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Thread: What to expect with premie...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    1,081

    Default What to expect with premie...

    My son will be born sometime between 29 and 34 weeks. He currently measures 1 1/2 weeks behind scheduled growth. What are some things I should think about ahead of time, be prepared for after his birth, etc.? I will be meeting with a neonatologist today but would like to hear more of a personal experience in regards to what helped you get through the experience of a NICU baby and what I can do/say to have as positive an experience as possible.

    Thanks!
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,836

    Default Re: What to expect with premie...

    I just read your other thread last night. I don't have the specific answers you are looking for, but have heard so many inspiring stories of strong willed little babies born early that thrive. I will be praying for you and you will def be in my thoughts, as well as your little Emma and your new addition.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: What to expect with premie...

    I'm sorry that must be scary!
    IS there a good support group at the hospital?
    That might be a great place to start.
    You can talk about your fealings and get some good info from the other moms and dads.

    Your local leader might know another mother who has been there done that.
    and who the best lc in the area to help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: What to expect with premie...

    Hi! My son was born 3 weeks ago at 31 weeks. He's still in the NICU for probably at least 2 more weeks.

    First, I wish I'd been more prepared - though I had no idea he'd be so early. I wish I had purchased a breast pump, pack-n-play (for the basinnett), sling, and some other items already since it's been hard to find the time for getting those things once he arrived.

    Second, don't be afraid to be there as much as possible. I spend at least 2 hours doing kangaroo care/skin-on-skin time every day, take part in his care and feeding times, and all that. It really helps when you're feeling disconnected and frustrated that you have to leave your baby at the hospital every day to have that connection. And related to that, take in each and every moment. As much as I wish he didn't have to go through this experience, I'm so blessed to get to know him 9 weeks sooner than I expected.

    Third, take advantage of the support programs offered. Our NICU is amazing. I signed up for a parent support person - another mom who had a preemie a couple years ago. She calls me and sees how I'm doing, gives advice if I have questions (like about what things she needed in the first weeks her baby was home), comes to visit, etc. There are also classes on infant massage, CPR, car seats, how to transition to home; there are dinners for families whose babies are in the NICU, a pumping room equipped with hospital grade pumps... it's good to know they're there for me.

    Finally, expect good days and bad days. This doesn't help me deal with the bad days all that much better, but knowing that steps forward AND steps backward are totally normal is a small comfort. The nurses have been so wonderful even when I've broken down in tears of worry and frustration in the nursery. And then, usually, things get better as well.

    Hope that helps - grace and peace to you as you anticipate this birth!

    Jennifer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: What to expect with premie...

    I'm so sorry your little guy is going to be coming so early. I know this must be so hard on you and your family.

    I don't have any personal experience with premature babies- well, maybe a modicum... One of my aunties had triplets at 36-37 weeks, something like that. They were close to term but because they were triplets they were all extra small. 3 lbs or so, I think. She said she was up and pumping the same day she had her c-section, and she managed to breastfeed all 3 babies until they were 6 months old or so, when she got too tired and gave up. They are all big, tall, healthy college students now.

    Have you ever head of kangaroo mother care? It is supposed to be really good for preterm babies- they maintain their body temperature better, they have fewer respiratory problems, their heart rates are better, they are less likely to come down with infections, more likely to breastfeed, etc.

    Here are some other articles you might be interested in:
    Extra Quiet In the Nursery
    A Warm Welcome to the World
    A Second Womb

    I hope that your little man will stay on the inside as long as possible. I know you are taking the best possible care of him right now.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    meh....wherever
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    7,065

    Default Re: What to expect with premie...

    Hey mama...I hope things go much better over the next few weeks!

    I too wish I had been prepared...how can you prepare for a preemie though right? After I had him, I found this site. it has a lot of really good information, especially how to advocate for your baby. It is confusing and sad, and I didn't know anything going into it...there is also this, and this.

    We asked questions ALL THE TIME. What are you doing, what is he eating, why is his temp that, what are those tubes for. We made them teach us how to do everything...I am sure there were some nurses that were annoyed, so what.

    At our NICU, after he got off the IV he was on a feeding schedule of every three hours. We went every single time (except for the 3am and 6am feeding because the NICU was closed for rounds and we needed sleep!) I made them put on the front of his chart that they were NOT to feed him before we got there. I tried to BF every time, and after he tried for a little bit we fed him. Oh, and just because you have on the front of your chart EXPLICITLY NOT TO FEED HIM, a couple nurses still did anyways.

    I had really good lactation support at our hospital. They were there practically the second I got to the hospital bed and had me pumping right away. I was so tired and I was cursing their name but it was the best thing. I pumped and pumped and pumped and it only took about a day and a half for my milk to come in.

    Kangaroo care was invaluable. Our LO was on a ventilator at first so we had to wait till he was off that till I could hold him, but after that we kangarooed every time. Even daddy did it.

    We brought pictures in and taped them to the inside of his isolette. We brought toys and things from home. I brought in blankets to put in his isolette so I could take them with me when I pumped (we also slept with them).

    Another thing that is SUPER hard is that in the NICU you get used to relying on the monitors. You know he is doing ok because his monitors say so, and then all of a sudden you are home with no monitors. Try not to pay attention to those...our favorite catch phrase was "is he pink?" it helped us to watch baby instead of the monitors and made it maybe .1% easier to go home!

