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Moving on and coping...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay I know that for most of us preemie mamas it can be hard sometimes to relate to full term mamas. I know it is for me. Whenever people talk about their birth experiences etc. I feel bitter because I had two emergency c-sections and didn't get to see my babies for days after because I was so sick (I had severe pre-e with both pregnancies). Anyway I guess I am just wondering how do you move on and heal? Both of my girls are doing great now and I know I should just be satisfied with that because some people aren't so lucky. It is still hard for me though. With both of the births my DH was away (he is in the Army) and both times not only was I incredibly sick but I also was very scared for my daughters lives. It was so hard for me laying alone sick in a room without my baby or my DH there. I got so depressed at night in the hospital when I would hear families and new mothers laughing and talking and hear healthy babies crying and being brought to their mothers. I had to pump every two hours and then call the nurse to take my milk up to the NICU. At the hospital I was at with my second daughter they had a free celebration meal and every nurse I had would come in and be all cheery and say oh wow congratulations, you must be so happy and excited. It was just soo hard for me. I didn't feel like celebrating or being happy. I was just so jealous and still am of people that have a full term pregnancy. Am I alone in this?!
post #2 of 10
Hugs
No you're not alone and yes I can understand how even though you have 2 beautiful girls and they are doing well, you still had two traumas and its hard to recover. Its been 19 plus months and we are still healing do I can totally relate to what you're saying.

You do have PTSD but maybe not too extreme. It does get better over time but it takes time. HTH
post #3 of 10
it's hard. i had an emergency c-section as well. they put me on the ward afterward with other women and their full term babies. i felt like such a fraud because i didn't have my baby there with me. i felt so worried about her and had my dh go check on her frequently while i was still in the hospital. i am still dealing with the aftermath of her birth and coming to terms with all that happened. i feel especially sad when i hear of successful vaginal and homebirths since that is something i would have loved to experience.
post #4 of 10
Your feelings are entirely normal after everything you've been through. I have found myself struggling with PTSD since my girls were born, too. It got worse around their first birthday and I am in therapy right now with someone who has a lot of experience with PTSD. I really feel she's helping me, so I would suggest trying to find a therapist youself.
post #5 of 10
No, you're not alone. I was reading a column in our local paper about her son turning 15. He was born early (around 33 weeks) and she wrote all about his birth. He's 15 and she must still think about his birth quite a bit because she brings it up at least a few times a year in her column. I can remember another column from a few months ago when she was cleaning out her closet and found some baby clothes or something and said she burst into tears.

I don't think it's something you really ever get over. My preemie son is 7 and I don't really think about it much but I still started crying reading that column today. (And this lady really is not that great of a writer ) And when a baby at our church was born early and had to have surgery the day she was born due to an intestinal blockage, I just felt sick about it. I think more than if I had never had a preemie. Just thinking about the family having to drive up to the hospital every day, etc.

But I can tell you there will come a day when you won't think about it every day and you will be happy when you see your friend's full term babies.
post #6 of 10
As others have already said, you are certainly not alone.

For me what helped was to realize that my daughter's early arrival came with many blessings that "full term mamas" never experience. For example, I think I appreciate my daughter so much more because she was born early. I don't take her health or her development for granted. I also learned a great deal as a human being through her early birth.

Focusing on these positive things helps me, but it didn't happen over night. My daughter is now 25 months old, and I still sometimes struggle with the feelings you describe. But it's gotten much, much easier.

Kristina
post #7 of 10
Those nights and days in the hospitals listening to the full term babies crying...those were the worst.

Even when we move on, there are things we will always be jealous over.

Reminds me of a close friend who had to undergo IVF...I'm "only" subfertile, meaning I don't ovulate often, but I do tend get pregnant easily when I do, though I'm also an - oh I just *love* this phrase - habitual aborter (meaning I suffer recurrent miscarriages due to progesterone problems), AND I've dealt with two ectopics. She couldn't get pregnant but then FINALLY did...she's jealous of how "easy" it is for me to get pregnant. There frankly isn't much to be jealous over from my perspective...but she had a different path.

I think it's similar for those who were in the NICU...we are jealous of those moms who get to see, touch, and take home their babies...

Maybe those moms having the baby screaming and screaming in the hospital are wondering what they are doing wrong, or maybe they are having breastfeeding trouble and they know the screaming just means another chance for the nurses to "helpfully" suggest they just use formula... who knows what the path they are walking is like...

Grass is greener on the other side kind of thing...sort of. I still think it was incredibly hard listening to those hearty baby cries when my baby sounded like a mewling kitten.

Sorry got off on a tangent.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbavrbab View Post
Those nights and days in the hospitals listening to the full term babies crying...those were the worst.

That was the worst thing for me. I already felt like crap that I'd given birth so early and my dd was whisked away immediately. Then 2 hours later I'm stuck sharing a room with mom with a full term baby. That just about put me over the edge. My dh said he'd never seen me look worse. I was so glad she was a vaginal delivery because I went home the next morning.

When I had my twins I was put in antepartum after they were born. I didn't realize how nice that was. I didn't have to see or hear the full term babies during my hospital stay and I had a c-section so I was there 3 days. I really wish that was policy at all hospitals.

My first 2 were full term and I didn't realize how lucky I was. It's just not something you think about unless you've had a preemie. I'm hoping this one is full term but it's definitely not something I take for granted anymore.
post #9 of 10
It's been 2 1/2 years and I am still not over it. This next baby is due on big sister's expected due date and it's absolutely panicking me. At this time last pregnancy I was a week from complete bedrest and 4 weeks from my first ptl scare. I'm still terrified. I dont' think the nicu ever truly leaves your mind and your heart and for me, whenever dd gets a cold and cough, I see her on cpap in the picu iwht RSV or turning blue with an apneic episode in the middle of the night and knowing that we are 30 minutes from medical help or with a scalp iv battling sepsis in the NICU. I just cannot make it stop. All these nicu kiddos are miracles. We are all lucky to have them. And I cannot help but be grateful for her just a little tiny bit more than my full term healthy from day 1 daughter.
post #10 of 10
My story is a bit different than most on here because my son was born full term, a day late even, but @ 2 weeks old we found out he had a heart defect and almost lost him, then an emergency surgery followed and a 10 day CVICU stay. We left the CVICU almost 14 weeks ago and I'm still not over it. It is really hard to have a sick baby and I find myself jealous of women with healthy babies, especially when they take things for granted. For a while I had to distance myself from the baby forums here (except this one) because it hurt to read about people complaining about their newborns not sleeping well when my son was still in the hospital. I would have done anything to just be able to see him during the night hours.

I agree with the pp that an ICU stay can be a blessing in some ways. Now when my son cries inconsolably and I find myself getting stressed I remember how sick he was and feel happy that he lived. Yesterday we went for a walk outside and his eyes got really wide and I realized he was staring up at the trees. He LOVED the trees. It made me cry because I realized if he had not survived his surgery he would have died without ever seeing a tree. It sounds kind of silly but moments like those are important to me. I cherish them and I don't think a mom of a healthy full-term baby would understand the way all of us can.
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