momof2little1s and her family
Last summer, CafeMom momof2little1s personally endured a swine flu horror story at 34 weeks pregnant. Although, she and her now four-month old daughter Molly are fine today, they both survived a flu-driven nightmare no family ever wants to face.
So momof2little1s is here today to share her story and talk about her decision to get her two toddler daughters the swine flu vaccination.
momof2little1s, you, yourself, recently had a horrific near-death experience with the swine flu while you were 34 weeks pregnant with your daughter Molly. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?
I started getting sick with the flu in the middle of May 2009. I went to the doctor over and over and was given fluids and sent home. They did not listen when I said my chest hurt and I was having trouble breathing. They kept saying it was a virus and sending me home with no antibiotics or meds.
After two weeks of this, on Monday June 1st, I was sooo sick and went back to the doctor. This time it was a new doctor, and he listened to me. Actually he freaked out cause my oxygen stats were SO low. They were 65 and normal is in the 90s. So he called an ambulance, and they rushed me to the hospital! I kept going in and out of consciousness.
When I got to the ER, they did an X-ray and found I had acute pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), so they had to intubate me (put a breathing tube down my throat). That is the last thing I remember for a month. Everything else that happened has been told to me because they had to put me into a medically induced coma in the ICU. They had no protocol to follow for a pregnant woman with ARDS and pneumonia, so they tried many different respirators. I have been told my stats crashed, and I almost died four different times.
At this point, they needed to get the baby out but worried the C-section could kill me. So finally after two weeks into my coma, my stats were the highest they had been and my husband and family decided they needed to roll the dice and do the C-section. My family was told to see me before the C-section because they were not sure I would make it out alive! Jeff (my DH) told me they all said goodbye, not knowing if they would see me again! God took care of me and Molly and much to everyone's surprise, I made through the C-section and so did Molly and on June 19th, she was born at a healthy 7 lbs.
Over the next two weeks, my stats went up and down, and they began trying to wake me from my coma, but I would not wake up! My husband, mom, and dad sat by my bed for days talking to me and praying for me to wake up, telling me about the baby and trying to tell me anything to wake me! Finally the prayers worked, and at the beginning of July, I began to wake up.
It took about a week for me to fully wake up. I was confused but happy to be alive and to know Molly was healthy too. The doctors called me and Molly "miracles"! I should not have survived, and they were shocked Molly did too.
My husband is incredible! He had to make so many life-saving decisions on my behalf, and he fought for me and the baby and never left my side.
Did you ever think you were going to be affected by swine flu or any flu to the point that you or your unborn child would be in grave danger?
No, it still blows me away. When I tell my story, I sometimes feel I am talking about something that happened to someone else. Before I was sick, when swine flu was first in the media, I was not worried about it and thought it was a lot of hype. Of course, now I do not.
Before you got swine flu, were you under the regular care of an OB/GYN and seeing the doctor regularly? Did you have an pre-existing conditions (asthma, chronic illness, etc.)?
I was under regular care of an OB/GYN. I went to every appointment. I had no pre-existing conditions.
You recently got your two older daughters, age 3 and 5, the swine flu vaccination. How did you come to this decision? Were you afraid of the vaccine being so new?
My daughter got vaccinated against the swine flu two weeks ago. For me, there was never a question as to whether or not to get the vaccine for my family. After all we went through, getting the vaccine was a must.
What I did question was whether to get my kids the nasal spray vaccine or wait for the shot form to be available. I was a little more concerned over the nasal vaccine because it is a live vaccine and the chances of having a reaction could be greater.
But in the end, my husband and I decided that waiting for the shot was a greater risk. We both decided we would rather the kids have a small reaction than risk them getting sick like I did.
I was not worried about the vaccine being new because I did a lot of research. And although people say the swine flu vaccine has not been tested, that is not true. It was a shorter testing period, but the swine flu vaccine has been tested on kids and adults. And the seasonal flu vaccine is "new" every year too.
Did you get your baby the swine flu vax too? Why or why not?
I did not get my baby vaccinated because she is not old enough yet. My baby Molly is only four months and has to be six months. She will be six months in December and will be getting the vaccine then.
Have you always chosen to vaccinate and get seasonal flu shots?
Yes, I have always chosen to vaccinate and get seasonal flu shots. I believe in vaccinating my kids to protect them from diseases that could kill them. I have, however, elected to space out my kids' vaccine schedules so that they do not get too many vaccines at once.
What was the actual vaccination like for the girls?
The vaccine was simple. My three-year old called it a "nose tickle" and laughed when they squirted it up her nose. My oldest was worried about the vaccine (she hates shots) and after told me it was like nothing.
How have the girls (and/or the baby) been since the vaccination? Any side effects or flu symptoms?
The girls had no real side effects or flu symptoms. My three-year old had a little runny nose for a few days after, but it may just be coincidental since the weather changed, which is always when her allergies kick up. My oldest had no side effects.
Anything else to add about the swine flu vaccination?
I do not feel it is my place to push people to vaccinate, but I encourage everyone to do their research and to make an educated decision instead of going by what others say. If you choose not to vaccinate, please take it seriously if you or your kids get sick with the swine flu. And PLEASE stop saying that the swine flu is no big deal. It may be mild for some, but it can be serious and deadly for others — with or without pre-existing conditions!
Find more great information in the CafeMom Swine Flu Guide.