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

Postby aimeejane » Fri Jun 13, 2003 01:33 pm

Funny, Erin posted what I was just getting online to say:

DON'T spend every waking moment at the hospital! Go often and spend lots of time, but you also need to take care of YOU. Finish the nursery. Take LOTS of naps (you're recovering, you know!). Buy some baby clothes. Bake a few meals for your freezer, so you don't have to cook as much when baby comes home. PLAN for after the NICU stay. I know it seems like you'll be in the NICU stage forever, but it will end...thank goodness!

This is especially important, IMO, if you have a very tiny preemie...since you're not allowed to hold him/her for very much time, it can be depressing to just sit staring at the isolette. (Although I did like to sit and read books to him.) I found that visiting for a couple of hours twice a day was much beter on me, psychologically, than spending hours on end. He still got as much 'touching time' and kangaroo care as he was allowed, per the doctor's orders, and at the same time, I was being taken care of.

Aimee - 28
Dh - 29
Ds Nicky - 3/24/00 (28 wks - eclampsia)
EDD #2 - 8/3/03 (It's a BOY!)

care-o-line
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Re : Hints for a New Preemie Parent....

Postby care-o-line » Fri Jun 13, 2003 01:30 pm

Don't worry too much about future problems. The fact is that the majority of preemies grow up to be completely normal and that is what you should assume unless you hear from doctors or therapists otherwise.

Caroline - 26
dh - 25
dd Sylvia 8/21/02- 32weeks- 3lbs,5oz- pre-e
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/s/sylviakim/

care-o-line
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Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 06:28 am

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

Postby care-o-line » Fri Jun 13, 2003 01:28 pm

Write in a journal everynight. Put all the stats in it and all your feelings. It will be a great keepsake and you will be able to look at it and see how far your child has come.

Also... look on-line for a preemie baby book.

Caroline - 26
dh - 25
dd Sylvia 8/21/02- 32weeks- 3lbs,5oz- pre-e
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/s/sylviakim/

care-o-line
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Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 06:28 am

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

Postby care-o-line » Fri Jun 13, 2003 01:25 pm

If there is a parent support group at the hospital - join - even if you feel silly. I didn't join - and I wish that I had joined.

Caroline - 26
dh - 25
dd Sylvia 8/21/02- 32weeks- 3lbs,5oz- pre-e
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/s/sylviakim/

care-o-line
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Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 06:28 am

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

Postby care-o-line » Fri Jun 13, 2003 01:21 pm

I got a preemie doll for my daughter also. The site is http://www.weebundles.com/index.html
the doll is awsome! You tell her the height, weight, skin color, etc..... and she custom makes a doll according to the specifications.

Caroline - 26
dh - 25
dd Sylvia 8/21/02- 32weeks- 3lbs,5oz- pre-e
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/s/sylviakim/

deerhart
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Posts: 3282
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 08:54 am

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

Postby deerhart » Fri Jun 13, 2003 12:17 am

take care of yourself

Get some sleep, eat right, and take some mommy time.

Even though you may feel guilty because you think you should be spending every waking (and non waking moment) at the hospital with your baby, its just as important to take some time for yourself. Whether it be a nice bath, a massage, or just some time out shopping.

My other advice.. dress your baby in their clothes as soon as they will let you. Mason only spent 4 days in the NICU but it made a HUGE amount of differnece to me seeing him in his clothes instead of in the hospital t-shirts. In a way he became MORE my baby even though I couldn't take him home.

Erin

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

Postby aimeejane » Fri Jun 13, 2003 11:53 am

If you want a wonderful keepsake, consider getting a preemie doll. Mine was made by Sandy Eding (http://www.macatawa.org/~eding/dolls.html), and it's just wonderful.

There will be many people who never get to see how tiny your darling was when he/she was born, and this is the neatest way to really show them. I asked for mine for Mother's Day last year, and I just love it. It's also a wonderful reminder of how far you and your child have come! Every once in a while, I take my doll down, just to cuddle my 'baby' again.

(To see a picture of Nicky with his preemie doll, visit this page: http://www.macatawa.org/~eding/kidsndolls.html He's the black and white picture, about halfway down on the right.)

Aimee - 28
Dh - 29
Ds Nicky - 3/24/00 (28 wks - eclampsia)
EDD #2 - 8/3/03 (It's a BOY!)

aimeejane
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Posts: 589
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2003 08:45 am

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

Postby aimeejane » Fri Jun 13, 2003 11:45 am

If you have a very early preemie, look into the state-funded therapy programs. In Georgia, it's called Babies Can't Wait, although it's different in every state. Every state offers the service, because of federal legislation, specifically Part C of the Individuals with Disabilites Act (IDEA). Do a web search to find the agency in your state, or ask your pediatrician.

Don't make the same mistake I did: When I asked the pediatrician about possible developmental delays, he replied, "Oh, he was three months early, so he'll always be about three months behind, and that won't make a difference when he's older." I believed him, and this information was WRONG! If I had done my research, I would have gotten Nicky's development tested a lot earlier than 13 months...at that point, he was testing at the level of a 6.5-month-old - much worse than just 3 months behind! The waiting list was so long to get into evaluation and therapy that he didn't start until 17 months. Although he caught up completely by his third birthday, I know in my heart that we would have gotten much farther much faster if we'd started the process earlier...say around 9 months.

Also, don't be afraid of a diagnosis! I've found that many parents don't want to hear there's anything wrong with their child, especially developmentally. However, embracing the diagnosis means that you can work with it that much more effectively.

Aimee - 28
Dh - 29
Ds Nicky - 3/24/00 (28 wks - eclampsia)
EDD #2 - 8/3/03 (It's a BOY!)

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

Postby angelical » Fri Jun 13, 2003 10:21 am

Don't let the monitors in the NICU drive you crazy. Eventually, you will be able to tune them out.

And, don't worry, the nurses do hear them and know when they indicate a possible problem with a baby.

There are many false alarms.

Sharel & Kevin
Aaron - 28 weeker
Born 5/2/02 due to preeclampsia & HELLP

angelical
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Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 06:39 am

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

Postby angelical » Fri Jun 13, 2003 10:20 am

Do Kangaroo Care. That is where you hold the baby up to your bare skin for a while. (Your body heat helps keep the baby warm.)

It is supposed to help with your milk, if you are nursing/pumping, and it definitely helps with bonding.

Also, it doesn't just have to be the mom. Daddies and grandparents can do it too.

Sharel & Kevin
Aaron - 28 weeker
Born 5/2/02 due to preeclampsia & HELLP


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