Preemie issues I haven't dealt with before

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.

Preemie issues I haven't dealt with before

Postby 5miraclez » Sun Jun 27, 2004 09:25 pm

All of my kids have been early because of pre-e or HELLP but with this baby I'm facing a whole new set of rules and was wondering if anyone had some good advice. Anastacia was born at 32 weeks and has just come home at 34 weeks 6 days adjusted. She is on an apnea monitor, sat monitor and Oxygen. She is also on 24 calorie feedings and I'm only supposed to nurse twice a day. I'm pumping around the clock and adding formula to it and it is making me so tired. I can't move her anywhere with all the monitors and wires and I have 3 other kids at home under the age of 4. I'm afraid to go upstairs for fear I won't hear the monitor. I don't think anything bad is going to happen, just a little nervous. She's had one bradycardia spell since coming home and I'm constantly turning her O2 up and down.

I just feel I really need some sleep and am not sure how I'm going to do this. My other kids all came home exclusively nursing so it was easier to sleep at night. Right now I'm having to pump, add formula, feed, clean everything, every 3 hours. By the time I get done I have about 2 hours to try and sleep then it starts all over again. Not to mention that half the time she won't wake up so I'm up even longer trying to get her to eat. The thing is that she came home eating 50cc's but when I have been feeding her she'll take 90cc's then want to sleep longer. Is it ok to let her do that? How long should I let her sleep before feeding her again? Any advice on how to handle taking a shower, fixing food, sleeping while trying to keep an eye on everything? I was so excited when they said she could come home but now I wonder if it wouldn't be better if she were still in the NICU.

DD 4/1/00 35wks severe preeclampsia
DS 7/9/01 29wks severe preeclampsia/HELLP, placental abruption
DD 12/8/02 31wks severe preeclampsia/HELLP, polyhydramnios
DD 6/7/04 32wks severe preeclampsia
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Re : Preemie issues I haven't dealt with before

Postby angelkat » Sun Jun 27, 2004 10:17 pm

First, congrats on bring your little one home already!!!!... I would call the NICU Nurses and speak to them about your concerns and fears (They are there 24 hours a day and know what it is like).

I would say you need your sleep also!... I could not even start to think how tired you are with your little ones running around and now trying to deal with yet another preemie. Is there any way that a friend or a family member can come over to help out for a few hours so you can sleep and get a in a shower?....

Sending you huge hugs....


Hugs
~T
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Ky (11)PE 34 wks
~i~ Katlyne(12/9/02-04/02/03)25 wks
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Re : Preemie issues I haven't dealt with before

Postby miss_doula » Sun Jun 27, 2004 10:25 pm

congrats on your little miracle,i cannot begin to imagine what you are going through.
is your little one in a main room?you could make up a bed nin the same room,and dose off.you could also get a bowl of water and have a strip wash too.
can the hospital or social services offer you any means of support?
im probably not being very helpful...i wish you the best of luck,

love and squeezy hugs

amanda
xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Re : Preemie issues I haven't dealt with before

Postby pugmommy7 » Mon Jun 28, 2004 08:24 am

With my first daughter I couldn't nurse her either. It took too much of her "growing" energy.
I was pumping, adding it to neosure and the whole process took up so much time. I don't know how you are doing it with 4!!
It was like more than an hour per feeding and then it was time to do it all again.
I was in tears all the time, so was she when I was trying to get her to latch on after 3 weeks of gavage, and bottle feeds. It was awful.
I had tons of b/feeding support, but what I needed was permission to "bag it". I eventually got it from my pediatrician.
I have a wonderful bond with my daughter, no weeeker than I have with the baby I am currently breastfeeding successfully.
Her health and MINE(sleep,etc.included) were the priority.
I hope no one jumps all over me for writing this....I know the importance of breastfeeding, But, there are exceptions.
Plus my husband got to get in on the wonderful feeding experience.
I was offered some relief and sleep!!!, when he or my mother were around.
Do what is best for you, but don't feel like a failure if you make the choice to formula feed!
GOOD LUCK!


