Preemies

What to expect

Hi ladies. I'm new to the board so I'll start with a little back story. At my last dr's appointment I received the news that there is almost a guarantee that my baby will be born in the next 2-3 weeks. I've already been taken to the hospital twice to have my labor stopped and was basically told that they probably can't do it again and next time I will have to have her. My husband and I have begun to accept the fact that our daughter is going to be born premature, but we don't really know anybody who has gone through this to ask for advice. Can you ladies give me any ideas of what to expect?
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Re: What to expect

  • Just start doing some research on the NICU at your hospital. The worst part is the unknow so educate yourself. Does your hospital allow boarding? What % tile is your baby now? Big or small for the age? I had my DD at 35 weeks (5.2lbs) and she had a 2 week NICU stay with a G tube. My cousin had her baby at 34 weeks (6lbs) with no NICU stay and just a little jaundice. Get familiar with things.
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  • Well, there are no certainties with a baby.  At your current gestation, the statistics are really in your favor: low mortality and low morbidity (major health concerns).   If you can go a few more weeks, the statistics get even better and often include a shorter NICU stay or no NICU stay, depending on baby's needs.  Like I said, there are no guarantees, even if you go to your due date, but the statistics are in your favor.

    My best advice is to speak with a neonatologist about likely outcomes and tour the NICU.  Also, get a counselor lined up, as the trauma of having a complicated pregnancy and pre-term birth will probably take a big toll on you emotionally.  I started seeing my counselor after my MC and continued seeing her during my subsequent PG and still see her when I need to.  It is ok if your first counselor doesn't click with you; lots of us had to try a couple out before finding one we were comfortable with.  Also, read up on preemies on the March of Dimes site: http://www.marchofdimes.com/modpreemie/preemie.html and http://www.marchofdimes.com/baby/premature_indepth.html were very helpful to me. 

    I also sent the links to DS's grandparents to help them understand what we were going through and prepare for their own visits with DS.  Unfortunately, you cannot control what others do.  I sent the links out almost 2 months before DS was born (no chance of a FT baby for us), but he was in the NICU for more than a month and had several visits from my mom before she could be bothered to read the info.  It was very frustrating for everyone because she didn't follow rules well and didn't make an effort to understand what we were going through.  But at least we took positive steps toward educating our families, KWIM?

    Lastly, be forgiving, especially of yourself and your body.  Most of us blame ourselves and/or our bodies at least at first.  It is normal to do this, but it really isn't helpful or accurate.  Of course you want to have a FT healthy baby and are doing everything you can to accomplish that goal!  But like almost everything in life, it simply is not in your control.  (Believe me, it took a lot of therapy for me to admit that!  I like to believe I have control over my own life and body...)  Forgive your H if he doesn't handle things in a way you understand.  I had many "Why are you acting like that?" moments with DH because he just handled the situation very differently than me.  He doesn't get my reactions either, so I guess we're even.  Come back here for support, and find other support as you need it. 

    Best of luck, mama!

    Preemie Resources: http://preemiemomblog.blogspot.com/

    DD1: BFP July 2010...HG in first tri, MC delivered vaginally at 18 weeks October 2010

    DS: BFP December 2011...SCH at 5 weeks, SBR at 7 weeks, Placental Abruption at 13 weeks, Hospitalized at 25 weeks, pPROM at 28 weeks, PTL via CS at 31 weeks 

    DD2: BFP January 2013...P17 shots, delivered via VBAC at 39 weeks
  • CR already covered a lot of the major points, and I agree with what she said.  Also, you can check out the preemie resource blog that's linked at the top of the board page.  There are a bunch of birth stories for babies of various GAs, so you can check those out for an idea of what to expect, but remember like CR said every baby and every outcome is different.

    GL, and I hope that you can keep your LO cooking as long as possible! 

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  • zmosszmoss
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    I would second what most PP have said. My water broke at 31w 5 days with no reason given. I was placed on hospital bedrest until 34 weeks when I was induced. My LO was born healthy at 5lbs 12 oz.

    He was in the NICU for 16 days. Mostly he was a feeder/grower (that young they don't have mastery of the breathe/suck reflexes) and had a NG tube and some issues with jaundice. 

    My biggest concern while I was in the hospital was the negative information that I got from some Dr's and some members of the NICU staff. I mean they are required to tell you what could happen--but IMO I found that in many instances they stated that these things were a guarantee (needing CPAP, Oxygen, NG tubes, regulating temp). I mean I found it helpful to remain optimistic, accept the fact that your baby will need help but think that he will be in the best hands. Try not to focus and stress on the what if's of your baby's condition. Instead, just relax and know that you will be taken care of regardless. 

    Try and not stress and GL!

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  • It's hard to say what to expect. My LO was born at 36.5 weeks and weighed 5.5lbs. She had a bit of jaundice and showed no real interest in eating the first couple of days. We also had to stay at the hospital for two days (born on Saturday morning, left Monday morning).

     

    What my husband and I did was we came up with a plan before I went into labor, so that we knew exactly what we wanted and the answers to decisions we may have had to make in a moment's notice. In the end, my labor went smoothly (minus the earliness of it), but it was nice to know that we had everything ready in case it didn't go as planned.

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