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.
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.
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.
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)