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In the hospital- Need some help- Update post 20

1624 Views 22 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  GatorNNP
Hey everyone.

Ever since last week when I was told I was mildly pe-e I have been thinking I might end up being induced early (they gave me 4 rounds of steriods for the baby). Such was the case yesterday, wen I went into my bi-weekly NST,BP check appointment. I have been transferred to a hospital that deals with highrisk maternal medicine. Right now I am 32w6d, and keep being floated around between being a watchable pre-e to mild again. They have started me on cervadel and when I'm ripe enough (???) they will start a pitocin drip. Obviously not how I envisioned my second birth, but we are willing to accept (within reason) what comes our way.

Now my questions:
They did a US last night, the baby's fluids are low, but they believe s/he ways about 4 lbs. Is that good along with him/her getting the steriods?

Obviously no one can tell us how long the baby will be in the hospital, but how long (on average) do 32/33 weekers stay in the hospital?

Car seats. I had a Britax Roundabout I was going to use. We are to keep it, but we should get e new seat. Suggestions on a good safe one for babies under 5lbs?

Good place to buy quality clothes (cause dh's duct tape clothes ain't an option)?

Mentally I think we are well, but we are still caught off guard and have no clue what to expect. Since I am usingmy laptop from the hosital I am going to read back posts, but any help that can be provided would be a great help.
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Let's see...

My little one came home around 35 weeks...(she was born at 27)

I wouldn't worry about getting another carseat. More than likely it will be fine as long as he/she passes the carseat test. I took DD home at 4lbs 6 ounces in her 5lb+ carseat. And that was WITH the hospital's recommendation.

If they have other can usually rent (for free) an infect carseat BED.

It's good you've got the steriods into you...

I would probably expect a week or two...but hey you never know! Some go home very much sooner than that, whilst others are in there much longer. It just depends on their nippling all of their feedings (preemies tend to forget what they're doing and fall asleep!) their breathing, episodes, ect.

I wish you very much luck!

And another thing...have you toured the nicu or the picu? I would recommend that 100% if they'll allow it!

Good luck, you and your little one have my prayers and good wishes!
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My girls were 33w4d and weighed about 3.5 pounds at birth. They were only in the NICU for 15 days. We went home in Graco Safe Seat infants (5+ pounds) though we had to use a little gauze in the middle of their backs to help keep their heads up. Also, I only got about 4 hours of 1 round of steroids before I went in for my e-c/s. I'd wait on the carseat. The u/s can be off (we went in the day before and they were at least 1 pound off for all the girls). When you get close to discharge, ask about the Britax.

Good luck!!
4 pounds is a good size but there is no telling how a baby will do since it is all individual. Mine was 2.5 pounds and he did good. They will tell you to be prepared to be there till your due date but we were out at 35.5 weeks and we had a rough go of it. The carseat is great and they will have to pass the test. Good luck! You can do this...

4 lbs isn't bad for that age, I don't think. My DS was 3lbs13oz and the u/s said he was 50% for 31 weeks, but I've known of 32 weekers that weighed less than that at birth (my DS came at 29w4d - just big for his age). They don't have a weight limit for going home (so many people asked me if DS needed to be 5 lbs to go home - NO, he didn't). But baby can hold their temp better once they're closer to 4.5 lbs or so. Some can hold it earlier.

My 29 weeker was in the NICU for 4 weeks (short time for a 29 weeker - we had no complications other than just normal preemie stuff like apnea and learning to feed and hold temp). I'd probably expect a 2ish week stay for a 33 weeker, but as a PP mentioned, it's very individual. You won't know until baby comes out and you see how s/he does. My NICU told me the first day to expect him to come home around his due date. He ended up coming home at 33w3d gestation. They just say "around his due date" because some babies have complications that require a longer stay, and they don't want parents thinking baby is coming home sooner than s/he really is. I think most babies go home by 35-36 weeks.

Good that you got steroid shots. That helps immensely in the breathing department! I had the round of 4 shots, then they kept me going another 48 hours to give them time to kick in. Then they let me deliver, and DS was screaming when he came out. They put him on a vent overnight, and gave him surfectant, but the next day, he was off all O2 and breathing completely on his own. Your baby may or may not need O2, but the steroid shots give it a better chance.

Carseat - if baby is under 5 lbs, I think usually an infant seat is recommended, but you can ask your NICU what they recommend for that. DS went home at 4 lbs 12 oz, and I used a Graco Snugride. He did fine in that seat. They'll do a carseat test before you go home - making sure baby can handle the length of time needed to get to your house without having breathing issues. I think they tested DS for an hour, since we were 45 minutes away.

