Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

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.

Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby emily kates mom » Sat Jul 03, 2004 06:10 am

Hello everyone,

Ever since Emily Kate was born (9-23-03, 33 wks, 3.7 lbs), we have been so careful about germs. We do things like wiping down restaurant tables w/ lysol wipes, use a special grocery cart seat cover, staying at a friends home for childcare (w/ 2 other children), etc. We are also careful not to expose her to children that we KNOW are sick. One thing our ped also suggested was to be very careful in the church nursery. So far, I have not felt good enough about the church nursery's cleanliness to leave Emily Kate there.

Lately, I have been catching alot of "comments" about being so cautious. Most of the comments are coming from well-meaning friends. However, they had full-term babies w/ no complications. I know in my heart that they mean well, but it is really beginning to bug me when they question me, or make some kind of comment. I just want to say to them "If you only knew...". There is just no way for them to understand unless they've been there.

I feel like I am doing the right thing, sticking to what I know is right. Has anyone else had this problem? What do you do when this happens to you?

Thanks,
Allison

Mommy to Emily Kate
3lbs. 7 oz.
Born 9/23/03
**2 months early due to preeclampsia.
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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby deerhart » Sat Jul 03, 2004 09:29 am

LOL the easiest thing to do is blame the ped when people make comments, it sort of takes the heat off you and let's the other people think the Ped is forcing you into this (because they don't understand how anyone would want to do this on their own).

In fact when our ped told us to keep Alex away from things for the first 4 months he did infact tell us if anyone gave us problems about anything we did parenting wise (not jsut the 4 month thing) to just tell them our Ped told us/recommened we try this, whether he did or not!

Erin

Moderator - Parents of Preemies
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Mommy to Alex (4)and Mason (1 1/2)
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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby julie f » Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:34 am

Allison,

I think you're doing the right thing. She's your precious baby and you two had such a fight from the get go, you understand the fragileness of life far more than any of your friends could even begin to fathom...

A couple of months ago, DH and I were at my MIL's house and I we got on the subject of ADD and how my SIL just saw some report about it. I mentioned that I have read some studies that say that preemies are at an increased risk of it. My SIL and MIL both fired back that I am much too worried about things like that, that I need to relax. They then went on to imply that if I have a preemie, that I will be so over the top cautious that I will cause my baby to have a whole slew of problems... I was beside myself, I was almost in tears. Fortunately my Dh witnessed this and we packed up a couple hours early to leave. In the car he told me that I need to realize that they never dealt with anything but perfect pregnancies, that they never had an early baby and that they don't know the first thing about a preemie. He told me that if we come home with a preemie, that we'll set the "rules" and they won't be open for discussion.

I know people mean well but, they could just never understand...

Julie (27)
Zachary James, 7/22/03-7/27/03, born at 26wks - severe pe

Miracle in progress... #2 is due February 2005!!!

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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby cathyw » Sat Jul 03, 2004 01:25 pm

Hi. My son was born at 32.5 weeks and was discharged home in the middle of winter. Our pediatrician advised us against taking him out into public places at all for the first 6 months and to keep him out of day care settings for the first two years!! He was mainly concerned about RSV. He was my first baby and it was very sad not to be able to "show" him off or just enjoy an afternoon at the mall, etc. But, he has been extremely healthy having his first real illness at 18 months. I truly believe that our over-protectiveness has helped him to thrive both physically and developmentally. He has been able to put his energy into growing and learning rather than fighting off the latest bugs. After the first six months, we did start going to a playgroup, gymboree, music classes etc. It is only a short while in the big scheme of things that you have to be really careful.
I too received comments from others about being too cautious but just blew them off. I am a nurse and many of my close friends and relatives (two sisters) are nurses. The nurses always supported us in our efforts at being careful. Just know that you are doing the right thing. Others who have not walked in our shoes will NEVER really understand. That is something I have just grown to accept recently. Take care of your baby so that you will have no regrets that you could or should have done something differently. Take care!

