New Preemie Mom — The Bump

New Preemie Mom

I used to post to the July 2012 board, but have finally made my way here.  I had my little boy (first baby), Camden, June 1st.  He was 32 weeks and 3 days along.  I have no idea why he came so early.  My water broke at 1 am the Sunday before he was born for no apparent reason.  He's doing ok, I think.  It seems like the doctor does something everyday that shows he's coming along well.  He's up to 20 mL feedings through his feeding tube (I think it's an NG tube?).  He started out 4 lbs 2 oz and 17.5 inches long, but today he's down to 3 lbs 14 oz.  The doctor didn't sound too concerned about the weight loss, but said he may start fortifying my breast milk.  Cam moves around and is so pretty.  The therapist in NICU says his muscle strength and control are wonderful.  I was able to hold him for the first time the day before yesterday.  My NICU practices kangaroo care.  He felt so good!  Today the doctor sounded like he would take him off his nasal canula and IV soon.  He's waiting a little while longer because we've had some problems with jaundice and heart rate drops.  I guess the drops are normal for preemies and he doesn't have to have the blanket anymore.  Tuesday, he will be 34 weeks and I'm really hoping he does well with a bottle.  He seems to really enjoy food.

 My husband and I have been spending everyday from 8am to 6pm at the NICU, then we go home to sleep. Today, my husband had to leave at 2 for an appointment and since we live about 30 miles from the hospital, didn't want to come back.  I didn't want to leave Cam that early, so I decided to stay the night.  Now I'm kind of regretting it.  It's so lonely here!  I wish my husband were with me, or that I decided to leave when he did, but I already feel like we don't spend enough time here.  I wish I could pick Cam up and hold him and rock him anytime I wanted like "normal" parents do.  

How much time does everyone spend at the NICU?  Any advice for overnight stays?  Any other 32 weeker parents who can tell me how long their babies stayed in NICU?  When we ask the nurses anything, they just say "it depends on the baby" and it's getting so frustrating!  I've heard everything from 1 month on up to our due date (July 24).  He seems so strong and seems to be improving so steadily.  The time frames they are giving us seems like an eternity!

Re: New Preemie Mom

  • Congrats on your little one and welcome! 

     The NICU is such a roller coaster ride.  We didn't really have the ability to stay (comfortably) overnight at the hospital. My twins were much earlier so I don't know what to tell you to expect, but I think mostly the rule of thumb is close to your due date as far as NICU stay. Some come home earlier and some stay longer. 

     I sounds like he is doing very well. Lots of T&P's for an uneventful stay. Feel,free to check out the blog (Link at the top of the board.) and post any questions or vents, etc you may have.

    Mom to preemie b/g twins born 14 weeks early after 3 years of IF, 8 clomid cycles and 1 IVF. Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • Hello, and welcome :) We have a few preemie moms from Indiana on here.

    It really does depend on the baby. I'm sorry there isn't a concrete answer. Some 36 weekers have way more dips in the rollercoaster than earlier preemies. Since you asked - DS was born at 30.6 and was in NICU for 50 days and then home for a few weeks before being readmitted for another 8. His main issue were bradys (esp when choking because he'd gulp his milk) and he came home on an apnea monitor for four months.

    I live 'down the street' from our hospitals but it was still a 25 minute walk each way so that's a decent commute each day. I spent 5-8 hrs/day there, I guess. More, usually not less. It's hard. Really hard. ...but it does pass and eventually starts to feel like the past. For a long time it feels like NICU all the time - even after you come home.

    A lot of the moms here put together a blog - link in my siggy. There is a FAQ that you might want to forward to your closest family and friends so they can help. 

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  • First off congratulations on the birth of your little guy.

    To answer some of your questions, I usually stayed at the NICU anywhere between 9 a.m-3:00 p.m. and then we would return in the evening after my hubby got off of work. My NICU doesn't have private rooms, no beds for parents to sleep in, just a rocking chair. With my first, we never stayed the night (only right before discharge- which is recommended). With my second my time was shorter, because I had a toddler at home who needed her mommy, so DH would return back to the hospital to stay with DD#2. 

    My first was born at 33w 4d, and she was mainly a feeder/grower. She had issues with jaundice, controlling her temps in the beginning and eating, but once she hit a week old, she starting to eat more and gain weight. She had a 12 day NICU stay. 

    With my second she was born at 34w 5d and spent 14 days in the NICU. She had issues with jaundice, A's and B's and gaining weight (although by week two she was on the up and up). The A's and B's are just something that preemie have to grow out of. 

    I pray that your NICU stay is uneventful. If you have any questions, please ask the ladies on this board are wonderful. 




  • Congratulations mommy! Its always hard to see a new mom on here but this is a wonderful board where you will find a lot of support. I know its been great for me to have these ladies to answer questions and understand what I'm going through.

     My DD was born at 22w 5d so we were very early - we were in the NICU 117 days. She came home a few days before her due date. But everyones roller coaster is different- we can only hope that your son will have a quick and uneventful stay. I could only spend the night at the NICU if I stayed awake sitting next to her - we could have "rented" a room but we would just go home to sleep and come back the next day. At first I was there about 14 hours a day - but then again my DD was so early we were a different situation - later when she was more stable I went back to work part time and would spend approx 6-8 hours a day. HOw long you spend at the NICU is going to be a personal decision - you need to let yourself take care of YOU a little also - get rest and dont forget to eat.

    image image image Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • Congrats!

