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Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

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.

Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

Postby jeff144 » Mon Jun 28, 2004 01:24 pm

Hey all, question. Our little miracle, Landon, was born on Friday at just under 30 weeks. He scored an 8 and 9 on his APGAR. He has a great heart, and very good lungs. He's been termed the "miracle" baby in the NICU, and he even tried to pull out his own vent (since he was almost entirely breathing on his own, they decided to try the oxygen mask to see how he does with it). The neo keeps assuring us he's gonna be just fine, but of course, we still are nervous wrecks.

Anyone with any real advice as to what can we expect over the next few weeks while he's in NICU, and also, what special concerns we may have to worry about once whis little preemie bundle of joy comes home?
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Re : Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

Postby sarab » Mon Jun 28, 2004 02:14 pm

Hi,

Just wanted to say hi and congratulations on the birth of your son! For me personally, the word "congratulations" was such a double-edged sword after my little preemie was born, so I hope you know I mean it in the best way possible.

It sounds like your little guy is doing very well. Those apgars are fantastic! As for what to expect the next few weeks, that really depends. Once preemies are "out of the woods", the biggest concern is just growing and learning to eat. Hopefully your Landon will not have any further compications and the coming weeks will just be "growing time".

I read your other post on the "ask the experienced" board, and wanted to comment on something. You said that you were expecting him to be there for a good 8 weeks. Now, I don't want to get your hopes up, but I do want to tell you something encouraging. My little girl, Maggie, was born at 29 weeks and spent only 7 weeks in the NICU. They told us not to expect her before her due date, and she ended up coming home almost 5 weeks before it. Like I said, I don't want to get your hopes up, but, in general, preemies who don't have many complications can end up coming home before their due date.

As for things to do when your little guy comes home, that too depends on if he has many complications in the NICU. Maggie had a few heart and lung issues at the first, but overall did very well considering how early she was. She came home in July, so RSV was not a concern at the time, thank goodness! Babies who come home in the winter usually have a lot more restrictions. We mostly just limited visitors for the first little while, and didn't go out too much. The one mandatory rule for us was that anyone who wanted to hold her had to use hand sanitizer first.

Having a preemie in the NICU can be such an emotional roller coaster. There are going to be bad days and good days, hopefully much more of the later. [:)] Please know that this is wonderful place to find comfort and support if you ever need it. There are a lot of us here who have had preemies, and pretty much all of us have had traumatic experiences with preeclampsia. I want to encourage you (and your sweet wife, when she's feeling up to it!) to please post if you ever have any questions or just need to talk.

I hope that your wife gets feeling better soon. Let us know how things go with Landon. We tend to worry around here if we don't get an occasional update. [8D]

Sara, 24
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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Re : Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

Postby jenn » Mon Jun 28, 2004 02:27 pm

Hi Jeff me again.
So Landon is his name. Too cute. He reminds of Jaidyn, she dropped weight to nearly 1 pound the first week and she still had the determination to wiggle her nasal canual out.
Aren't they something?
So many things come up when there is a preemie. I'm thinking of some off the bat from my experiance.
Brain bleeds will come up as they ultrasound his head to see if there has been a rupture.

PDA- an "extra" artery than can sometimes not want to close on it's own. May require a few shots, or in our case surgery to close.

Some get reflux- they get zantac. no biggy Jaidyn is has to take it.

Growing you know is a huge one.

As he gets a little stronger trying to feed him will be a challenge as they learn to suck, swallow and breath all at the same time. Things we take for granted.

After a few months of being home there may be a team of people (early intervention) that would like to evaluate him to see if he's having a hard time with development and provide help with any issues you have for the little guy.

And one for me was trying to keep this time as normal as possible. I liked having some preemie outfits to dress her in. (available at babies r us, walmart, gap, gymboree etc) lots of pics to reflect on.
Just some little stuff like that.

And as it gets time to bring Landon home, you may or may not want a preemie car bed (car seat for little babies)

So there are somethings that came up for us that I had to learn on my own.
The library was helpful too, I spent xtra time reading books on what to expect.

Your a great dad. Landon sounds like all he needs is some time to grow and lots of love and I'm sure he'll be home in no time.

Much love.

Jennie (24)
Shad DH (29)

Jaidyn 1.24.01 (30 wkr)
Severe PE/HELLP
2lb. 12oz.

