‘It has to get worse before it gets better.’ Some parents never see ‘gets better.’ We almost didn’t. We almost lost our baby.’

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“Helicopter moms – I never understood you… I get it now.

Baby on stretcher being pushed by EMT's towards helicopter
Courtesy Kayla Ross

These photos are morbid, and I cry every time I look at them because it reminds me of the worst day of my life, but I think people need to know what actually can happen.

EMT's loading baby onto Children's Hospital helicopter
Courtesy Kayla Ross

RSV season is here and is apparently hitting harder than ever. It is very common in babies. ‘It has to get worse before it gets better.’ Some parents never see ‘gets better.’ We almost didn’t. We almost lost our baby.

Baby on stretcher being loaded into ambulance
Courtesy Kayla Ross

RSV is transmitted by 1) airborne. So, if you’re sick around a baby, they get it. 2) saliva. Even if your lips are dry and crusty, there’s still saliva on them. When you kiss a baby, you transmit your stuffy nose even before you realize you have a stuffy nose. Adult stuffy nose will fill up a baby’s lung like you have no idea. I saw his X-ray. His chest was completely white with mucus. 3) touch. When you snuggle a baby or touch a baby’s hands, they stick that straight in their mouth, and if they don’t then it goes right back to airborne.

EMT's tending to baby with RSV in children's hospital
Courtesy Kayla Ross

When we don’t feel sick, that doesn’t mean we don’t have some funk going on. Our bodies are immune to it, babies have no immune system. WHATSOEVER.

These pictures show ‘worst case scenario,’ but it happens. We never thought it would happen to us.

Baby with RSV asleep on stomach on crib in PICU hooked up to monitors
Courtesy Kayla Ross

Not that I let any and everybody touch, love and kiss my baby, but I wasn’t strict on it either. It made me happy to see other people loving my baby as much as we do. When I was in the hospital after giving birth, a family friend said, ‘you’re the best kind of first-time mom.’ That’s what I strived to be. The ‘cool mom.’

Baby with RSV sleeping in PICU crib wrapped in blankets
Courtesy Kayla Ross

RSV is common but is also very deadly depending on how hard it hits. It happened to hit mine HARD.

I watched my baby on oxygen and a feeding tube fight for his life because I let everybody love him the way I do. So much mom guilt, but God provided. I say that to say, BE A HELICOPTER MOM. Be THAT mom. For anyone that doesn’t have kids, you don’t get it. I didn’t until I had him. Respect the mother’s wishes. The older generation, you’re not exempt. Respect the mother’s wishes. Mother’s aren’t helicopters because they’re selfish and want their babies to themselves. Mothers are helicopters because they value their baby’s life.”

Aerial view of mother sitting in chair in hospital holding baby with RSV
Courtesy Kayla Ross

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kayla Ross of Georgia.  Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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