

– transmission of this virus (most respiratory illnesses are viral) is likely airborne and through respiratory secretions (sneezing/running nose on hands)

– she just got this “cold” so she is not likely on the other side of it yet, so she’s still coming here very sick and likely contagious

DW is almost through her first trimester, and on immunosuppressants 

Dumplin’ could arrive any time and will be living in a house where she’s been coughing and touching things 

– Dumplin’s going to be a vulnerable newborn fresh out of the womb

– I can’t ask her not to come visit

Now, I do plan to breastfeed, so if I’m exposed to her cold before he arrives, hopefully I will develop some immunity to it that I can pass on to him. But being an Asian cold, it’s unlikely to be a strain that I’ve ever been exposed to, and who knows how my body will react to exposure to it.

Now my mom will be fine with washing her hands often and being careful to cover her mouth when she coughs, but I just feel really paranoid about her being sick and being in our house for three weeks when we have a baby on the way. 

Many new moms in my online due date clubs have sent out general “etiquette” to friends and family over who may and may not visit their newborns before their first shots, and people who are sick are definitely at the top of their “no visit” list. Like I said, I can’t turn my mother away, so really, what I need is some reassurance that everything will be okay, and maybe some positive stories about how the magical powers of breast milk will prevent Dumplin’ from getting sick.


26 thoughts on “Ugh, Another Thing to Worry About?

  1. I’m super paranoid about sick people too. But your situation sounds especially gruelling since it’s an out of country illness. It’s such a tough position to be in. Would your mom be open to wearing a mask until her respiratory symptoms are gone? I’m not sure there’s much else you could do. Do you use any essential oils? I always diffuse like crazy if anyone who is slightly sick has been around (or when Mike had a man cold 2 weeks ago)

  2. Yikes. Wife and I had a respiratory illness just before I gave birth and I feel like it contributed to me going late. Luckily we were over it when he arrived, I felt like crap and my worst fear was having to give birth like this. Anyways, our midwife had stocked us up with medical hand sanitizer, spray desinfectant and paper masks to put over mouth and nose and strongly advised us to use all of those. In your place I would do the same. And I usually strongly avoid an use of desinfectants at home.
    In my experience breastfeeding unfortunately doesn’t prevent colds or diarrhea (in fact my breastfed son has wiped plenty of snot and already vomitted four times on me today)

  3. Yikes!!! I like the idea of asking/demanding that she wear a mask. She is the bringing a very dangerous illness at a time when your entire family is most vulnerable. Do what you have to do to protect yourself and your babies, and hopefully mom should understand.

  4. Oh, this is a tough one. I would also suggest both you and DW washing your hands constantly too, also helps to try not to touch your face unless washed hands immediately beforehand. Our son is not breastfed and he hasn’t been affected from colds that T has unfortunately caught from uni within the first few months of his birth. I know it’s not quite the same since Dumplin will be newborn plus DW on immunosuppressants and completely different types of colds, but I hope it brings a little bit of comfort that Dumplin immune system is strong enough to withstand it especially if you are able to build up an immunity to it pass on to Dumplin before he is born. When I come down with a cold, I always cough into my arm or elbow rather than hands as you touch everything with your hands. I hope the visit goes well and neither you, DW or Dumplin catch the cold. 🙂

  5. At almost 17 months I still ask people not to visit when they are sick. As a single parent I am the only one who gets to take off and stay home and I only have 9 days to do so. I used to live in Asia. If be a little nervous. Ps where in Indonesia did your mum go? I lived in Sumatra. 🙂

  6. Yeah.. that’s so tough. I totally get that you can’t ask her not to come, but that is scary. I’m scared to be around sick people just being pregnant. I actually distance myself and make excuses not to be around them. I seriously act like everyone who coughs just a little has the plague. It’s bad. So I can only imagine your concern being around the new baby and DW. I do believe it will be okay, but it is still scary! Hope it goes well with your mom’s help. I’m sure it’ll be nice to have her around.

  7. You’re so caring and loving towards your mom. I really think that you need to tell Typhoid-Mary-Mom to come visit when she has a clean bill of health. Your wife is on immunosuppressants, it’s not unreasonable to limit her exposure to viruses and parasites, viruses can cause bad shit to unborn babies (mom having the flu increases the risk of a child developing schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, other viruses cause miscarriages and stillbirths). Surely her sickness shouldn’t take more than a couple weeks to clear up if she gets treatment soon, so it shouldn’t be a huge deal to her, at last compared to the wellbeing of her grandkids.

    I’m sorry I realize I’m a bit of a hater, but I’m a strong believer in the family you form (your spouse and children) coming before your parents.

  8. Masks? Can you insist she wear one at all times? Golly. I would be asking her not to come. You’re immunosuppressed too because of pregnancy, in case you forgot that bit. Diarrhea can be really dangerous to babies too by the way.

