Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cocooning Counts!!

Our sweet Joseph...

These are our babies...

We haven't held them in our arms yet, but we love them all the same. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself once I can wrap my arms around those little bodies.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Our Porter boy...

 As we prepare for the birth of our boys, D and I have entertained the idea of "cacooning" our newborns. This phrase is used synonymously with "passive immunity" in the medical community. The idea is simple: until the wee ones are old enough to receive the necessary immunizations, they are surrounded only by people who have been immunized themselves. It's not a new idea. This practice is used regularly with premature babies, whose little bodies and immune systems are even more fragile than that of full-term newborns.

Speaking with our pediatrician, my OB, my sister (mother of an extreme preemie), and other friends in the Labor & Delivery/NICU professions just solidified our feeling that this is what we need to do. We already know our boys will be here sooner than expected. We pray every day that they can make it full-term, but there is always a chance they will join us before then. Not to mention, in the last month, Washington State declared a state of emergency, due to epidemic levels of the bacteria Pertussis sweeping the area. California had a similar outbreak in 2010, but it wasn't this bad. If numbers continue to rise there, we will feel the effects more and more here in Oregon.

So what does this mean for you?

It's simple, really.

We want friends and family to visit our home and meet the boys after their arrival. We are excited to have people come by! We only ask that those wishing to have contact with them in the first 6 months be vaccinated against Pertussis. That means the dTAP for children, and a Pertussis booster for adults. These vaccine should be given at least 2 weeks prior to contact with newborns for them to be most effective.

We fully understand the potential for this to be an inconvenience for some, however, after considering our options, and praying extensively as a family about this, we know this is the right decision for us. We have faith this will give our baby boys the best chance at a healthy start. 

Thank you so much for your patience and respect in this matter.

And please, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me, private message me, or comment on this post. We're open to talking about this decision. Much love to all of our friends and family!!!

Did I mention... 8-11 weeks?!?!?  

D & L Cherry


Read the most recent National coverage of the Pertussis outbreak here.

Read the original blog post that gave us this idea here.

Read about using the "cocoon method" here - this blog post was written during California's major outbreak in 2010.

Read about the principle of "passive immunity" here.

Read updated information on Washington State's epidemic status here.


  1. I like the name of it- I'm all about vaccinations :) I'm excited for all of you!

  2. A smart and loving decision. Love you

  3. so supportive of your decision couldn't agree more