NLJ82NLJ82 member
edited October 2014 in Preemies

Never posted here before! So forgive me if there is a thread in regards to this that I've skipped over.

I had severe pre-e with this pregnancy, was admitted to the hospital for a week and a half and then induced at 34 weeks. From what I've been told, my baby is doing exceptionally well. He is, what they called, a whimpy white boy lol. Never needed any assistance with breathing and I'm told is overall healthy, just need to grow.

He was 3lbs 9oz when he was born and is currently up to 3lb 15oz & is 9 days old. I'm just curious to hear from other mothers who have had their baby spend time in the NICU. His hurdles to jump right now are learning to eat on his own and regulating his body temperature. 3 days ago he took every bottle, every drop...the following days he wouldn't eat hardly anything on his own and the majority of it was fed through his feeding tube and he started spitting up and nearly projectile vomiting after each he hasn't spit much at all (more of a wet burp...bleh) & has taken almost every bottle again (34ml).

It's so frustrating! I wish I could do something for him but I'm told it just takes time for their brains to develop into little full term baby brains and that it'll click soon enough. Anyone else been in this position?

Here's a photo of my little peanut as well :)




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  • Hey there. I am in a similar boat. My baby girl was born 6 days ago at 34 weeks and 1 day. She is currently nursing a couple times a day but mostly being tube fed. She is getting 36 ounces every 3 hours.

    Let's pray our little ones get stronger song.
  • Hi there and welcome.

    Very similar position. On 8/26/14 I delivered a 4lb 5oz baby at 33w6d. He had some breathing problems (was intubated for a pneumothorax), but once the breathing tube was taken out then just had to 1) be 35 weeks 2) regulate own temp 3) eat on his own, to go home. He stayed in the NICU for 16 days, so I think you're in a good place given he doesn't have any breathing problems (he looks great by the way!). For us, it was a slow and steady race. I feel like just when we thought he would never get over one hurdle he started doing it all on his own. 

    At first, the whole NICU experience is sort of new, and you're kind of in shock, but eventually (for us at least), it becomes very draining. Take care of yourself now, sleep when you can, and hang in there. IT IS very frustrating. 

    Let me know if you have any questions or if you need another mama to vent to.


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  • Hang in there, my twins were in the NICU for 3 and 4 weeks. As someone else said, take care of yourself and each other, it is hard both physically and mentally but you gotta be healthy for when he gets home!
  • Hello!

    Congratulations on your sons birth and I'm sorry you're in the NICU.

    I had my daughter at 29-6 due to pre-e and HELLP last August. She was 2lb 3oz and had a 66 day NICU stay. She came home on o2 and was on it for three months after coming home. She's now 14 mos old and we celebrated her one year NICU discharge tonight!

    We were commenting on how fast this year went...our 66 days seemed so much slower than the last year. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but it was worth it. Those preemies operate on their own time, but boy are they strong! As pp said, be sure to take care of you too and take one day at a time. There's a lot of forward and backward movement and it's hard not to get caught up in every little detail and analyze every little thing.

    Hoping for your LO to have as short of a stay as possible :) Good luck!
  • Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I live 2 hours away from where the hospital is and SOMEONE has to work so my husband has been at home, working as normal & coming up on the weekends and i stay with my grandma who conveniently is only about 30 minutes from where the hospital is. 

    IT. IS. SO. HARD!

    Anytime I get alone time...I'm crying lol. Much like right now! I get up every day and drive to the hospital (I'm blessed to have my mom with me each time so far) & I stay at the hospital from about 11am-10pm. I call the NICU after every feeding through the night while I'm at my grandmas and since, of course, it's not MY bed I'm sleeping in...I'm restless anyway THEREFORE I get so tired at the hospital and i tend to take naps in the chairs in the lobby of the maternity floor.

    I do get really discouraged. I'll call at 6am and hear that he's taken all 36ml of his bottle twice in a row on his own and then I'll show up that morning and he'll take maybe 15ml for me and the rest goes in the tube. Other times he'll not want to wake up at all and all 36ml goes in the tube. I've yet to see him take a whole bottle. Tomorrow will make 2 weeks that he's been in the NICU. I'm so sad that when I go to bed at night I don't have my family together under one roof at OUR house and that he's spending his first days in a hospital. ALTHOUGH...I know he's in good just breaks my heart.