    Good luck mama. I hope that some of this helps. I have my fingers and toes crosses that in the end you won't even need any of this info!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: What to expect with premie...

    We asked questions ALL THE TIME. What are you doing, what is he eating, why is his temp that, what are those tubes for. We made them teach us how to do everything...I am sure there were some nurses that were annoyed, so what.
    We ask as many questions as we could, well DH was is denial, he didnt know what to do, but the NICU staff was very good with good, they show us everything and few day later I use to do their job, which I loved it was my baby and felt I needed to be there for her...

    At our NICU, after he got off the IV he was on a feeding schedule of every three hours. We went every single time (except for the 3am and 6am feeding because the NICU was closed for rounds and we needed sleep!) I made them put on the front of his chart that they were NOT to feed him before we got there a couple nurses still did anyways.
    Yeap, exactly that, some nurses said that she was crying too much and of course I rather they give her a bottle then have crying waiting for me... Some nurses would put a paci although I had put NO PACI's but DD would not take them
    I had really good lactation support at our hospital. They were there practically the second I got to the hospital bed and had me pumping right away. I was so tired and I was cursing their name but it was the best thing. I pumped and pumped and pumped and it only took about a day and a half for my milk to come in.

    Kangaroo care was invaluable. We kangarooed every time.
    Although my lo wasnt in ventilator, I couldnt hold her for the first week due to her weekness and low temperature, she was in the isolette... Once I was able to Kangaroo we did it all the time, it help her so much.... As soon as you get there, ID your self and find out who is in charge of your lo for that shift (they do turns) then talk to her/him about you willing to kangaroo...
    We brought pictures in and taped them to the inside of his isolette. We brought toys and things from home. I brought in blankets to put in his isolette so I could take them with me when I pumped (we also slept with them).
    It really help... I wanted her to feel like she was home...

    Another thing that is SUPER hard is that in the NICU you get used to relying on the monitors.
    This was very hard for me... I had to wake her many times to make sure she was still alive...
    I admire your desire to be prepare, it will help you... you can also read "The Premature baby book" I read it afterwards but its I found it ok....

    Main thing, know who is in hcarge of your baby's care, Neonatologiest, Nurse chief, lact consultant to helpo you with your supply... and get a pump from your insurance as soon as you need it... this I regreat I didnt do, I paid for it

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    central IL
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: What to expect with premie...

    My DD was born at 31 weeks 6 mo. ago tomorrow. She was in the NICU for 22 days. We where very blessed that she did not have any physical problems, she just needed to grow and develop a little more. You will probably have to pump exclusively until baby is about 32-33 weeks corrected age, and then you will still have to pump a lot.
    You can ask your local LLL leader if they have any books on premies in their library. My leader brought the book on Kangaroo care out to me at the hospital(bless her heart).
    If the NICU will allow it, take a big bottle of ice water with you when you visit your baby. it will make you more comfy and you won't have to choose betw. keeping yourself hydrated and being with your baby.
    Accept help if it is offered. I had people helping keep up with my household neccesities like dishes and laundry so I could spend more time at the hospital.
    Pump as soon as possible after the baby is born. Your hospital should provide a hospital grade pump and setup to keep in your room during your hospital stay. I say this because you would be surprised at how slow they can be bringing you one (even if they know you are planning on BFing) and I had to ask more than once to get one.
    I hope this helps you and I will be praying.
    Chelsea
    Mommy to:
    Nate 1/17/07 Emma Lynn 7/13/08 @ 31 weeks and Clara 2/26/10
    Cloth diapering convert
    love to and

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: What to expect with premie...

    Your baby is so fortunate to have a great mom like you!

    My 2nd daughter was a preemie (25 weeker) who is now thriving and growing very well (she is 17mo. old/ 13 1/2 mo. adjusted).

    Our NICU experience was a rollercoaster ride. Even though she did not have any special conditions other than common micro-preemie concerns and treatments/procedures, we had some ups and downs, which I think is just a life in NICU. Having my DH's shoulder to cry on was comforting. We had a great social worker and lactation consultant, who supported me 100%. So finding your support person will be a nice start.

    Enlist all the help you can get to take care of your family's everyday needs (cooking, cleaning, etc.) so you can devote your time in the NICU with your baby.

    If you have to pick either morning, noon, or night time to be in the NICU, try to be there in the AM. You get to know the whole NICU team for your son(lactation consultants, social workers, occupational therapists, nutritionist, other specialists usually work 9 to 5 schedule).

    Eat well, sleep as much as you can, to stay healthy to be there for your little one.

    Please try to Kangaroo as early as possible, as much as possible. It helps baby's overall well-being & neuological develpment, and facilitates breastfeeding.

    Learn about developmental care: http://www.geocities.com/roopage/developmentalcare.html

    I loved Kelly mom's site, too:http://www.kellymom.com/bf/preemie/preemie-links.html

    My favorite preemie support group is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/preemie-list/
    parents there are amazing. They will gladly share their stories and give you support, love, and advices.

    If you are interested in learning more of the common or possible medical complication and such, the good start will be Dr. Sears The preemie Book.

    My favorite book for preemie parents is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...meunitysupport

    Please come back to this forum with any more questions and share your story. I will be thinking about you and your baby
    - - - Penga (@ 32 weeks gestational) and my DH

    Mother of two girls:
    Sydney (born 10/31/01- nursed until 3 yrs & 10 mos)
    Penga (born 08/15/07 - former 25 weeker who loves to nurse)

    & no more!

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