any moms to preemies here? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-21-2003, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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hi -i was hanging out on the i'm pg board as i was due sept 5th- broke my water july11 at 32 weeks and delivered july 15- my daughter is in the nicu currently although starting to do better - wondering if i should join the mamas to july babies or wait until my fellow sept moms come here? also wonder if anyone else would care to share their experience - this was my first baby concieved after a long struggle with infertility and after such a medical start to the pg (ivf twice) i was so hoping to have a natural birth (instead classical csection and breech) and totally AP beginning (instead have not even been able to hold her yet because she has a chest tube) etc so i amwondering if any other moms to preemies had any ideas on how to convert the situation to more AP stuff as soon as i am able or have any experiences in that regard to share. TIA and i look forward to having more mundane questions about regular newborn stuff in the future once she is home and bigger (born at 3lb 15 oz) ps if there is a preemie thread or board please feel free to move this...
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#2 of 11 Old 07-22-2003, 12:37 AM
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Hi Angela,

I am a mom to a preemie born at 34 weeks. My dd stayed in the hospital for 6 days. She had some breathing problems at first, so she was on c-pap for about a day. After that she was treated for jaundice. We continued to struggle with jaundice for about 2 months. Finally it went away on it's own.

I think in your case it would be good if you could pump your breastmilk for your dd. When she does get off the chest tube, she'll be ready for spoon feeding. That's what I did while my dd was on c-pap. Your milk is best for her. Also, it's good to get your supply up now, so when she does come home you'll be ready to go.

I know how hard it is to come to terms with the disappointment of not having the perfect birth experience and having a term baby. It took me maybe 3 or 4 months to get over it. I'm just so happy my baby was healthy. Also, once she is off chest tube, you can hold her and do skin to skin contact. And change the diapers and give her baths while she's at the hospital. The nurses at my hospital let me do these things and if helped me feel more like a mom.

Feel free to pm me if you want. I should warn you though, my baby was further along in gestation. So, I'm not sure if my experience will be very relevant to yours. But, I will do what I can.

Peace to you. Gen
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#3 of 11 Old 07-22-2003, 12:47 AM
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My dd was born at 29 weeks (She was due Sept 21st and was born July 3rd in 2001). She weighed 2 lbs and 10 oz and spent 3 months in the NICU...was on a respirator, CPAP, canula...had some infections and alot of eating issues.

I was also hoping for a natural birth, but had a very traumatic emergency classic c section also. (still healing emotionally from that!)

The best thing I did was to pump breastmilk for my dd. I felt like that was the piece of "natural birth" I could hold onto. It is really, really hard, but worth the effort, imo.

You can also do kangaroo care with her when she is a little more stable. That is holding her skin to skin. To be honest, I found that very frightening at first, but she was still very fragile on on a respirator when they let me hold her.....

You will form some bonds with some of the nurses in the NICU probably and get a feel for which ones can help you bond with baby....we had some that were really supportive and some that were...well, not so great.

There is a very active email list on Yahoo called the Preemie-L. It is not specifically AP, but there are alot of AP thinking moms on there and I found alot of support there....

Feel free to pm me or email me if you want to chat.

By the way, my dd is a very happy, healthy and attached 2 year old now. You'd never know she was a preemie, except for a few scars.
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#4 of 11 Old 07-22-2003, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you for the replies... i am pumping and have since the recovery room-however my supply is incredibly low (about 1 oz) even though i am pumping around the clock. i posted on the bf board about this. so i am even further dejected about it. they pulled the chest tube yesterday but her pneumothorax started to reaccumulate so they may have to put it back in. i can't hold her if they do that. makes me feel like
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#5 of 11 Old 07-22-2003, 11:19 AM
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hi angela,

I posted a reply to your bf post too but I thought I'd try to send some encouraging vibes and words here too.

My dd was 34 weeks and didn't need the interventions your dd has had but we did have a delay in holding her for that first time. Also, they didn't want us to stimulate her too much at first so that she could concentrate on growing. However, try to get all of the contact with your dd you can. Even if it is just your voice outside the isolette or your hand on hers. She knows you and this will help maintain the bond.

My cousin had a baby last September at about 27 weeks (1 lb 15 oz) and she was in the NICU until mid-December. But, she is doing great now. She and my dd were about 6 weeks apart for due dates and are right on track now for their adjusted ages. My cousin pumped for her dd for 5 months (she never wanted to bf which I thought was weird - even if the baby had been at term).

Anyway, things will get better and you'll soon have the parenting experience you want. If the nurses will let you put a small item in the isolette with the baby, bring a small stuffed animal or something else and keep it close to you beforehand so that it has your smell. I also found it helpful to bring in my own baby quilt to put over the isolette (it gave me a sense of ownership - like I was the mom and not just a visitor). And like the others said, participate in diaper changes and baths as much as you can.