    Being in the NICU is hard for so many reasons. My twins were born at 33w, 4 days.  They didnt have any major issues, just jaundice, and had to do the feeding and growing preemies need.  We were there for over a month with both boys. L came home  3 days before H. We didnt have to stay until their due date, but we were there a couple days past their original c-section date.

    I couldn't drive (c-section) so H drove me everyday.  We both work at the hospital across from the hospital the boys were being treated.  H went back to work a week after they were born. I would go in with him between 7 and 9am and stay until after 7pm.  H would come over at lunch and after work for a few hours then we would go home. It wasn't very conducive to sleeping, and since we live 5 miles from the hospital, we wanted to let other parents with long commutes use the parent rooms.

    As for your stay, no one can tell you how long it will be, which is hard.  I remember thinking that having them their until their due date was such a loooong time.  And it was.  Once the boys were in an open crib and taking all their feeds by mouth, the wait was even harder.  Preemies need to learn to regulate their suck swallow breath coordination.  Its easier for some than others.  One of our boys kept dipping his heart rate which would add 5 days to his stay each time it happened.   He did it again the night before he was supposed to come home. It gets very annoying coming in day after day when it seems like the babies are "normal" babies yet cant come home. Especially when it gets to the point where they dont intervene for brady episodes, yet still keep them in house.

    You will hear so many times, "he can probably go the end of the week" or " I'd say he wont be here that much longer!" We learned to ignore those comments and told the nurses and docs that until we are signing discharge paperwork, we are ignoring their predictions. 

    I hope you have as short of a stay as possible! Good Luck!

  • My son was born 33 weeks and 6 days.... Very similar weight and length as yours.  We had a 15 days stay in the NICU.  We were in the actually NICU about 8 or 9 days and didn't have the option to stay over.  Then he was transferred to the progressive care NICU.  That was private rooms even with TVs.  We then stayed over ever other night except the last 3 we stayed waiting to be told we could take him home.  I hope your night was better and enjoy your time with him.  Soon hopefully you will get to be able to hold him whenever you want.

  • Welcome.  I was a July 2011 mom and had a 31 weeker.  So, I can totally relate.  My baby had severe IUGR (2lb3oz) and was in the hospital for 41 days.  It was really really hard when we were going through it.  But honestly, as we near his homecoming date, it doesn't seem as terrible as it did when when we were in the midst of it. 

    One thing I advise would advise you to consider is spending a bit less time at the hospital.  I was like you.  I arrived by 10am for rounds, stayed all day (until 4:30pm).  Then, I would go home and grab dinner with H and head back to the hospital until 9ish. Looking back, I really wish I would have taken more time to heal and get more rest.  Of course, you have to do what is right for you.  But, I wanted to offer that perspective. 

    Congratulations on your little one.   It is really hard having a preemie, and I hope he's home soon!

    Born at 31w3d due to severe IUGR & Placental Insufficiency--2lbs 3ounces

    We'll miss you sweet Debbie Girl (4.21.12) and sweet Cindy Girl (8.9.12)
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

  • Congrats on your LO!  It sounds like he's doing well and yay for first snuggles! Smile

    I never spent the night at the NICU and in the beginning would go on and off throughout the day (we were from out of town and staying in a special NICU family wing).  Once we had them transferred to the hospital near out house they had a private room and I would usually stay for at least half the day sometimes coming more than once.  I know it's hard not to feel guilty but try to balance your time.  It's easy to get burned out fast especially when you are in for a least a few weeks of NICU time.  My 28 weekers came home at 38 weeks, just 10 days before their due date.


  • Congratulations on your LO. My daughter was born at 31 weeks, she was 3lb, 5oz and 17 in long. We had a relatively short NICU stay of 28 days. She never had any big issues, few brady/apnea, was only on C-pap for less than a day and became jaundice. Her biggest issue was feeding. That seemed to take forever. I spent about 8 hours a day at the NICU including weekends. I would have stayed longer but my recovery was very slow. Once she was a week old, she was off her IV  and the nurses showed me how to take her out on my own, so I could hold her when I wanted. I then held her everyday all day and only put her back when I needed to pump and eat (she was very good at maintaning her temp while being held). I was able to do her temp checks, baths, diaper changes and clothing changes and even start and stop her tube feeds (of course the nurse was always there)

    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Congratulations on your little boy!

    My twins were born at 33w2d and weighed 3.14 and 4.4.  They spent a month in the NICU.  I would go for about 2 feedings a day, so for about 6 hours total.  I also had a little girl at home so I didn't stay overnight.  It sounds like you're doing all the right things...but remember it's ok to take care of yourself too.  Rest and heal - that way you will be at your best when he comes home.

    Best of luck!

    PCOS, lupus anticoagulant, MTHFR (A1298C, one copy) 2 IUIs & 1 IVF = BFN FET#1 = It's a girl! Born 7.1.10 FET#2 = c/p FET#3 = Twin girls! Born on 3.16.12 at 33w2d due to severe pre-E. After 4 weeks in the NICU they are home! Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • I was a July 2011 mama but my daughter came at 33w+5d last June 15th. I am from Indiana too :) 

    Eleanor weighed 3lbs 15oz at birth and stayed for 17 days in the nicu. She didn't need breathing assistance and had all self resolved (no stimulation needed) Brady's. It is extremely frustrating how vague the hospital staff can be but I think they tend to lean towards worst case scenarios, especially for later term preemies. 

    Does the nicu do cluster care where all the diaper changes, temp readings, feedings etc are done at the same time? Ask if you can assist with all of this if you haven't already. Kangaroo care is awesome! So glad that you are getting in on that.

    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
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