New Preemie Mom

After a two week hospital stay I had an emergency c-section and gave birth to my beautiful baby girl at 29 weeks exactly. She weighed 3lbs 6oz and is currently in NICU. I have been holding together as best I can. I have had several crying spells and depressive moments but thankfully my loving partner is always there to give his hand or hold onto me. However, he goes back to work tomorrow. He works for an amazing company who told him to take the week off when they heard of our situation. I'm nervous about being alone in the apartment while he's at work since I can't drive for 2 weeks after the c-section. I've had family offer to drive me to the hospital every day to go see her which I plan to do but I know I'll also spend a lot of time home alone with my thoughts. Any advice on how to keep my sanity, not break down every minute of the day, and any other helpful tips would be greatly appreciated. Being a new mom is hard enough on it's own, being separated from my baby is torture. Thanks!

Re: New Preemie Mom

  • blairdavis99blairdavis99 member
    edited July 2015
    Hi there! Congrats on your precious baby girl. I had 34 week twins via c sec in April & my DD was a 3 pounder too. My kiddos spent 19 & 25 days in the NICU. I am very grateful that it wasn't longer but those were some of the hardest days of my life. My advice is this:
    1) Absolutely take whoever is offering rides to the hospital up on their offers. However, you may need to let them know that you want some alone time with baby. I found it very exhausting and frustrating to try to arrange for everyone to hold them and feed them, etc. I was trying to "reward" them for being so kind to give me rides that I missed out on crucial bonding time with baby.
    2) Stay as long as you can each day at the hospital. Get as involved as you can with feedings, diaper changes, etc. Even if baby is sleeping, just being there is good for both of you.
    3) When you've had enough of the NICU, allow yourself a break without feeling guilty. The NICU can be a very isolating place and wears on you. A refreshed mama is the best mama.
    4) if you are feeling up to it, keep yourself busy at home with organizing, arranging babies room, making easy meals to freeze, etc. If you are not feeling up to it, rest. Rest, rest, rest! The constant pumping (if you are), traveling back & forth to the hospital, and recovery from the c section will take it out of you.

    Good luck, hang in there & congrats again mama!!!
  • Thank you so much for the advice!
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  • My little guy was born at 30wks 4 days at 3lbs 6oz on July 14. I am struggling to find a balance. I spend all day there, it seems overwhelming and maybe like too much. When I am home, I just want to be with him. I cry a lot too, which really worries my husband. I can't really explain to him how I am feeling because I am not always sure that I know. I am sad, overwhelmed, worried, nervous, frustrated, etc......
    I feel like we will eventually get into a routine, which might make it easier. Hopefully...
  • Congrats on your baby girl & prayers for a quick & uneventful nicu stay! I gave birth in January to twin boys who were 27weeks 3days. They spent 73 days in the NICu. The day I left the hospital without them was the worst day of my life. The days were long. Some days it felt like 1 step foward 2 steps back but the nurses assured me it was all 'normal'. They had a relativly uneventful stay, no surgery. Just their under developed lungs were their biggest issue & needed breathing treatments & oxygen machines. Everyday for the first few week when my husband & I went it felt like a punch in the gut. So sad to see them so small. But while its scary do everything you can to interact with them. Baths, temps, diaper changes. If you get rides from people maybe ask someone to drop you off then have someone else pick you up so you can have bonding & alone time with your little one. My husband & I decided not to allow anyone but us hold/touch our little guys til they came home, which was a week before their due date) No need for extra germs. So because of that we limited guests in the hospital. Guests bothered me in general. I felt like when I went to the hospital I wanted to spend it with my babies not entertain. I would go once in the AM for 2 hrs then again at night with my husband for a few hrs. The days were long & exhausting. While at home I would prep & freeze meals, finish their nursery, buy clothes for them. Pump, pump & pump. That made me feel like I was really helping them grow, but if you can't produce milk or decide its not for you that's great too. And def rest & take naps. The hospital is draining. Once I got the ok from my dr I also exercised. It really helped with my depression.
  • How are you holding up? Have you found anything in particular that's working well for you?

    Unfortunately, this is a hard journey for all moms. I've watched many moms navigate this new and incredibly hard experience in so many different ways, there is no one right way. Hopefully you'll find what works best for you. 'Cause you need your sanity!! :)

    My two cents would be:
    • Yes, take up offers of help - any help - rides to the hospital, meals, help with laundry, whatever. People want to help, it's what good people do and they do it gladly. Your friends & family probably feel fairly helpless, not knowing what to do to support you, so this is one great way to let them be there for you. But don't feel obligated to return the favor - let them know you need alone time with your baby, if that's what you like. You are entitled to whatever you need to get through this, and if that means alone time, that's great. Many, many NICU parents resent having to bring visitors in during their precious time with baby.
    • Second, when you're there, ask to do as much kangaroo care as possible. If they're not suggesting it, be vocal and ask for it. Because it's really powerful for helping your emotions, and it's good for baby too. If your baby's not up for it, still connect and bond with her by talking quietly to LO, read aloud to LO, or hum/sing lullabies. She'll love hearing your voice.
    • For your time alone at home, definitely think about keeping a journal.  A few months from now, these NICU days will be a complete blur. It's a great way to vent all of the raging emotions you're dealing with, which is better than keeping them all bottled up. And it will be a good way to remember this crazy time.
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