I know exactly what you are going through. Our Max was a 25 weeker, with Chronic Lung Disease. He was on oxygen until 9 months old. Anyway, he came home in May 03. We made it very clear that we didn't want visitors and we wouldn't be bringing max to anything for quite a while. Then, when RSV season hit, same thing. I stayed home with him. Now this summer, I have eased up a bit, and have tried to participate in some mom's group activities, but honestly, I am not comfortable. The babies crawl all over eachother and put eachother's toys in their mouths. I kept Max away from all of this. I realized that I am just not ready to deal with people I don't know well. Especially since some parents take their sick kids every where. So, I have two friends with kids and have decided I will take Max around them, because their mom's will tell me if they think their children are sick.
As for people's comments, I am strong headed, so if anyone dared to say anything to me, I would lecture them to no end. But most of my friends have been really good, at least to my face. A few don't understand, but that is their short coming and we have distanced ourselves from them, because they have a hard time respecting what we feel is best for our child. After all, they are our children. And what we say goes. You have to do what your comfortable with.
On that note, I used to think everybody thought I was paranoid. But I think most friends just accepted it because if they were in my shoes they would probably be too. But then I realized, I wasn't paranoid, just proactive. By taking important steps to protect my child's health, I didn't have to worry about him getting sick. And in 18 months he has only had roseola, which he caught at the docs office. We do take Max out, but we don't let him touch things we think have germs (e.g. door knobs, high chairs, table tops, etc. etc.) And we always use Purell. Whether that has been a direct result of his good health or he really does just have a good immune system, we will never know. But it has been 100% worth it. (Although I am sad sometimes I missed out on mommy and me groups, but I look at Max and I am over it)
So keep up the good work. And when people say something, just tell yourself it isn't worth it to worry, because they are not you. And them being judgemental just shows they have their own insecurities.
DH, John (36)
Max, 1/20/03, 25 wks, 534g. (IUGR), severe PE