Jennifer, 30
DH, Chris, 33
Mama & Daddy to:
Isabella Sofia,1/02/03 born @ 33.5 weeks at 3 lbs,6oz., 16". GD,
Pre-E,& borderline HELLP.

Catalina Amelia,5/29/04 born @ 36.2 weeks,4 lbs.,12oz.,16"
GD,PIH,& Pre-e
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Re : Preemie issues I haven't dealt with before

Postby lauchlan » Mon Jun 28, 2004 08:48 am

Although I don't have other children, and my preemie came home without monitors, I can understand your breastfeeding stress. I pumped every 2 hours for almost 3 weeks when my daughter was in the NICU and for many reasons, I never got more than 10 cc's per pumping session. I was exhausted and wasn't making enough to feed my daughter. I also had to "bag it" because it was causing Grace & I way more stress than it was worth.

You have your hands full! Don't be shy to ask for help either from family or the hospital. Would your insurance cover a nurse coming to the house a few times a week to give you a much needed break? I know some hospitals offer house calls.

Just something you might want to look into.

Proud co-sleeping, baby wearing mom to
Grace - 3/14/04
3 lb. 7 oz. 16 in.
Born at 33 weeks due to PE
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Re : Preemie issues I haven't dealt with before

Postby deerhart » Mon Jun 28, 2004 08:53 am

On the bag it part, my ped at Alex's 3 month check up took one look at me and sternly hinted that perhaps Alex would do better on formula. I was a wreck and waiting to get back to work and he was still nursing every hour. I had enough breastmilk saved up though that he got breast milk for another month and a half!

One of the greatest assets in it for us was that my husband could do one of the feedings. THus I could get a good 3-4 hour sleep in if he took a feeding.

I am by no means versed in BFing, but would it be possible for you to pump every other feeding at night and not hurt your supply to much? With Alex I had to both nurse him and pump seperately (it was ALL I was doing 99% of the time) and when I finally had enough back log of milk, I would let someone else feed him and then I pumped.

As for keeping an eye on things would it be possible to hear her monitors go off through a baby monitor? What about one of those closed circuit TV types? DO you have a bassinet you could put her in to roll her and all the stuff around in? I used to have a clear shower curtain and then put Alex in his car seat in the bathroom to take a shower.

The great thing is she is immobile enough to not be that much of the problem, its keeping an eye on the other 3 while worring about her. You may find that if you can keep her in the same room and in the room next to you as much as possible that will help things, but eventually you just have to give in and trust yourself that if something happens you will hear it and be able to take care of it. The NICU would not have sent her home with you if they didn't think you could handle it.

On the eatting thing, call her doc up and tell them she's eating almsot 2x's what she was when she left the NICU and is wanting to sleep more and ask if her schedule needs to be adjusted. Also talk to them about how the schedule is affecting you and what the options are to promote her health but also yours as well!

GL!
Erin

Moderator - Parents of Preemies
Missouri State Coordinator
Mommy to Alex (4)and Mason (1 1/2)
Law Student - 1 year done, 2 to go
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Re : Preemie issues I haven't dealt with before

Postby sarab » Mon Jun 28, 2004 02:30 pm

Hi Rebecca!

I just wanted to say that I pumped every two hours for 14 weeks and it seriously about killed me, especially once Maggie was home from the hospital. It seemed like I would get up to pump and then she'd wake up to eat (or vice versa), and then I'd have to get up again in an hour an a half to do it again. [xx(] It was so exhausting and emotionally taxing. I had to pump so often because she refused to nurse and I was barely getting enough milk. I kept trying to increase my flow, and nothing seemed to work. I finally gave up when I took Maggie to the pediatrician's one day and he said "well, Maggie looks like she's doing great, but YOU look terrible".

I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this right now. I honestly would say just let her sleep. She will wake up when she is hungry enough.

Please let us know if there's anything we can do for you! You really have had a rough go of things, and it doesn't sounds like it's getting much better.

Also, I really think that your e-mail account hates me [:p]. I will try to get a hold of you on the yahoo one instead.

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Local Coordinator, Utah
Moderator, "After Your Baby is Born"

DH, Scott, 26
Maggie Lylas, 6/9/03, 29 weeks, severe pre-e
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/m/maggielylas/
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