    On a good note, as of today he is up to 4lb 1.6oz and was taken out of his isolette and put in a big boy bed AND seems to be keeping his food down :) I am absolutely paranoid that he will continue to spit and no one will check on him and he will choke, however, I'm sure that's what the many many monitors hooked up to his tiny body are for. I'm totally in love with this little guy and feel helpless.

    Thank you all again for listening and giving advice. They keep telling me he's healthy but just needs to grow and continue learning how to eat. I hope we get there soon! 


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  • congratulations - he is adorable!!  our b/g twins were born at 34 weeks 2 days (I also had pre-e...).  The wimpy white boy stereotype is so true -- our daughter was much better about bottle feeds at first, but had to spend longer in an incubator (and therefore longer in the NICU), since she was so much smaller than he was.  Bottle feeding vs. tube feeding is tough - we were told that it would yo-yo back and forth until it just "clicked" -- and this is exactly what happened with both babies.  We spend about 10 days with our son yo-yoing back and forth between tube feedings and bottle feedings (since bottle feedings just wear them out, they take up so much energy!), and then all of a sudden it "clicked" and he started doing every bottle without any problems.  Same thing with our daughter.  As the others have said, remember to take some time to take care of you -- the NICU is providing care for your baby, so you can take advantage of that and ask lots of questions of the nurses (they are the BEST at training you on different feeding/burping techniques), and go home and get a full night's sleep each night.  And occasionally take a night off from the NICU and go out to dinner or a movie with your husband (something you won't be able to do easily once baby comes home!). 

    TTC since July 2011
    Me(33): normal HSG; diagnosed with mild PCOS

    DH(35): normal SA
    *6 cycles no meds, July-Dec. 2011, all BFN
    *Clomid for 3 cycles, Jan-March 2011: BFP March 2011
    *MC at 6 weeks

    *2 cycles off
    *Started TTC again July 2012 with Clomid, 6 cycles from July-Dec. 2012, all BFN
    *1 cycle no meds: BFN
    *1 cycle Femara: BFN
    *1st RE visit March 2013 - first IUI in April 2013 with Femara, Menopur, and Novarel (BFN); second IUI in May 2013, same protocol (BFN); two cycle break;  third IUI in August 2013, same protocol (BFN)

    *1st IVF cycle, October 2013 (Synarel, Menopur (75 iu), and Gonal-F (150 iu)) -- BFP!!  Saw two babies at our 5wk5d u/s on Oct. 28th!  EDD=June 25, 2014

  • Dd was born at 33.3 and spent 12 days in the nicu. Her biggest obstacle was taking all her feeds by bottle/nursing. Once we hit 35w and she was able to take a certain amount every 12 hours as opposed to every 3hours, she did so much better. If she didn't eat the entire bottle at one feeding, they waited until the next to see if she would eat more. And she usually did! But it was a lot of ups and downs.
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  • Congrats on your sweet guy! Welcome to the board and best wishes for a speedy NICU stay!

    I'm not new. I just hate The Bump. 

  • Hey there! Fellow N14er in the same boat. My little one was born Wednesday at 34 weeks 6 days. She is a decent weight, at 5 lbs, 14 oz. but she is working on feeding and growing. I've only been hanging in the NICU for 3 days so I can't comment on the length of stay, but I feel your frustrations and helplessness. I am trying to breast feed and pumping here at the hospital. It is difficult and I have been crying a lot too. My husband has
    To spend some time at home taking care of our pet and will probably go back to work so as not to use his PTO until she comes home. It can be very lonely at times. We will get through this!

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  • Your feelings are very normal for a preemie mom hanging out in the NICU. It's such a rollercoaster. Some days are good and some days aren't so good. There are times you'll feel like you'll never get him home! But, you will, and this NICU stay will be a flash in the pan compared to the many happy years you'll spend with him at home.

    DS1 was born at 32w3d. He spent 24 days learning how to eat. It was very frustrating. I remember the desperation I felt when feeding him and carefully measuring the mls he ate. It happened quickly, though. One day, I cried hysterically to our primary nurse feeling so hopeless. He was home 3 days later. He will get the hang of it soon, and it will be a fast turnaround!

    Make sure you take time for yourself. Go out for lunch or for a walk once in a while. It's ok! Your baby is in good hands. Hugs, momma!