Clothes - Walmart has a preemie gift package that has a sleeper, a couple onesies, and a couple shirts, and I think a hat. It's a Gerber package. BRU has a whole preemie clothes section. As with all infant clothes, the preemie sizes vary wildly! Gerber seemed to run the smallest, of what I had. I think he grew into Carter after he outgrew Gerber. Don't go wild on the preemie clothes - just get enough to get by for a month maybe? Babies gain roughly .5-1oz/day usually, so that 4 lbs becomes 7 lbs pretty quick.
Also, consignment shops and such will often have preemie clothes. You can get preemie clothes after the baby is born. The NICU will probably have shirts and such once baby is ready for clothes. Mine even gave us a couple Gerber sleepers (people donate clothes to the NICU). If you have friends/family that are likely to give you stuff, you might get alot of preemie clothes that way too. I didn't have to buy anything (it was also my first baby though, so people were buying me stuff anyway).

Good luck! I hope you got to at least talk to the neonatologists, and preferably tour the NICU. I didn't get to do either of those, but it would have been nice to know what to expect a bit more, kwim? I think for me, the hardest parts of having a preemie were a) I didn't get to hold DS until the next day after the birth, b) I had to leave the hospital without a baby in my arms, and c) I didn't feel like I'd given birth (even though it was a natural, vaginal delivery), and didn't feel like a mother at first. You will likely experience these feelings as well, but know that they are normal. When you get to hold your baby more often, you bond with the baby and feel more like a mom.
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My ds was born at 31 weeks and stayed for 4 weeks. He was 4lbs 4oz and needed no help with anything, just to eat and grow! Most likely you will have a stay of some type.
My daughter was born at 33 weeks exactly. I had an ultrasound which estimated her size at 4 pounds, and they told me "give or take 11 ounces". She was 4 pounds 1 ounce at birth, that same day. I had steroid shots for her lungs, and she spent less than 12 hours on oxygen, no respirator. She needed to feed and grow and other typical preemie things, pass the carseat test, maintain body temp, no apnea episodes, etc. She was in the NICU for 23 days. She failed the carseat test twice because her oxygen saturation dipped down while propped upright in the carseat.

Some things to be aware of, I think: breastfeeding was a HUGE challenge for us. I breastfed my oldest until 4 years 3 months, and pumped every 3 hours around the clock for my younger preemie daughter. I had no idea how challenging breastfeeding would be. It took 3 months for her to learn. I allowed bottles in the hospital because they wouldn't send her home until she was completely nipple fed (bottle or breast) and she wasn't getting enough at the breast (confirmed by weighing before and after feedings). Every bottle was filled with breastmilk, but the nipple confusion took a long time to adjust. Some women who pump have trouble keeping up their supply, I was fortunate to have a tandem nursing sister to help! I would try to contact a LLL leader or a good LC to talk about breastfeeding and pumping for your baby.

NICU time, no matter how long or short, no matter how well prepared you are, is very difficult. I don't think anyone can really prepare for the day they leave the hospital and their baby stays behind. People will try to be supportive, but they will say things that are stupid and make you want to throttle them. People will not realize how hard it is for you and think that you are so strong when you're just barely hanging on by a thread because you have no choice. I'm not saying this to scare you, but I think it is really important to aknowledge that your ideal birth and babymoon plans may be shattered, and that you may need a lot of support. Try to get people who are close to you to rally around you and help. Come here and tell your story to other preemie moms and dads because they understand in a way that full term parents probably won't.

As far as clothes, your baby may not wear any right away, because they may be in a warming isolette until they are ready for an open bed. During kangaroo care you won't want them to wear clothes either! You may not have the option to use cloth in the hospital, because there will be times when you aren't there to take diapers home with you or do they changes. Talk to nurses and see if cloth is an option if you feel strongly about it. Many major manufacturers make preemie clothes now. Carter's, Target, Babies R Us. If you Google "preemie clothes" you'll find a ton, hopefully you can send someone out to buy some or you can buy them right there from your laptop. But they probably won't be needed at first.

Also, take pictures. I was really frightened at first by the NICU and very emtionally overwhelmed. I don't have as many pictures of my daughter's first few weeks of life as I would like. Now I treasure the ones I have, even with wires everywhere. The first picture of my oldest holding her sister is one that melts my heart every time.

