At Risk for PTL. Question? — The Bump

At Risk for PTL. Question?

Hi ladies. I hope no one takes offense to me posting here, not being a preemie mom at this point. I had an episode of PTL yesterday and tested positive for fetal fibronectin. I got the first steroid shot to develop baby boys lungs, and was sent home as contractions slowed down. I will be at the hospital for our second steroid this afternoon, and after that we are going to count each inside day as a blessing. We are trying to prepare ourselves for the possibility of our LO being early (the hospital told me im on bedrest and to pack my hospital bag, follow up with my ob asap). We are completely unprepared and do not know where to begin. We know if Edward comes now, we are in for an nicu stay. I was wondering if i could get suggestions on preparing for early l&d and a preemie baby. What essentials should we have for the hospital? What should we pack in his bag? (Should we even pack him a bag?) Any tips on prearing ourselves for this situation would be appreciated. Thank you.

Re: At Risk for PTL. Question?

  • I'm sure no one here will be offended at all that you posted!  I hope your baby stays put for awhile longer, but we'll be here if he makes his appearance soon!

    Regarding your questions:  I think most of the moms on this board have a different perspective on the packing the hospital bag thing.  For the mom's bag, a lot of us had unexpected deliveried and didn't have anything packed.  And, it was fine.  I think packing a normal bag for yourself would be good with whatever you'd planned to pack for a term delivery, but, if you miss things, it's fine.  You'll only be there a couple of days, and you can always send your husband out to grab things you forgot. I think if you only pack your camera, you'll be good.  That's probably the most important thing.

    As for the baby bag, I wouldn't worry about packing anything for him yet.  If he were born now, he would be put in an incubator / isolette in only his diaper - he wouldn't even need clothes.  At some point, you'd start putting clothes on  him, but that'll be several weeks.  You'll have time to buy them.  Different NICUs have different rules about what clothes you can put on a preemie, so you don't want to buy the wrong thing.  For example, some NICUs require that you have snaps on the front and no feet.  Ours didn't have those restrictions, so we just put our son in onesies all the time.  Our son came home in mostly newborn clothes, so we only needed the preemie stuff while he was in the hospital (pretty much, although Gap's First Favorites in the 7lbs or less size are a great size that's in between Preemie and Newborn).

    One thing you might want to do is start researching pumping and the facilities that will be available to you.  I'd HIGHLY recommend renting a hospital grade pump.  Pumping for a preemie is tough, but it's really really really helpful, especially at the beginning.  Having a hospital grade pump will help you establish your milk supply.  I rented one that I kept at home, and then the hospital had some there that I could borrow when I was at the NICU.  That made things a lot easier.  Even if you hadn't planned to breastfeed, I'd encourage you to pump for at least awhile.  And, providing breastmilk for a preemie is even more beneficial than it is for a termie because it helps keep them from getting sick.  My son is 10 months old and hasn't been sick yet (even though both my husband and I had a cold recently), and I 100% believe it's because of the breastfeeding.  I was able to give him the antibodies that kept him healthy.

    Let us know if you have any other questions!

    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

    BabyFruit Ticker

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  • Have you dilated or are you just contracting? A positive FFN is not very conclusive and there is a high incidence of false positives (I think the number is 50%). I'm only telling you this because although I think it is important to be prepared, there is still a good chance you will not deliver anytime soon. I went into PTL with dilation at 25 weeks and didn't deliver until almost 34 weeks. 

    The only thing you really need to have prepared is stuff for yourself. The hospital will give you everything for the baby. Oh, and a camera! 

    Also, if you do have the baby early (which I hope you don't). Request a pump at your bedside immediately. It will be really important for your milk supply to pump early and often.  

    Rest up and keep us posted.  


    IVF #1 worked! Two baby boys born in January 2011 at 33 weeks.

    Rooting for the ladies of TTTC and IF.
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  • PP's had really good answers so I just want to add that I hope you can keep LO in a bit longer.  But if you do deliver early, feel free to come back for support.  All the ladies here have been responsible for my sanity during our NICU stay.
  • I tested positive for the fFN test at 28 weeks (got the steroid shots), negative at 30 and 32 weeks, and then had my baby at 36 weeks 3 days.  We stayed for a week in the NICU.  

    I'd pack as normal.  If you have pre term labor, your baby will have everything it needs at the hospital.   

     I hope your baby stays in for many more weeks!  Good luck! 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker BabyFruit Ticker
  • Like everyone else said, pack a bag for you like you normally would. But I hope you are able to avoid joining us here on this board.

    If you want to, check out the blog in my siggy. It has birth stories from many of the women on this board so you can see some versions of NICU stays at different weeks gestation.

  • I was on bed rest for PTL and popped in here to ask about resources as well. Everyone is wonderful here. I lurk because DS was born at 37 weeks and sometimes there are problems that he has that the 0-3 month board doesn't seem to have- e.i frustration about lack of weight gain, hearing 'oh when will he fatten up?" over and over, frequent trips to the hospital, my obsession with hand sanitizer.

     A positive result isn't reason to panic. I did at first too, trust me. Your doctor is being proactive in putting you on bedrest and ordering the steroids, let that knowledge help put your mind at ease. Are you going on preventive meds? I was on Procardia. I was still contracting but they were so much less intense.

    I recommend packing things like magazines and word searches, snacks, hair bands, a travel brush, toiletries, anything you want to make yourself comfortable during your stay. I ended up back at the hospital a few times so it helped to keep those kinds of things in there. I had a word search for DH and after DS was born that went into his baby box lol. 

    In DS's hospital bag I had packed very few things. I had a onesie and a gown. I knew he might not be able to wear them. I also packed him a receiving blanket and hat. Needless to say (as you can see by the size of his sleeve in relation to his head) nothing fit him. The hospital provided everything we needed so we really had no need for his bag to be honest.

    I was so lucky, DS was in the nursery 95% of the time. I believe he spent no more then 30 minutes in the NICU for issues with his liver- the poor kid was bright yellow for days. I really believe that the bedrest and steroids helped a tremendous amount. I was 4cm dilated due to PTL before DS arrived so it was a precarious situation for sure! 

  • Oh I forgot to mention, check out the sidelines website!

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