Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

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.
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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby wendy » Tue Jul 13, 2004 04:07 pm

I'm new here, but I'd like to offer advice too. My daughter, Audrey,has been home from the NICU for one month. She was born at 29 weeks and it was a tough time for us, even though she was pretty healthy.

My advice is to not bottle up your emotions. If you feel like crying, do it. If you don't let those tears out, you're likely to lash out in anger at someone you love. When you feel angry, just scream. I had to go to the garage more than once while my daughter was in the hospital just to let it out.

But most importantly, when you get good, positive news on your baby, focus on it. Tell everyone you know. There's just something about speaking the good things. Don't dwell so much on the negative reports.

I totally agree with others to do something special with your spouse. We got so behind on bills while Audrey was in the hospital, but we did splurge and have a very nice dinner date once in a while.

Keep everything you can from the NICU. I'm looking forward to the day I can show Audrey all the teeny-tiny items she used (pacifer, onesies, diapers, etc).

Definately keep a journal. I wrote every day even if it wasn't something major. I also kept a calender, and still do, showing major advances and her daily weight.

We love and adore our special preemie!!

Wendy (24)
Husband: John (24)
First Child
Audrey Grace born 4/10/04 at 29 weeks due to preeclampsia
In hospital for only 7 weeks
Had RDS, unclosed PDA after 3 weeks age, heart murmur, cyst on brain (but it's gone, thank God). Never had surgery.

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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby sandy » Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:16 am

In case it hasn't been mentioned here (I don't believe it has)...came across this link for NICU families on the March of Dimes website:


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

CAUGHT THE EGG!! Estimated hatch date: 3/13/05; scheduled C at 39 weeks...or earlier if needed.

patricks mommy
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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby patricks mommy » Fri Oct 01, 2004 05:30 am

My son Patrick spent 31 days in the NICU. He was pretty healthy, just a feed and grow, but it was still a very hard month. I had a hard time dealing with the guilt of not being there every waking minute, but I knew that I couldn't be. Emotions and logic are two very different things.

I went to the NICU every day, but I didn't stay all day. I normally went around 10 am and then took a lunch break and then went back in for an hour or two. Then my husband went in after work for an hour or two. We then went together on the weekends. It was nice to have separate time with our son and that way we knew there were more hours in the day that one of us was there.

One thing I found very helpful is to call the NICU to check on your baby. We would call in the evening and normally in the morning. Just a quick call to see how his night was and to let them know what time I would be there.

I also took over bath duties, feedings, took his temp., changed his diapers, etc. I would make sure the nurses knew that I wanted to do all of those things.

I don't know if I was suppose to do this or not, but his chart was kept next to his bed and I read through it every day to see what was going on.

The nurses all told us to go out for a date night, the night before we brought him home and I highly recommend it. It was a night to celebrate. We were so excited and nervous, it was very special.

I hope this helps. I know it is a tough time, but you do get through it.

Bethany (29)
Brian (30)
Patrick born 06/12/01 at 31 wks due to PE weighing 3lbs 4oz

sherry fisher
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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby sherry fisher » Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:48 am

Holding a preemie is often difficult and awkward for dads and siblings. I found that swaddling Alex in a few blankets helped my husband get a better 'grip' and helped my little brother be involved in holding him.

Also....CLOTHING.....BUILD A BEAR in the mall! HE HE. You will have to sew up the tail opening on the bottoms, but they fit and they are so adorable and afordable! I could not for the life of me find Anna a hat that fit her. Found it there! A cute little hibiscus pink and white bucket hat! Adorable!

Sherry Fisher (28)
DH: Bill (35)
Proud Mama to:
#1) Alex 1/1/94-PE
#2) Abbie 12/17/97-PIH
#3 Will 08/03/02-PP PE
#4) Anna 04/06/04 - PE
Baby Annna;

christine lyn
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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby christine lyn » Tue Mar 01, 2005 03:37 pm

Take one of your babies diaper's, pacifiers, blood pressure cuff, first baby bottle, first hat and blanket and anything else you can take. I took all of these for my babies keepsake box. They will love it in the years to come as I will also. It really shows how small they really were. My son was born at 1lb. 9.2oz. so the things were small.

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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby fiona » Tue Mar 01, 2005 07:45 pm

When Jay was in the NICU a nurse came up to me one day and told me to go away for an hour , so she could go through all the routines - nappy changing, bathing, holding - that are so scary to do with a preemie, with my dh. She said that otherwise I would become really confident and he would tend to step back. It was a great tip - my dh was constantly invoved from that moment on and having two pairs of hands at the ready made the transition from hospital to home so much easier .

dh Tom
ds Nate 12/8/97 - 14/8/97 26 weeks severe pre-e IUGR 1lb
ds Jay 4/11/98 30 weeks pre-e 3lbs 11 oz
no 3 due 15/6/05

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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby cara » Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:52 am

I found bringing Grant's receiving blankets from home added a little something to his isolette. The nurses were more than happy to use them and they put them in a bag for us at the end of the day when they needed to be washed. The good thing about that was we could take home the blankets with his scent and sleep with them. It somewhat helped when I had to pump at home but it really helped when I couldn't fall asleep.

We also bought him little shirts to wear and he even had a little LSU hat! (check out his website for that one!)

A journal is a great idea...also, I would bring his baby book up there and jot down those things...do it before they get mobile!!! I haven't written down his first step yet and he's been walking for 3 months now!

Cara L. Stevens
DS - Grant 3/28/04
33 weeks PIH/Pre-e

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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby whosures » Mon Oct 24, 2005 01:33 pm

Our biggest lifesaver was our family website. Every night when I'd leave the NICU, I'd update the website (my husband is an IT guy so this was easy but if not, there are lots of ready made sites you can sign up for). We added pictures and weight charts and links to medical information. Not only was it great for us because it cut down on the number of phone calls we'd make/receive, but everyone LOVED visiting it. Even Riley's nurses and doctors followed it when we went home. And now, we have a great reminder of our experience.
I think www.aboutmybaby.com is one site that people I know have used.

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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby thw75 » Mon Oct 31, 2005 06:50 pm

I had a 27 week, 2lb baby girl and we were in a level 3 NICU for 10 weeks. My advice:
1- Speak up. If you spend a lot of time in the NICU, you know as much or more about your child's health than the staff. Be assertive in advocating for your baby. Understand what is happening, ask questions, don't be shy. You are your child's best advocate.
2- Don't try to update everyone. Designate someone to do a website or email, or be a phone contact and tell that person the news -- let them spread the word. Don't be afraid to tell friends and family you don't want to talk/visit/etc.
3 - Talk. Talk to other parents, get support. You are not alone, tho it can feel that way. Don't try to make people understand what you're going thru -- it is beyond the realm of most people's understanding. Accept this and take care of yourself.

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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby browncow » Mon Jan 23, 2006 08:33 am

Music is a great soother for babies and moms.

Connor was quite fiesty in utero (I called her "Mini Mia" because her kicks rivaled those of Mia Hamm) and the only things that would calm her down were the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Moby, and (don't laugh) George Michael.

Likewise, I played music for her post-partum and the recognition factor was amazing, at three months old she'd hear Marvin Gaye, perk up her ears, assume a look of intense concentration, and suddenly grin. She's now four years old and loves Marvin Gaye/knows all the songs on the Greatest Hits cd.

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