Being Born Early!!!
This is a topic that I hold close to my heart as Mini was born a massive 8 weeks premature.
As previously mentioned in my #andwerelive blog I suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). HG is severe morning sickness I spent majority of my pregnancy either on a drip for dehydration or lying in bed with a bowl. It was miserable. So, it came as a massive shock when I was lying in bed and suddenly felt very wet. At first, I thought I had wet myself until I phoned my cousin who said, "did you need a wee"? Good question did I need a wee? I didn't. She insisted I phoned my midwife I phoned my midwife and she requested I phoned Antenatal aka my second home.
Arriving at hospital they checked to see if in fact my waters had broken which they had. At that moment in time I was 31 weeks and 5 days because of this I had earnt myself a long weekend in hospital with steroid shots to help mature Mini's lungs.
During my stay one of the NICU doctors came and talked to me about what to expect if I should go into labour soon or they would introduce at 34 weeks. With daily monitoring until that point.
They discharged me on the Sunday, and I had a huge craving for steak. From a HG point of view the steroids made the nausea almost vanish and I didn't vomit for 4 whole days. I could eat! I spent majority of my hospital stay in Costa eating and drinking without fear.
When Mini was finally born at exactly 32 weeks, she was whisked straight off to Neo-Natal. When we could finally go see her it was daunting, we were greeted by the midwife who was taking care of her and we were given a long verbal list of dos’ and do nots whilst being in the unit.
There were 6 tiny babies on the ward all connected to various machines, drips, feeding tubes. All born at various gestations.
At the time you go through motions of caring for baby as much as you can, and the same question is always on the tip of your tongue ‘when can we go home’? They never give a definite answer because they don’t like to get anyone’s hopes up. For use we only had a 2 week stay but I assure if felt like a lifetime there are no words to describe how it feels to leave your baby in hospital with strangers whilst you go home.
Thanks to the NICU Mini was a in a good routine and for next 4 months all she did was sleep and eat on 3-hour cycle. Gradually she woke up for longer periods.
The best advice we were given was is you feel she is not meeting a milestone you need to add 8 weeks so when other baby’s her age were beginning to sleep through the night she was 8 weeks behind, when other babies were ready to wean once again she was 8 weeks behind. We also found that when people talk about certain regressions, we experienced it twice. Once for actual age and once for adjusted age.
Overall when I think about what could have been happened with her being born so premature and the struggles, I watched other preemies and their parent’s face I count us very lucky.
This is not only a rough time for a premature baby who needs to learn to grow, feed all before they were supposed to, but it is also hard on the parents. Don’t not be afraid to reach out and ask for help and talk about how you are feeling. There are charities out there who you can reach out to and will support you and your baby.