Heavenly Angel:
Blaze
12.6.03
(miscarriage)

"Baby ina' tummy"
It's a GIRL!
Due Thanksgiving day!
11.25.04

http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/j/jaid/ (updated May 26th, u/s photos in J's gallery)
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Re : Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

Postby worriedhubby20 » Mon Jun 28, 2004 06:26 pm

Congratulations!!!! Your little one sounds much like mine. He scored 8 and 8 on his apgar. He too was on and off the vent for the first couple of weeks, but the biggest things were infections, weight gain, and finally nippling. You will see that when they start to get older, put on some weight, and become accustomed to those they see, that all of the nightmarish worries you may have will go away and be replaced with ones like "when will we start to see him put on the weight", "why is it taking so long for him to get the bottle thing down". You truly have a miracle baby, as they all are. My prayers and best wishes are with you and your wife. We know what you will be going through, but just remember, it will all be worth it in the long run.

Rob, father of Parker, 30 weeks, 1 lb. 14 oz.
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Re : Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

Postby deerhart » Mon Jun 28, 2004 09:20 pm

What to expect well that really just depends on the child. For some its a long long journey for many many years and others you would never know they are preemies.
My oldest child was born at 37 weeks and is the one with all the problems. He has developmental delays in speech and social skills and was sick more then normal kids.

While my younger child born at 36 weeks and spent 4 days on o2 has shown no delays so far and been way way healthier then my older child.

One thing is for certain, you will spend many many many days worrying about that lillte boy, eventually the fears about his weight gain and everything else will change to worrying about school, girlfriends, and him leaving home to be on his own.

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 : Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

Postby annes » Tue Jun 29, 2004 06:47 am

Just wanted to say congratulations on the birth of your son. The NICU is a rollercoaster ride, but there are parts of it that can be wonderful. Keep track of your child's nurses, and try and get to know them. Insist on changing diapers, doing feedings etc... as soon as they let you. There are books on Preemies that are helpful, but may be too much info. Another piece of advice, which I'm sure your nurses will tell you, preemies get over-stimulated easily, so I would hold my son without talking, and talk to him while he was snuggled up in his isolette. Bring in a couple things to decorate his isolette, it will make you feel better! One last thing, start getting things ready at home, because they don't always give you a lot of lead time before discharge! Good Luck, take care of your wife and baby and of course yourself[:)].

Anne
DH Richard
Parker 7/6/03(severe pe)33wks
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Re : Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

Postby lauchlan » Tue Jun 29, 2004 07:36 am

Hi again Jeff! Regarding what to expect at the NICU... My Gracie was in the NICU for 15 days. Our biggest mistake was not assigning her a pediatrician. We just went with the staff doctors and I think she might have come home sooner if we had a pediatrician. It was hard because the only time the staff doctors did rounds was during staff change and parents could not be in the room during staff change. I never got to ask the doctor anything. Luckliy the nurses know exactly what is going on, so that made me feel a little better.

The thing to remember is "2 steps forward, 1 step back". There will be many good days, but there will be some bad ones too. Grace was jaundiced and was under the bili lights for 5 days. She went off them for a few days and then had to be put back under them for another day because her bilirubin went back up. I had a hard time with that because I was finally able to hold her and they "locked her back up" again. Then after she gained some weight, they took her out of the isolette for a day and then had to put her back in because her body temp went down slightly.

Having a baby in the NICU can be very hard on a relationship, especially since your wife is still having complications. Remember that you have to take care of yourself also. Take time to eat & sleep. You won't do your son or your wife any good if you run yourself down! The nurses had to tell that to my hubby about 1,000 times!

I'll be thinking about you & your family!

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 : Preemies- what can a new parent expect?

Postby angelical » Wed Jun 30, 2004 06:21 am

Welcome and congratulations!

Be sure to read through the Sticky at the top of the Preemie forum. That has a ton of ideas in it for a new preemie parent.

There's also a ton of "veterans" here, so please post any questions that you have.

I wish you well!

Sharel

------------------------
Sharel O'Connell
Local coordinator for Pittsburgh area
'Parents of Preemies' co-moderator
Survivor of Preeclampsia, HELLP Syndome, & preemie parenting
Future adoptive mom

Aaron (28 weeker, 5/2/02) -- my tiny guy is TWO!
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