RSV Awareness & My Baby’s Story


  • This post was sponsored by AstraZeneca as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

When I made the decision to become a Nurse, I really wanted to be able to take care of my families health needs, without running to the doctor for every illness.  I didn’t want to feel helpless and clueless.  I didn’t want to be that Mom that was terrified every time my daughter or son became ill.

I graduated from nursing school and passed the NCLEX in May of 2011.  That fall I gave birth to my little girl, Violet.  ALL of my nursing school education could not prepare me for the fear one feels when they have children.  This perfect little being was all my responsibility, and my duty to keep healthy and safe.  It’s both an amazing feeling and terrifying feeling, all at the same time!

A few months after she was born I noticed she was very warm.  I took her temperature and sure enough, she was 102.2.  I knew that before 3 months old, a fever for a newborn was an emergency room visit.

At the time, my daughter was in daycare with family members.  So she was exposed to other children, and I was working as a pediatric nurse in a family practice office.  It was January, the middle of RSV season.

We arrived to the hospital and Violet was doing good.  She was fussy, but still wanted to nurse.  She was still running a fever even with the fever reducing medications.  She also had a cough, but very slight.  NO other symptoms at all.

In the hospital, the medical team began testing my little baby for every illness possible.  She had blood drawn, respiratory suctioning, nasal swabbing, catheterization and then they asked if we would consent for a spinal tap.  Yes, spinal tap 🙁  She was barely 2 months old, but the doctor wanted to rule everything out.

Newborn Violet
Since I knew it was the height of RSV season, I had a feeling it was RSV.  So with my knowledge of the community illnesses (that we had been seeing at work) I declined the spinal tap.  Against doctors recommendations as well.  I was told I “wouldn’t be judged” for declining.  No parent wants their baby to endure invasive testing like that. It was hard enough watching all her other testing.

Early the next morning, around 4am, we were released from the hospital.  All tests had come back negative yet we were still waiting on the RSV test results.

We went home.

The next morning at 9am, we headed to her Pediatricians’ office for a follow-up.  The test results had come back and our baby indeed has RSV.  We were lucky that she had a mild case and her respiratory tract and airways stayed pretty clear. She never had any issues breathing.  Her fever was the real only cause for concern.

rsv-awareness

She was lucky.  A newborn’s lugs are extremely fragile. Nearly all babies by the age of two in the US will contract RSV, however severity varies.  It’s really one of the biggest threats to newborns every season.

As parents prepare to keep their babies safe and warm this season, (which is November – March) it’s important to know the facts about RSV and help protect their little lungs.

  • National RSV Awareness Month takes place every October. Its a time to educate the public and raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of RSV disease.  It also helps to educate on prevention!
  • RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies in their first year of life.  I know we had our scare with RSV, I can’t imagine what some families go though with the illness.
  • Head here to learn more about RSV and to help raise awareness.  Learn how you can keep your child health this RSV season.
  • RSV Informationrsv-infographic-copy

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