After Near-Death Swine Flu Experience, One Mom Gets Her Toddlers the Swine Flu Vaccine

swine flu guide

family kids

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.


Related posts:

Swine Flu Vaccine: Is Your Toddler Getting One?

Swine Flu Kills Toddler -- First Victim in U.S.

Swine Flu Risk for Toddlers: What a Top Expert Told Me

Why One Mom Will Not Get the Swine Flu Vaccine

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toria... toriandgrace

To be fair, you could have had bronchitis and have it turn into pneumonia and ARDS and die if the doctor refuses to realize you are ill. I would be furious with that doctor.

I'm very glad you are alright! That's a really scary ordeal.

I think my hubby may have H1N1, but he's on a submarine.. so I can't do much about it.

Jesse... JessecaLynn

I agree with the previous poster, if you were treated correctly by the doctor, your illness may have not gotten so serious.  I am sorry that you and your baby had to go through that.  I am glad you and your baby is ok now, it must have been terrifing.

auror... aurorabunny

I agree with the previous two posters and we will not be getting the swine flu vaccine.

That said, I remember reading this story and thinking wow.  I'm so glad that everyone was okay.

RanaA... RanaAurora

What they said.  You should have been diagnosed right way sooner, and you could have avoided that nightmare.  I'm so sorry you had to go through that!

The nasal vaccine has the potential of you contracting the actual virus you're trying to vaccinate against, and has the downside of exposing those around you to it as well.

My sister and my dad's boss's husband both just had H1N1.  My sister was fine, the other is older with lots of health conditions, a smoker, and he had a seizure, but is now better.

khmommy2 khmommy2

Today they are offering free swine flu vaccinations at my daughters school, I chose not to have this done. I have talked to many of my family and friends, asking them what they would do with their children in a situation like this, and the majority have all said they were choosing not to have it done. I feel extremely torn, I want to make the best, informed decision I can for the sake of my children. What is a concerned parent supposed to do?

Happy... Happypancake

I plan on getting the vaccine this week. Your story is very moving and brought tears to my eyes, so glad you and Molly are ok. :)

I agree with everything you said as that is also my conclusions from research for my own situation on the vaccine.

God Bless!

11mar... 11marie11

I had swine flu last week as well as my five year old.  It was an awful experience.  My flu turned into bronchitis and then pneumonia AND I was on antibiotics and the anti-vrial. They had to put me on a second course of antibiotics.  I went to my doctor 5 times and even with the meds, I had trouble breathing and almost went into the hospitial.  It can still be bad if your doctor diagnoses you....  I thought I was going to die.  I took my two other children, 20 month old and 9 year old to get their vaccine yesterday. They had no side effects and even though I still have to wait another 4 weeks for the second shot, I can breathe easier knowing I am doing everything I can to save them the misery my son and I went through.

Cafe... Cafe Sheri

@khmommy2, I think a concerned parent does exactly what you are doing — asks questions, gets informed, and ultimately decides what's best for you and your family. I say you're doing fine.

auror... aurorabunny

What is a concerned parent supposed to do?

khmommy2 Oct. 20, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Research and learn until you have information coming out of your ears.  It's the only way to feel like you're confidant in making the right choice.  That's what I had to do.  That feeling of being torn is awful, I have been there too.

PinkS... PinkSodaPop

We are not getting it in our household.

We have decided we are not willing to risk adverse reactions.

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