Sorry to write such a long post. I wish you the best of health and luck with your labor and birth. I hope you enjoy your beautiful new baby. And I hope that when you have a chance, you will come here to get some support. The people here are fantastic.
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FWIW, pre-e often accelerates lung maturity anyway because of the stress, and stressed babies often do pretty well in the NICU. (Totally anecdotal observations of the babies in our Level II).
Carseat -
we also had a roundabout in addition to a graco snugride infant seat. DS went home at 4 1/2 pounds. He didn't really fit into the roundabout appropriately till closer to 10-15 pounds. Even in the graco they inserted extra padding around him to make him fit appropriately for the ride home. so, i'd say you'll need an infant seat

Clothes -
my sister went out to babies r us after ds was born and bought us a few sleepers for him. they were the little me brand. we probably got a good 4-6 weeks use out of them before fitting into newborn and 0-3 mo size. i think we had 3 or 4 of them and just rotated through them.

Good luck to you!
Popping in to say my son was born at 7:44 am. He was 3lbs 5oz and 16inches. I would like to thank everyone in this thread so far, your advice has been excellent and very supportive. Since my pre-e was extreme I am still on mag and am restricted to my bed. Dh has been going to check on our newest and taking photos.

I may end up buying a new car seat, I was interest in the Keyfit before finding the roundabout deal.

Lousli, I wanted to say your words especially in the third paragraph really spoke to me. Thanks.
Congrats on your baby! I'm sorry you're stuck in bed though.
: I hope your pre-e will clear up quickly enough to get you down to the NICU. Have DH take lots of pictures. That helped me while I was still in the LDR after birth and wasn't able to go down to the NICU yet. DH went down and got pics, then brought the camera back up to show me (digital). It's not the same as being there yourself, but it's certainly better than nothing!

Praying for you and baby...
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Congratulations on the birth of your son! I'm so sorry that you can't be with him right now.
I also couldn't see my daughter for 26 hours after her birth because I had a fever. I hope that you can get some pictures and that they will wheel you to the NICU asap. I know that these next few weeks will be really hard. A few more suggestions, try to make friends with any supportive nurses and other families. Also, as tough as it is, try to make sure you are doing things to keep well fed and rested and hydrated, so that you can make lots of milk for your little guy. Sending you many warm thoughts and healthy vibes to both of you!
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We used the Graco snugride infant carseat, and that was the seat our NICU recommended. We also got two state police approved headrests for her. DD was born at 30w2d and weighed 3lb, 5oz. She was in for 27 days. Our NICU had an 1800 gram go-home weight limit (4lb) but the main thing was holding body temp and taking all feeds from breast or bottle. It really does all depend on the baby. I know 35 weekers who were in there for 3-4 months, but DD was one of the fastest 30wkrs to get out of that NICU.

As far as clothes go, we found the Carter's Child of Mine preemie size to fit the best all around. WalMart sells that line (as much as I hate having to go to Walmart, they were a lifesaver). The Walmart brand preemie clothes were way too big for her, until she was close to 7lbs, so kind of pointless. Also, the Gerber preemie size worked well, but she was fairly long (17") so the sleepers were too short for her once she passed 17".

Good luck!
if you have a carters store close by, they sell alot of preemie stuff.

they may want you to have an infant seat, if the baby is really tiny and has problems they may ask for a car bed.

Originally Posted by Wicket
Popping in to say my son was born at 7:44 am. He was 3lbs 5oz and 16inches. I would like to thank everyone in this thread so far, your advice has been excellent and very supportive. Since my pre-e was extreme I am still on mag and am restricted to my bed. Dh has been going to check on our newest and taking photos.

I may end up buying a new car seat, I was interest in the Keyfit before finding the roundabout deal.

Lousli, I wanted to say your words especially in the third paragraph really spoke to me. Thanks.
Congrats. Can't wait to see pictures of your little guy. How is he doing? Oh, the keyfit is an AWESOME carseat for preemie. Trust me I did tons of research and returned ny britax comapnion for a keyfit because preemie fit THAT much better in it.
Congrats on your beautiful baby! I understand not being able to see the baby- I could not see MAggie for 2 days.

Please allow your body to recover and also make sure dh gets his rest as well- you guys are gonna need it!

Also, come here to post and get support. This is a great group of mamas here who have been thru what you are going thru.

Again, whether its a day or longer, its tough being in the nicu. Also understand that people around you who have not experienced not taking a baby home or the nicu will say the stupidiest things you have ever heard in your life. They dont mean to but it will come across that way. also at this time elect a spokesperson for you and dh to communicate to friends and family what is going on. You will not want to talk to anyone for a few days, maybe weeks so find someone you trust who is with you to communicate what is happening and that you are unavailable at this time. You can catch up later.