  9. Okay. So I know you said you can’t ask her not to come. But can you talk to her about coming after baby is here and sending you the good she wants to freeze for you via courier so it stays frozen now instead? At least tell her your fears for both you and DW but most of all for baby who will have no resistance to infections (even if you’re breastfeeding, baby A has already had 2 colds while I’ve been exclusively BFing and had a stomach flu while I was nursing and having to use formula – thank you, hospital stay for emergency appendectomy and immediate recovery :-(). I don’t think you’re overreacting by the way and I am not typically a germaphobe at all.

  10. I understand this worry, and I am sorry you have this stress right now. I might suggest your mom wear a mask when Dumplin’ is born. But I don’t know what to suggest in terms of her exposing J (and you) to the germs…could she postpone her trip, or would that screw up her work schedule?

  11. Oh man, this is so not an ideal situation, so far from ideal actually. It sounds like you have tones of suggestions above, so all I will add is that I really hope that you, DW, dumplin and Mochi all stay healthy and happy through the visit and aferwards too.

  12. Can you discuss with your doctor? I’m so sorry you’re in this position. Catch’s grandmother showed up with a cold when C was just a few weeks old and I totally wigged out. It’s such a hard position to be in. Listen to your mom instincts!

  13. Wow, that isn’t a good start to the visit. I would talk to your doctor about maybe some antibiotics or something they could recommend to help you not get sick. Also, maybe ask your mom to relax when she first gets there to hopefully get better faster (although I don’t know the circumstances so that may be harder said than done), and maybe some antibacterial wipes/spray to keep the house a little more germ free?!. Hopefully you’ll find something to work for ya’ll and no one will get sick and your all healthy!

  14. This really is a tough one. I would do all the things you’re planning on doing and on top of that I’d allow myself some charged feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand mom is mom – you want to see her and it will be comforting to have her look after you both. On the other hand her visit comes with strings attached – so I know myself, I’d need to work on keeping any resentment in check about the circumstances.

    I hope all the precautions pay off and that whatever she has, passes quickly so she’s past the point of contagion by arrival. If it helps, I found out later that an acquaintance visited while I was on immunosuppressants and was sick (she is very self centred) and I did not get sick, granted it was only a couple of hours, not a long visit.

  15. When bean was about 3 months old she woke up with runny/goopy eyes and a slight fever. She was very subdued and not her normal self at all. We took her to the doc and he said it was probably just a cold and she’d be fine in a couple days.

    She breastfed allllllllllll day and the cold was gone the next morning when she woke up.

    Breastmilk is golden.

    – Cade

  16. Maybe the best thing is to say that you really want her to meet her grandson so can she come after he is born? Then apologize all over the place for asking her to change her trip? You know–the whole kiss-moms-butt thing we all did as kids? That way you’re not asking her not to come—just delay. Appeal to her grandmother sense. Good luck either way.

  17. I hate to say it, but the BFing doesn’t prevent the cold. It might help baby get over it faster because breast milk creates strong antibodies to what little one is suffering, but even being EBF little C got a cold at seven weeks. Hopefully by the time your mom comes though she might still be showing symptoms she’ll be past the contagious part.

  18. Oh man I have no advice. My mom brought an awful cold to me and DD when she was only a few weeks old and it was terrible for us. Thank goodness for breastfeeding, but it was still bad. I hope you can at least convince her to some quarantine time for a few days while she fights it off. Xx

  19. I would be more concerned with your wife catching it! Your baby has tonnes of nutrients and protection for if you are sick or run down.

    I would be concerned too. I am sure it will all be okay. Very tough situation to add to an already tense relationship. What does your wife say?

    Those online groups are very Americanized eh? I was reading about all the rules people had before allowing visitors. My kid, he licks floors.

  20. Wow that is very stressful and poor timing that’s no one’s fault. Has your mother expressed concerns herself about transmitting illness to any of you? It seems like you would be the first person to offer not to come if she’s contagious. Could you ask her to wait a week? I haven’t read the other comments but maybe someone already said this. Of course I understand your anxiety completely, and I’d probably be worried but also frustrated that she was still coming, which could cause further anxiety in terms of your relationship with her, but I’m sure that all in all no one will contract illness and you will all be okay. Let us know what you decide and how things go. As your situation involves two unborn babies, however, I think it’s completely fine for you to ask your mother to postpone her trip. I’m thinking about you guys and Dumplin all the time. Good luck.

  21. Oh my goodness…I’m sorry! Definitely the last thing you need to be worrying about. Okay, I’m going to suggest another Young Living product. This time, Thieves. It optimizes your immune system and studies have shown it to kill 99.6% of viruses, bacteria and even kills black mold. Rub it on everyone’s feet multiple times a day. If you got the starter kit then you’d have the diffuser and you could diffuse it multiple times a day too. I’m a big believer in pure therapeutic essential oil properties. Hope all goes well and none of you get sick and your Mom gets healthy quick!

  22. Oh boy…that can’t be good! Would she be ridiculously offended if you put a bottle of hand sanitizer in every room (and made sure that she stayed out of Dumplin’s room) and bought a box of face masks?! I mean, that still isn’t 100% but it could help! That’s a really crappy spot to be in! I hope she starts feeling better!

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