Sara was a 34 weeker(5lbs 3oz) and stayed 11 days. I got a round of betamethasone shots before her birth in the hospital. Her problems were feeding issues. She was NG tube fed until day 8 of life(problems coordinating suck-swallow-breathe and staying awake for full feedings) and started nippling feeds thereafter. Breathing room air from the start but issues with apnea. Came home on an apnea monitor that she kept until 6 months old. She nursed every 20 minutes around hte clock because I was determined to breastfeed even if it killed me. She nursed like a normal newborn around 6 weeks adjusted and ended up exclusively bresatfeeding until 11 months and self-weaning at 22months.
: She had some issues with RSV and lung scarring and some sensory issues but she's a healthy normal 4 year old now.
Grace was a 33weeker(4lbs 12oz) and also stayed 11 days. No time for the steroid shots before her birth. Her issue was keeping up her temperature. She nippled feeds from the start and had a nice strong suck. She was trying to latch by day 2 of life. She had a few A's and B's(apnea and bradycardia- forgetting to breathe and dropping heartrate) but was mostly fine. Breathing room air from the start. Once she stabilized a little more, she was able to keep up her body temperature and came home slightly under birth weight but gaining everyday and nursing well. We have had some issues iwth reflux but she's 13months and was exclusively breastfed until 6 months and is a chunky 24lbs so obviously that didn't affect the calories she's getting.
Very strong, healthy, and quite the normal toddler.
All in all, my 33 weeker who was smaller than her 34week sister did better. Sara had trouble getting overstimulated with lots of touching and would scream for literally HOURS once she was just DONE with you messing with her. She still has some sensory issues with clothing and getting her hair brushed and food textures and messy hands and loud noises but they are more "quirks" than anything else now at age 4. Gracie came home nursing well, sleeping pretty well, and gained fantastic from the very start. She was up at almost 10lbs by her due date. So it's very very different from baby to baby. I firmly believe that Sara would have had some respiratory issues had I not gotten the steroids. And I stayed pregnant with her longer than with Grace. So it's really a crapshoot.
Just remember that each day you stay pregnant is one less day of blood draws and ng tubes and big plastic boxes int he nicu.