Oh, one other thing I noticed with my dd is that we had to wait an extra 5-6 weeks for her to smile -- this seemed to be connected to her due date not birth date. This was hard but in due time they do catch up and when they start to smile and coo, it's like heaven.

Feel free to visit my dd's page if you want. I've also got pics of her 27 week cousin on there (the July 12 page).

hang in there! Meta's photo gallery
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#6 of 11 Old 07-22-2003, 11:54 AM
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Hi! My dd was born at 32 week and 3 lbs 13 oz. She was an incredibly healthy preemie though. She had an IV in her head, and several monitors attached to various parts of her body, but other than that, nothing. She never required any oxygen. Now, today, she is a wonderfully healthy 8 year old with no allergies or breathing problems! I would suggest the same as the other ladies here...pump, pump, pump!!!!! Good luck with you new baby!!! Preemies are incredibly special and so very strong. I was constantly amazed at my daughter and continue to be amazed at the beautiful person that she is becoming every day!
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#7 of 11 Old 07-22-2003, 04:01 PM
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We do have a forum here for parenting special needs, but I checked through the threads and didn't see any from moms of premies. Please feel free to make this thread the personal home of moms of premies to offer one another support and advice. I have known moms of premies and as much as I know and as much as I want to empathise, having never been through it, I would never be the support that a mother who has had the same experiences could be.

Best of luck, and I hope you get to hold, cuddle and nurse your baby soon.
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#8 of 11 Old 07-23-2003, 07:04 PM
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Congratulations! Its a girl!
I too have a preemie. He was a 29 weeker and 2lbs 8 oz. (Hes 3 yrs old now) I know how rough this is for you right now, I have no advice but just wanted to celebrate the birth of your daughter and give you congrats on becoming a mom! Heres to a quick homecoming!
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#9 of 11 Old 07-25-2003, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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i would love for this thread to be a preemie thread! i am sure esp judging from your responses that there will be new moms to preemies showing up from month to month. thank you all so much for the advice and encouragement. my baby is still in the nicu under oxygen and is 12 days old - i am praying i can hold her today kangaroo style and maybe even try to bfeed- she is on full feeds with my bmilk thru the tube and off iv fluids. i do hold her hand and change her diaper etc when i am there - she has some beanie babies from me to keep her company when i am not. any suggestions for when i bring her home (i am assuming she will still be under 5 lb)on the safest sling or carrier for her being that she is tiny? i bought one from weego made esp for preemies -can be used for 3lb to 25 lb- it is soft seersucker cotton and allows you to hold the baby in kangaroo style. you can also adjust it to nurse. however i would like a sling but wonder about the weight or size issue?
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#10 of 11 Old 07-25-2003, 01:27 PM
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I would love to see a premie thread -- or even set of threads! My DS was born at 32.5 weeks on July 9 (just over two weeks ago, though it seems months ago already). He's doing well now, and is out of the NICU but still in the hospital, probably for a few days more. He's now breathing on his own and breastfeeding (!!), but it was torture at first not being able to hold him, let alone breastfeed. "Kangaroo care" has been a lifesaver, and seeing my breastmilk getting to him through a tube, anyway.

I'll write more later, but need to run now. Just wanted to add my enthusiasm for the thread!

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#11 of 11 Old 07-26-2003, 06:58 PM
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Congratulations Angela and Darcy!
It's hard to feel joyous when your babe is in the NICU.
Ciara was born at 31 1/2 wks and 3 lbs 13 oz. I had been in the hospital for a month with a placenta previa, so you think I would have been prepared, but I wasn't. I lost a lot of blood and had an emergency c-section and the whole thing was like a bad dream. Ciara was in the hospital for a month, but only in the NICU itself for a week. She was on the ventilator for only 2 days.
Pumping and kangaroo care are the best things you can do for your babies. If your supply seems low, see if there is a lactation consultant that you can work with. NICUs differ in how much they let parents interact with their babies, but all the data shows that preemies do better with kangaroo care, nuzzling at the breast, breastfeeding early etc. It is NOT stressful on babies to be held by mama!!!! So I would befriend the AP friendly nurses and then they would request to be Ciara's primary nurse, and I did everything - held her, changed her dipes (scary doing that the first time thru the incubator!), bathed her, etc.
Ciara is now 7 months old tomorrow and is doing great - she's an exclusively BF chunky-monkey! Her development is right on target for her adjusted age. We are very very lucky and blessed.
BF'ing a preemie can be challenging - find a good l.c./LLL person. I held Ciara all the time and kangaroo'd her even for her tube feedings - I think that helped.
Feel free to PM me.
Oh, and re. slings - I used a kangaroo korner fleece pouch on dd when she was about 6 lbs or a bit under - it seemed to work well for her being so tiny. Then I transitioned to a Maya wrap. The OTSBH was just too big and bulky.
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