World prematurity day!

     Share the experience you had with your preemie below in the comments.

     So I never even knew a day like this existed until yesterday! I was talking with a few people who had preemies and it made me realize how tough it must be to have a preemie of your own and how scary. I was asking people what their definition of a preemie was, like how many weeks gestation would you say would be considered preemie. A lot of people had said if they were born before 37 weeks then that would be preemie to them. Well my son was born a little before 37 weeks and it’s weird to think of my son as a preemie. I guess because he came out healthy. (but I realize that just because babies come out healthy that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be technically considered a preemie.) When I think of preemies I think of  NICU, jaundice, tubes, days or months not being able to take your baby home. I think because preemies are so common people forget just how scary it could be for someone actually in the situation. 

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       When you think of giving birth you think that the actual laboring process would be the hardest and for some it is. But for many woman with preemies labor seems like a cake walk. While most woman are able to take their babies home days after and begin their new life a lot of parents are having to start their new life at the hospital making sure their baby continues to grow. I spoke with a woman who went through this and she actually feels guilty and feels like it was in a way her fault her baby came out too early like she feels her body failed to produce a “fully cooked” baby. That feeling enhances times ten when their in the hospitals care. She felt like she really couldn’t be his mother. I never even looked at it that way. She was told when she could him and she wasn’t able to bond with her baby the way every other parent wants or gets to do when they first bring them into this world. 

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       Another struggle woman with preemies face is breastfeeding. Although it is very possible to still breastfeed having had a preemie it is a lot more of a struggle then it already might have been. I do hear stories a lot from woman who were so determined to breastfeed that they pumped and pumped as much as they could even if it was just to put it in the freezer and save for later. I couldn’t imagine dealing with all the stress of a preemie and trying to breastfeed on top of it. I remember when my little guy was tiny I worried about EVERYTHING! Am I wrapping him correctly? Is he eating enough? Is he gaining enough? Should he be crying so much? So I can’t imagine how worried I would be if I had to leave my child I just birthed in the care of complete strangers.

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       I think parents with preemies need a bunch of support. Although having preemies may be a common thing it doesn’t make it any less difficult. Not that it really compares but take breast cancer for instance that has turned into a real common disease but we still have days to recognize it and bring awareness to it so I don’t see this day being any different as far as showing recognition and support for those going through it or who went through it. I am just very glad a day like this exists and I’m willing to recognize this day anyway that I can. Apparently the theme is “purple” and you are supposed to wear purple in recognition of this day. Please think about the journey that many parents have to take when they have a preemie. Some come out perfectly healthy and can be took home days later while others are stuck in hospital care for weeks or months until they are strong enough to basically have their body live on it’s own.

If you’re a parent to a preemie share your story below! Today is your day and the day for your preemies. Speak out about your experience the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

~Kristy (founder/creator of breastfeeding mama talk)

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14 thoughts on “World prematurity day!

  1. On April 14 1996 I gave birth to the most precious tiny little human Krystal Marie. At 26wks my daughter my first born came into this world very early. She couldn’t wait. She weighed 1lb 14oz. 13.2 in long. She stayed in NICU for 4 1/2 mth. She went struggles. At 2wks old she got meningitis. At 2 mth old she had surgery on her intestines.(NEC). She struggled to make weight. But finally on August 7 1996. She was able to come home. Weighing 5lbs 4oz. Although at age 2 she was diagnosised with moderate to severe cerebral palsy which affected her ability to ambulate without assistance & some motor skills in her hands. I wouldn’t trade her for nothing in the world. She is 17yrs old now & growing up to be a strong beautiful young lady. Yet seems like history trying to repeat itself. On November 11 2013. At 35wks I gave birth to my 3rd son premature due to preeclampsia. Had to have a c-section ASAP. My son Michael Angelo. He just made weight not to be put in the NICU. He weighed 4lbs 7oz 17.7in long. Now we are home. And I pray everything goes well. Love my babies

  2. I am a mother of 4 my first 3 babies were all full term with no issues but my 4th pregnancy when I had went for my 12 week ultrasound I found out my placenta was very low and was told in most cases it moves up as the pregnancy progresses and throughout my pregnancy I had ultrasounds every 4 weeks … my placenta never moved up and at 30 weeks I woke up one morning bleeding very heavily my bf called an ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital when I got there my bleeding stopped but they wanted to keep me a couple days to watch my bleeding. A couple hours later i started bleeding again was rushed into surgery for a c section. My son was born at just 30 weeks weighing 3lbs 10oz 18 inches long! Was the scariest day of my life! His lungs were very premature and he was on oxygen and ventilated. He progressed very well and was in the nicu for 5 weeks! I pumped everyday brought milk to him at the hospital and it was tube fed to him until he was old enough to suck at 34 weeks he began to eat on his own breast milk in a bottle and I went every day an hour away to be with him for a couple hours every single day and put him to the breast at least once a day! He is now almost 4 months old and breast feeding exclusively 🙂 He weighs 10 lbs even and is absolutely perfect!

