I never had the flu vaccine until I got pregnant. It is of course a choice to have the flu vaccine, and they make it easy here in the US for anyone to get a shot. They even do drive thru flu shots for those who can’t be bothered to get out of their car (side note. I’m now learning that drive thrus are handy for when you have a newborn baby!!). So when I was offered it at one of my prenatal checkups last year I accepted because I sensed that I would be forever judged as a bad parent if I didn’t have it. So I had it. The doctor told us that anyone else who would be caring for our baby should also get the vaccine because newborn babies can’t have it so they need to have a circle of protection around them. And so a few weeks later Chris got his flu shot (together with his TDaP too). That was all in October last year.
Fast forward to last weekend, Chris and I both woke up with a slight sore throat and that awful feeling of being about to come down with something yukky. Fortunately for me, that illness never materialised, but for Chris he became progressively ill. Monday morning he was too ill to go to work and even too ill to work from home! Shock horror!!! By Tuesday he had the chills and a fever. So he called our doctor and told him to immediately go to an urgent care centre because they didn’t have any appointments available that day. It probably was the flu. Oh and by the way don’t touch your 2 month old baby! Apparently there is a flu epidemic going round at the moment so he needed to be checked and there would be a chance he could get some Tamiflu meds to help.
So off we went to urgent care. Aviana and I stayed outside because there is not only the flu going round but also the rotavirus. The doctor confirmed he had flu type B, in fact, unusually the strain he had been vaccinated against and the doctor was surprised he had actually gotten ill.
Chris was given a prescription of tamiflu, some masks and told not to go to work and he was quarantined from Aviana until his fever went down with out meds. Eughhhh.
I was really nervous for Aviana catching the flu, and on Thursday I started feeling really dizzy and groggy. I think my body was just fighting to not get ill, but I was fearing the worst. When you have flu in the house you want people to stay away, but I was exhausted and wished I could get just a small break from Aviana, especially at night because I was on my own, trying not to fall asleep. It was tough!
But we survived, chris is now better, the tamiflu must have helped and both Aviana and I avoided catching the flu. Phew-I’m thankful. There is definitely something about the flu vaccine working for baby by either antibodies passed in utero when I got the vaccine or with breastfeeding, especially as I could feel my body fighting it off. Maybe both. Every time Aviana got slightly fussy I was taking her temperature just in case!! But no, she was just fine.
After all this perhaps I will get the flu vaccine again next season…although Chris caught the flu AND had the vaccine, so it’s not guaranteed, but I think keeping odds in my favour is worth a little jab!