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  • We were in a very similar situation to you - severe and sudden pre-e, hospital bed rest for 1 week, then delivered at 31 weeks, 2 lb 10 oz.  The munchkin was in NICU for about a month and we went through some of the same frustrations - the night nurses would tell us about how he took his whole bottle in 8 minutes and then we couldn't get him to finish one in the required 35 minutes. It was definitely frustrating and there was nothing we could do to encourage or help him.  Have any of the nurses said anything about how white boys are notorious for taking longer to learn to eat consistently?  One of our nurses told us that.  It just seemed like one day he figured out how to breath and eat at the same time and from that point we were home with him in a day.  He's been home with us now for 4 weeks.  We had always been told to plan on him coming home around his due date, so we were so grateful that he came up a month early.

    I agree with @sarah_beth2005 - take a night off from the NICU when you can and know that he's in good hands.  I hope I don't sound like a horrible mom, but since he was 2 months early we had already planned some activities for September and we took advantage of him being in the NICU to be able to go out for dinner for DH birthday, for example.  Honestly, looking back from the other side, this is your opportunity to get some sleep - you'll have plenty of time to be with him every minute of the day (and night) and it will be sooner than you think. And we also learned so much from the NICU nurses, I feel like we were in great shape coming home with him and not nearly as nervous as we would have been without that time in the NICU.  

    Best of luck on getting out of the NICU.  You'll get there.


  • Oh, momma, we all totally relate!

    My son was born at 30 weeks, 1 day due to undetermined preterm labor at 3 lbs, 5 oz.  He breathed on his own fairly quickly (I think within that first day).  He had no major complications: he had a grade 1 brain bleed (common with early preemies), but it didn't have any impact and went away. He was essentially a "feeder and a grower" needing to breathe on his own, maintain his temperature, be able to eat on his own and hit a certain weight before he could be discharged.  He was in the NICU for 50 days.

    I remember the rollercoaster there (I had been in the NICU the year prior when I had a baby at 23 weeks who did not make it).  With my son, the roller coaster was with the bradies and the machine going off occassionally.  

    My advice is to:

    • Get as much rest as possible
    • Be there as much as possible, but establish a routine.  I went in every morning and spent the entire day there (like a 9:00-5:00 job).  My husband would go after work from 5:00-9:00 or so.
    • Do as much kangaroo care as possible.
    • Nurses should push it, but do as much of the baby's care as possible...with feeding, bathing, etc.
    • Know that it is often a "2 steps forward, 1 step back experience".  
    • When they are ready to go home, it can happen quickly.  It is not uncommon to come in to the hospital and for nurses to say, he'll probably go home today.  Ultimately, they want your LO out a.s.a.p., as babies always do better at home.
    • If you can, spend the night there...if your NICU has a parents' overnight room.  So, you can care for your LO.
    • Allow yourself to grieve for the loss of a full-time pregnancy, the immediate fear of the NICU experience, and the unknown of future development.  
    • These little ones are resilient.
    My son is now 4 1/2 and doing amazing!  He was caught up developmentally several years ago and you would never know he came into the world so early.

    Sending prayers your way!
    Me: 39
    DH: 39

    TTC: #3 - first cycle TTC - 10/2014
    Preg #1 - PTL @ 23.5 weeks - angel in heaven (Addison Margaret)
    Preg #2 - PTL @ 30.1 weeks - Kellen born @ 3 lbs. 5 oz in Jan 2010 - My Pride and Joy
  • I'm a new nicu mommy and these tips are so helpful so far. A routine definitely is helping me cope! Its great we have each other as well. Xo
    TTC#1 Since November 2013 // BFP March 27, 2014 // EDD December 11, 2014

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  • So sorry that I haven't been on here in a few days, but for good reason! We were released almost about a week ago and have been home enjoying our time together. Everyone was right, it just suddenly kind of clicked with his eating. We're still working on it at home, even, but he's up to about 2oz every three hours and is packing on the weight :)

    Thanks to everyone for all the tips and suggestions. They're most definitely helpful and very true. Good luck to all the NICU mommies! It was such a struggle but thank God we made it through and have our little man home now :)

    As you can see from the picture below, he's getting to be a chunk. His preemie clothes are starting to get a little snug on him and he apparently does not like his picture taken at 3am



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