  3. My son was born at 31 weeks exactly weighing 6lbs 3oz 18 1/4″ long. I am a type 1 diabetic which is why he was so big. I had an emergency c section due to my liver failing. My son spent 35 days in the NICU. He was intubated for a week! We didn’t get to touch or hold him until his 8th day of life. He then spent 2 weeks on cpap, 1 week on the nasal cannula and eventually wall oxygen, that he came home with. He is 4 months, 2 months adjusted, and still wears a Sat monitor. His biggest issue now is he’s been diagnosed with auditory neuropathy and will require hearing aids the rest of his life. He now weighs almost 15 pounds and smiles all the time! He’s a very happy baby. And the love of my life!

  4. My baby was born at 35 weeks and weighing 4lbs 12oz. She was kept in the NICU for 8 days because she had apnea; she would forget to breath. Unfortunately, I got sick with the cold and wasn’t allowed to see her. It killed me not to be able to see her. My husband and mother in law would send me pictures of her. They would go visit her to drop off the milk I pumped at home. I would cry all the time and was afraid that she would not love me for not bonding with her. I was also afraid that she would stop breathing and leave me. When she was released they gave me a monitor to connect her to and caffeine to help her with the apnea. I would cry every time the machine would go on because it meant she stopped breathing. I would rush to stimulate her and she would start breathing again but it scary every time! I did take a CPR class in case stimulation was not enough.
    I am proud to say that she is now 7 weeks and 5 days old and weighs 9 lbs! She was able to latch so I breastfed her only. Her pediatrician told me to alternate with formula because she needed the calories but I didn’t listen because I know that a mother’s milk is all a baby needs. Bianca is now off the monitor and medicine! She’s my little blessing! and I thank God for letting me keep her and for helping her overcome her apnea.

  5. My boys are the twins pictured above! Archer and Talon were born at 30 weeks around 3 lbs each. It was my 1st pregnancy and I was in such denial about being in labor when I drove myself to the hospital from work that day. After they were delivered via c-section, I was only shown my babies briefly before they were taken immediately to the NICU where I would later stare into their incubators in helplessness and sorrow for having no control over their current condition. I had feelings of fear, heartbreak and overwhelming guilt for not doing a “better job” at keeping them inside me longer. When we returned to my room, a nurse came in and told me that if I wanted to be able to eventually nurse, I would have to start pumping in order to produce enough for twins. She showed my husband and I how to operate the pump and left me to rest. I was still pretty out of it emotionally and from surgery so my wonderful husband had to later reteach me the pump. That night and for the remainder of my hospital stay, he woke up every 3 hours through the night to help me operate the pump. We were so excited when we FINALLY started getting something out of them! When my supply came in, he was constantly taking vials of milk to the nurses station… so much that they started calling him the milk man 🙂 So it seemed that we did have at least 1 thing to offer our babies in such a scary and helpless time–milk–and it was just the thing they needed! We focused so much on pumping because it was all we could do in those very early days. It was one of the hardest things I had to get through, waking up to a pump and not to my sweet babies, but we knew that’s how it had to be for now. When the boys got stronger and I was able to take them out for skin to skin and tube feedings, it was like having triplets with the pump. Sadly I was only able to get one of my boys to actually latch and feed from breast but I continued to pump for the other for 10 months. Fear, guilt, exhaustion, joy, pride and love… just a few of the flood of emotions that comes with being a preemie Mommy, or any Mommy for that matter!

  6. My lil girk is a “late term preemie” born at 35 weeks. We found an infection in the placenta so ee had to stay for antibiotics it was just about the scariest thing I have ever experianced. I fully blamed myself. Thinking its all my fault I couldn’t keep her safe and healthy. Then my milk wasn’t comming in. I was so overly stressed I couldn’t get enough. Tgen when it finally came it wasn’t enough and she wasn’t gaining. I was on all these suppliments to get my milk going. It was so hard. So many people kept evaluating me for pp depression. I started to think I had it. Got a spinal headache from my failed epi so then had to get a blood patch so had to be away from my baby girl. When we finally got to leave we were home for 2 weeks before I knee something was wrong took her back in and found out she had bacterial meningitis. She is 7 weeks now and has already had more time in the hospital then my wholr family put together. I just wish I coukd keep her safe and she needs to get stronger. I just wish I was able to have her fulk term to be stronger. But she is a fighter. I just hope she keeps fighting.

  7. Thanks for this post Kristy 🙂 My little man was born at 32 weeks gestation, and it was really scary. I started my blog here at WordPress to tell our story (www.lifeinneverland.wordpress.com) and especially because of my struggle to get him to breastfeed. The NICU is not an easy place to be a first-time parent, but I will always be grateful to the nurses and doctors who helped us! If you are interested in our story, it’s under the PJ’s Birth Story and NICU Days categories on my blog 🙂

  8. My Madison was born at 25weeks 5days gestation on January 13, 2011 at 1lb 6oz. She had a 50% chance to live. It was a roller coaster of emotions, she was my first child and I did everything “by the book” and never missed an appointment with my doctor and I didn’t understand how this could happen to me. I felt completely overwhelmed with the thought of leaving me having to leave the hospital with out my baby. Her stay was a little over 4months. The hospital was great. They promoted positive touch and breastfeeding. They even had a special ” pumping ” room. Madison was exclusively fed breast milk her entire stay at choc. At one time she was the smallest baby in the hospital. Now she’s almost three and talks so much. She sings her abc’s and can count to 20 in 2 languages. I truly believe I have breastmilk, the power of prayer and our great hospital staff to thank for my daughter being so lucky

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