When you first decide to start a family, the last thing you expect to sift through in the deluge of new-parent info is a pandemic. The H1N1 flu bug has finally landed in BC, causing a lot of stress for me and my husband as we socialize with friends and family this season.
Personally, I didn’t think much about the whole issue until Thanksgiving. I had a vague idea that people were starting to come down with it in Canada and had heard whisperings here and there that pregnant women experienced more severe symptoms than the average person.
When I arrived in Kelowna to spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws, the risk of coming down with the flu got a little more real. My brother-in-law was still in the throes of the fever he contracted from my sister-in-law. My sister-in-law was over the worst of it but was still feeling weak.
The ten of us had rented a house for a few days of family reunion, but with two people sick, the rest of the family took pains to separate me from my ailing siblings. It made for an awkward weekend of supposed reconnecting: careful placement of relatives at the long table, conversations held at 45-degree angles (so as not to breathe towards the bulge), and ix-naying of double-dipping and free-for-all food portioning.
It got worse as Halloween–and my neighbouring birthday party–approached. I felt like a jerk asking my friends to bow out of the party if they felt even a remote sniffle, but when common sense wars with hormonal fluctuations and maternal instincts, you have to know that it has lost from the start.
We knew that we were wigging out about it, so to make fun of our paranoia, we decided to play doctor for Halloween.
Hope I regain my right mind soon, and ride through this flu season without endangering the baby or losing friends.