God bless and keep in touch here!
Congratulations on your new baby boy! My baby boy was born at 33 weeks and he weighed 3 pounds 7 ounces. He spent 24 days in the NICU (he had to make 4 pounds before they would release him). I had severe pre-e and he also had growth restriction but was very healthy.

I'm not sure of your situation or if you want to breastfeed but I thought I would let you know what helped me. My midwife had me start pumping hours after the C/S. As soon as I was stable (the next evening after my c/s) I started putting ds to my breast. I fought really hard to do kangaroo care with him (3 sessions a day, 2 hours each-I have no other children so this was easy for me. I'm sure it would be impossible with another little one). Having the baby on my chest really made my milk supply increase. I also said "no" to giving him a bottle until the last week of his stay. He had an NG tube while he was learning how to breastfeed. The NICU staff had no faith that breastfeeding was giving him any nutrition so I let them give bottles just so he would be able to leave. He never had another bottle once he came home and started gaining weight even faster.

My mom found preemie clothes on ebay for cheap. We didn't use clothes for the first two weeks

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. If you need any more info or help please let us know.
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Originally Posted by Wicket
Mentally I think we are well, but we are still caught off guard and have no clue what to expect. Since I am usingmy laptop from the hosital I am going to read back posts, but any help that can be provided would be a great help.

My husband and I walked into our local hospital ER one night two weeks ago. We thought I had a migrane but my (homebirth) midwife was suggesting I go get checked out "just in case". 12 hours later I had an emergency c-section and had my daughter 16 weeks early. I totally understand how you feel.

What I would recommend the most is to take as many pictures as you can. Make sure your husband takes pictures too since you can't go down there yet and are tied to that nasty mag sulf
When you first see your baby you're going to be completely overwhelmed, especially since you'll be recovering from the birth. Pictures will help. First of all, you can focus on the camera if need be
and then later, you'll be so glad you have them. They grow so quickly.

Also I don't know if you're planning on breastfeeding, but if you are, don't kill yourself pumping. I had pre-e also and every time I sat up to pump my blood pressure went way too high. Soooo it wasn't until day 4 or 5 I got to pump more than about 4-5 times a day. My milk still came in. While I don't recommend doing it that way if you can avoid it, I couldn't avoid it and things still worked out.

Good luck!!!
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Well, I am off the mag sulf. Woohoo!!!! It was very interesting getting control of my legs and bladder functions again. I've been in the hospital bd since Thursday, so walking to the bathroom was monumental to me. We also found out that the beds in L&D are made for women who are 5'7 on average. My luck to be 6'0, so I'm in a lot of back due to the bed situation. I'm now in a post partum room, and the bed is 2005 better

More importantly, after getting of the mag and taking a shower, I was able to go to the NICU and spend some time with my little one. He is so little and light. He is doing great as of today. I held him the entire time and it occured to me he was lighter than a bag of sugar.

I am in a very very pro breastfeeding hospital and have been given a pump for my stay. I am now looking into rental options in my area.

My dh is doing well. It wa such a great support the last few days I am amazed. I think he is overwhelmed by the NICU, he would prefer to hold our son than hold him. I don't blame him either since he already feels baby's are fragile, so having a preemie to hold makes him to nervous. When I was in bed he went to visit every 30 minutes and took a lot of photos.

Thank you all for your well wishes. Will update in a few days and hopefully have my birth experience to share.
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Glad you're off the mag!!!! I was on it for 4 days prior to DS's birth (to stop preterm labor - I didn't have any bp problems), and I remember needing help to get to the bathroom... That stuff really kills your muscles!!!

And it's wonderful that your DS is doing so well! Hooray! My DH was afraid to hold DS at first too. DH is 6'5", 260 lbs, so not a small guy. And he was afraid he'd break the baby, but the NICU nurses gave him a talking to, telling him that he would NOT break the baby. That really helped alot. So if your nurses haven't talked to DH about it, you might quietly (when DH isn't around) ask them to help him get over the fragile baby issue. I'm sure they see that ALL the time, especially with the bigger guys.

Great that you're in a pro-bf'ing hospital! I will warn you that pumping colustrum is HARD, so don't feel bad if you only get a drop or two in the bottle, if that. I was lucky to get that much!!! The NICU used any drop I could muster though! And my milk didn't come in until about day 5. Not sure if that was because of the preemieness (29weeks), or because of the nasty mag. But anyway, it took a while and seemed like forever, but it did eventually kick in. The good news is that preemies that size don't need much milk those first few weeks, so it's easier to keep up with them once you get going.
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