When I found out that I was pregnant back in March, Peter and I were already hearing that we should delay conceiving because of the Zika threat. Too late! This baby is calling the shots, and he seems pretty set on being born in 2017.
I had been teaching at UArts up here in Philadelphia, and we were running our Airbnb business through our Philly house while staying with family outside of Allentown. It was all a bit of a mess trying to shuffle everyone around to accommodate my teaching schedule, and I was looking forward to simpler times when we could settle back in Florida. That was the plan.
Once I was pregnant, though, things changed. We decided that since we're lucky enough to have the option to stay in Pennsylvania through the summer, we should take the opportunity and wait out any chance of getting Zika. Surely by the end of summer things would be resolved. The "mosquito season" would be over and we could spend fall in Florida. Unfortunately the OBGYN's we spoke to don't accept pregnant mothers as new patients when they're in later terms of their pregnancy. What was initially a plan of waiting out the summer became a committed plan to stay in PA throughout the entire pregnancy.
At first our plan was based on the abstract threat of the disease becoming mosquito born in the U.S. As a native of Florida it seemed as inevitable as a hurricane. It looks like the threat of contracting this potentially harmful or fatal (to the fetus) virus is very real. We're planning to return to Florida after the baby's birth and I'm aware of just how lucky we are to have the choice to stay away.
It's kind of shocking how many people told me early on not to worry, to go back to Florida and simply rely on DEET laden mosquito repellent. I figure most of these people must not have lived through the summer in the south. Mosquitos get into the house easily, they're everywhere. You can't even take the trash outside without getting bitten. As the news changes daily about the development of Zika in Miami/Dade there's also stories of successful early trials of a vaccine. Hopefully the severity of this disease lessens soon, but until then the lil' nugget gets a kick out of when I eat soft pretzels and "wooder ice".