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Saturday, April 13, 2019

How I protected my baby before she was even born

This post is in collaboration with Brand Meets Blog

April is a pretty big deal these days in our house. Not only is there all the excitement of the Easter bunny coming to visit, it's also birthday month for baby girl. With all the Facebook memory photos popping up on my phone each day, I can't help but reminisce about my pregnancy and all the emotions I felt awaiting her arrival. I remember those last few weeks so vividly as I was so close to finally having our very longed for second baby in our arms. The sheer happiness and excitement that we were going to meet her was also mixed with fear and trepidation as the weeks kept ticking by. The photo below was taken at exactly 40 weeks, I thought for sure she was close, but I still had 5 more loooong days to wait.

I think it's a natural instinct for all mothers to want to protect their baby. For me that instinct kicked in very early, long before she was actually born, in fact it was from the very moment I found out we'd finally conceived {which was at just 3 weeks pregnant}. We'd spent so many agonising months trying to fall pregnant so I was determined to do everything I could to foster a healthy pregnancy hoping to have a healthy baby in my arms 9 months later.

I ate all the right foods. Ok, a better way to phrase that would be I avoided all the bad pregnancy foods. As hard as it was, I avoided soft serve ice-cream, seafood, sushi, soft cheese and pretty much anything that could even remotely give me food poisoning. I did succumb to cheeseburgers and chocolate quite often though.

I consciously avoided sick people {as much as possible}. I was a stay at home mum during my second pregnancy so it was a lot easier than when I was working. I cancelled play dates when necessary and even stopped doing the grocery shopping during the later months of my pregnancy so I wouldn't pick up germs from trolleys at the shops.

In addition to avoiding germs, I also got the pertussis {dTpa} vaccine again while pregnant {after 28 weeks} so baby girl would have protection against whooping cough. New babies can't be vaccinated against whooping cough until 6 weeks so having the vaccination myself while pregnant gave me some relief knowing she'd have some protection should she be exposed to it before she could get immunised. I'm petrified of needles myself, but the thought of her getting sick terrified me more, and to be honest after the constant barrage of weekly blood tests and daily hormone injections while trying to conceive, a once off vaccination needle didn't seem that bad. 

We also made sure all other family members were up to date with their boosters to limit the chance of her being exposed, even to carriers of the disease. Any chance she might contract it was too high a risk. The thought of spending years trying to get pregnant, then 9 months growing her inside me, to possibly lose her to a potentially fatal disease scared the hell out of me. My grandmother has had whooping cough and I've seen videos of infected babies battling to breathe in hospital and it's beyond heartbreaking. I've had severe asthma all my life so I know what it feels like gasping for air and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, especially a tiny baby.

I would have got vaccinated for influenza while pregnant as well {both vaccinations are free for pregnant mothers under the National Immunisation Program} but there was a shortage of the flu vaccine when my GP recommended getting it and it didn't become available again before I gave birth. Influenza can affect mothers quite severely in the second and third trimesters and it can affect the baby in the first few months after birth, even causing death, so it's worth discussing the vaccination with your GP, midwife or obstetrician once you fall pregnant. I'm so grateful that I live in a day and age where we have the medicine available to help protect not only ourselves but also our vulnerable newborn babies from diseases which could have devastating consequences. 

Thankfully our gorgeous girl arrived safe and well in April 2017 and while we've had our share of hardships with allergies, tongue tie and sleep issues, we haven't had to deal with any major life threatening health concerns. It's hard to believe my tiny little baby has been with us for two years already and is now a rambunctious toddler causing havoc and plenty of laughs everywhere she goes. 

Unfortunately the need to protect her and constant worrying didn't stop once she was born, so I just have oh the rest of her life to continue worrying! This parenting gig sure is a tough one.

Toni x

Disclosure - This is a sponsored post as per my disclosure policy. For more information regarding free vaccinations during pregnancy please visit The Immunisation Coalition is a not for profit organisation, and is the leading voice in whole-of-life immunisation in Australia, protecting all Australians against communicable diseases.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Yes Toni, and that feeling continues on long after they're grown up too, believe me! My daughter had her first baby (and our first grandchild) last September and I understand that need for protection. All the best to you and your family and happy birthday to your baby girl :) #lifethisweek

  2. I agree Toni, yes get them vaccinated,even before they are born your vaccination is so important.
    Happy Birthday to a beautiful little Bubba!!

  3. So enjoyed reading your very important post Toni, and cannot believe you have a school girl now and a toddler!
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is Easter Means This. 16/51 #LifeThisWeek. 41/2019. Hope to see you there!