Cathy
John Sebastian 10-25-02, 32.5 weeker due to Severe Pre-Eclampsia
#2 due 07/30/04, currently 35 weeks and no sign of pre-e
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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby mom2gigi » Sat Jul 03, 2004 04:31 pm

Hello! Yes I had several comments made to me by friends too. I always told them "I'm the one at home with her and unless you are going to come over and care for her yourself if she does get sick then you can keep your comments to yourself because I'm her momma and not you." Yes, I did get some remarks for that too but I don't care, she is my child and my responsiblity. And you know what, she's 13 months old now and has not yet come down with anything. Praise God!
You are her mom and no one is going to care for her like you will and only you know what it took to get her here.
You are doing a wonderful job with Emily and don't you doubt it!

Adriana

Giselle - 35wks, severe preeclampsia by emergency c-section.
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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby kim » Sat Jul 03, 2004 09:11 pm

I kept Ainsley "in" for a year. She was also born in the winter and has a heart defect, and was especially at risk for RSV and the flu. At a year, we moved closer to my mom (who has a daycare in her home) and we were all sick for the first 3 months. Nothing serious to Ainsley, but I was hospitalized twice (I hadn't been around people since I had gotten pregnant).

Anyway.. I think my over-protectedness paid off, but I also think that her colds and tummy viruses really strengthened her immune system.

Take care,

Kim
Texas Chapter Coordinator

Ainsley 11/26/02-36 Weeks Preeclampsia
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/a/ainsleyk/
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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby emily kates mom » Mon Jul 05, 2004 06:19 am

Thank you for your great advice! I am glad to know that I am not the only germ concious person out there! I know it doesn't really matter what others say, but every once in a while it gets to you!


Thanks,
Allison

Mommy to Emily Kate
3lbs. 7 oz.
Born 9/23/03
**2 months early due to preeclampsia.
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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby sandy » Mon Jul 05, 2004 03:48 pm

And yet another one here who is with you on this...

Our pediatrician who we (and many others in our community) respect and have respected for years told us that due to her prematurity, her lung collapse, NICU stay, etc. that we should keep her "in" until what would have been 47 weeks gestation, and lots of hand washing for whomever would be touching her.

I had a family member tell me that she and the rest of the family thought I was being "wierd" and "selfish" that we were "hiding" our DD from them. (Family all live out of town all all had "normal" pregnancies and births in the past).

On the flip side, *all* of our friends (here in town and out of town) completely understood and were incredibly supportive.

I'm wondering if people too close to the situation just don't know how to sort out their feelings (or words) properly in such a stressful situation, especially if they don't have experience with anything other than a predictible, "normal" pregnancy, themselves.

Here is one place that you will find lots of support, I've found...thank goodness.


~Sandy/DD born via emergency C at 35 wks/1 day June '03 due to Severe PE/class III HELLP

Risk factors: HBP/asthma/high cholesterol

currently trying to catch an egg...
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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby wcarder » Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:16 am

My 30 weeker is nearly five, and my mother yells at my every time i see her for how "neurotic" I am. When she was a baby, I wouldn't take her out of the house! And I kept her so bundled, my mom swore she would die of heat stroke. I'm still a FREAK about germs, and I don't care. I was just as bad about INJURIES, which had a bad end result. By the time I realized I may need to get over that, my toddler was standing at the bottom of the slide telling all of the kids who went down head first that they were not making safe choices. (: She even lectured a mom at a TARGET, because her probably 1 year old was standing up in the back of the cart. (That scares me....I read an article once where a little one toppled out and suffered severe brain damage.) So, I probably am, but having a preemie is a whole different experience than having a normal healthy baby. And I think it's a normal way to behave, even if you DO have a big healthy baby. (or a big healthy five year old....and you continue to act that way....that's ok, right?) Once my little critter left the hospital, she never went back. Preemies are at an extra risk for URI's, among other things. We know it, so we just have to educate everyone else. I thought neurosis was just another part of parenting....(:
Wendy
Mother of Kenzie Celeste, 30 weeks GA
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Re : Do they really understand? (semi-vent!)

Postby sandy » Tue Jul 06, 2004 01:11 pm

Wendy; welcome, and too cute about your little one lecturing babies about not making "safe choices" with the slide. And with the parent who let her little one stand in the shopping cart (I cringe when I see this).

Too cute!

~Sandy/DD born via emergency C at 35 wks/1 day June '03 due to Severe PE/class III HELLP

Risk factors: HBP/asthma/high cholesterol

currently trying to catch an egg...
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