Re: So today was my due date...
Hi Angela - I'm new here too. I have 3 daughters & have been thru the whole preemie thing 2 xs now (does that make me an expert?) My 2nd dd was 29 weeks 3 days from preeclampsia. My 3rd dd was 30 weeks 5 days from preeclampsia & HELLP. I had such high hopes for that 3rd pregnancy!! I really missed those last few months of pregnancy & bonding in utero. At first, I had to choke back tears every time I saw a full bellied pregnant woman at church. I felt cheated! I found out that my husband also felt cheated (those husbands enjoy seeing their wife's belly bounce around & feeling those kicks, too!) With my 2nd dd, everyone said "Congratulations" at her birth, but it didn't feel right to me. I kept wanting to ask, congratulations for what? That wasn't really a birth and she wasn't supposed to be here yet! With the baby being so tiny & fragile, I was afraid to take care of her and that never really felt like she was mine. Everytime I saw each of my babies in NICU, I kept thinking "I'm so sorry" and felt such guilt for doing this to them (I know that's silly, but I did feel so responsible somehow). With both babies, when it was time for the baby to come home, I felt like we were adopting a baby. I really struggled with my 2nd dd because the breastfeeding relationship was so strained and we could never get it working. I finally ended up just exclusively pumping breastmilk for her and stopped trying to nurse her so I could work on building our relationship. I would get angry with her for not nursing, and I hated feeding bottles. I had to let go of that part and just love her (and sometimes it was just a choice of loving her, even if I wasn't feeling particularly lovey at that moment). Honestly though, I struggled with bonding with my 1st fullterm baby too because she seemed so needy and I was so sleep deprived - so it isn't just a preemie thing! Anyhow, the bonding thing really came from a non-emotional committment to love & parent them, to do the best I could for them, and through snuggles & naps together, & just trying to enjoy her, whatever stage of development she was at (not always easy, lol!) My 2nd dd is now 6.5yo and I marvel that she entered this world weighing 2lbs 9oz, but she has become such a beautiful, bright, & caring little girl. By the way, since lightning struck twice (preeclampsia), we've decided not to have any more children. In some ways, this makes me very sad - but I feel that it is too much of a risk for a future baby and for my own life - that was so scary!! So I guess that is the next stage that I will need to make amends with - that this 3rd baby is our last & with every stage she goes thru, it will be our last time to enjoy seeing that! I think if I am not able to get this 3rd baby to nurse, I will feel like I really missed out and may have a lot of regrets. I'm trying to do everything I can so that I don't have these regrets looking back.
Sarah, homeschooling mom to 3 girls
8yo fullterm & bf'd for almost 2 yrs
6yo born @ 29 weeks, bottlefed expressed breastmilk for 9mths
Newborn born @ 30 weeks, bottlefed expressed breastmilk & trying to bf.