Help me help my sister, please. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-01-2009, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
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My sister is about to have her first baby. She will be 30 weeks on monday and is on bed rest in the hospital. Her baby looks great, but is very small and her placenta is deteriorating, and there is a problem with blood flow through the cord (I'm a bit fuzzy on all of the details) but they are hoping to get her to 33 weeks. She will stay in the hospital until she delivers. She is terrified about so many things at this point, and it is breaking my heart being so far from her. She lives in denver and I live in Seattle. I am going to fly out there twice in the next little while but I think that I will be more help to her after she has the baby, and then when she brings her home. I am just starting to learn about what this is all going to mean for her and I want to support her and help her and send her presents and I just don't know where to start. I can't even seem to find any preemie clothes online. Do any of you have any suggestions, ways I could help her, maybe ideas on the best time to be with her to support her. She has a lot of friends in the hospital with her, and her best friend works at the local NICU so she has a lot of support. But I want to find a way to help make this birth and this experience beautiful for her and her husband even through all the hardship and the NICU and whatever will come. I just don't really know where to start. Thanks for any advice.

, mama to DS(7/)22/02) DS (8/14/04) , and an angel (3/10/10)nursing a broken heart...loving my boys.
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#2 of 6 Old 08-01-2009, 12:55 AM
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mail her a copy of dr sears premature baby its a great one to read while on bed rest! also i used my (and still do) moby wrap it was a great fit for my little 3.7 lber.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-02-2009, 07:33 PM
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I had my youngest at 31 weeks after being on hospital bed rest. Babies born from about 30-34 weeks typically do fairly well, although they need to spend some time in the NICU. Once they are able to breathe on their own, it's all about learning to eat and grow. Babies this age are also more likely to get sick (both in and later out of the hospital) and face minor developmental delays later.

The baby probably will not wear clothes right away, so if you look for preemie clothes I would suggest buying something designed to fit about a 4-6 pound baby. This store sells preemie clothes. I really like the itty bitty zutano clothes, as well as the preemie size kushies. Carters also makes darling preemie clothes.

If you live here in Seattle, you can go to Spoiled by Nana in Madison Park, Merry Go Round in Bellevue, Walmart in Renton and the Carters Outlet in North Bend. All have nice preemie clothes. Gymboree and Janie and Jack also sell a slightly larger (5-8 pound) preemie size that fit our kids pretty well when they went home from the NICU.

I second the advice to buy her a Moby Wrap. Another idea would be a shirt made for kangaroo care. Evergreen Hospital Mother and Baby Boutique sells some fairly stylish kangaroo care shirts designed for the baby to be worn inside. I used these when our babies were at Evergreen.

Another idea would be a thicker blanket to drape over the isolette. Something that is about 45-50" square would fit.
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#4 of 6 Old 08-03-2009, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sbrinton View Post
Another idea would be a shirt made for kangaroo care. Evergreen Hospital Mother and Baby Boutique sells some fairly stylish kangaroo care shirts designed for the baby to be worn inside. I used these when our babies were at Evergreen.

Another idea would be a thicker blanket to drape over the isolette. Something that is about 45-50" square would fit.
I love these ideas. For me, the things that were most important were a good double electric breast pump (it was comforting to use mine instead of the hospital's) and a little sign my mom made for DD's warming bed. It said "I'm a girl" with her name and birthdate on it, and hung over her warmer, then on her crib when she was moved to a crib. I was also very grateful for the frozen meals I had stored in the freezer--it really let me cherish the first days home with DD. I know you don't live nearby, but you could plan to take some frozen casseroles or something with you when you go.

Above all, make sure that she takes care of herself immediately PP. Lots of water, don't stay too long in the NICU without putting her feet up, that sort of thing. There will be lots of very qualified people taking care of her LO--she needs to heal as quickly as possible so that she can be ready to take over when the time comes. Good luck to her.

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#5 of 6 Old 08-03-2009, 08:18 PM
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They also sell moby wraps at Evergreen. Thats where I got mine

I agree, you'll want to get bigger preemie clothes. I wouldnt go overboard either, as they grow soooo fast. My ds was 4lbs 13oz at 32w6d. I bought him some regular newborn clothes instead of preemie stuff. When he went home, he weighed just a little more than that and while the newborn stuff was a little bit baggy, it wasnt bad. He outgrew them in the next 2-3 weeks! lol

Also, let her know that baby might not be on schedule, even for adjusted age. I know I always tend to buy for the next year, while everything is on clearance and well...he totally messed that up! He's a year and in 6-9 months clothing right now.

Just remind her to take some time for herself as well. I know its hard leaving a baby there, but she needs rest and breaks from that environment as well. Plus preemies are kind of boring at first-all they do is sleep!

Cari-mama to Eriq, Lile, Paikea, Kaidyn, and Mieke is here!! 2/9/10
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#6 of 6 Old 08-06-2009, 02:23 AM
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Based on my experience with my sisters (I have two and one SIL) during hospital bedrest and the 65 day NICU stay, a huge way to help your sister is to let her express her worries and fears about her DD. One major thing I learned during after our experience is that very few people, even family, want to hear how much it truly sucks to see your baby in the hospital and have to worry about things like how many times your baby stopped breathing overnight at a time when you 'should' be worrying over things like stretch marks (which your sister would kill to have instead of being where she is now). Let her vocalize her worries w/o minimizing them quickly with platitudes. She will encounter lots of "oh you're so lucky you delivered early; it hurts to be 9 months pregnant", "all parents worry" or "oh, she'll be fine" when she tries to talk about her fears about things like her DD having CP. (no, being 9 months pregnant does NOT hurt; most parents don't have to worry about CP or worse; and no one knows exactly how your neiece truly will be impacted by being a preemie) Your sister WILL remember (and bless you!) later when you are one of the few people who never spouted that nonsense to her.

I hope your sister makes 33 weeks!!


Paula - wife to Mike, mom to Zoey and Zander
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