preemie baby in an incubator

The Bittersweet Side of Becoming a Preemie Parent

I have held off writing this for a quite a while for a couple of reasons really. 1 I felt that I had covered quite a bit on prematurity and sometimes it really can sound like you are always being quite negative (without meaning to but until you’ve been in these shoes it can be difficult to understand where it is all coming from) and 2 because it is still painful to think about certain aspects and to reflect on how those moments made me feel.

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How to Help Your Child Cope with Having a Sibling in NICU

I was recently contacted by a Mother asking me if I had written a post on how to help your child cope with having a sibling in NICU. I hadn’t even thought about this as a blog topic but also couldn’t believe I had overlooked it! Through the emotions, the tiredness, the back and forth to the hospital, I had constantly thought about our baby and writing about his journey yet the other superstar hasn’t had a mention, and he definitely deserves one. 

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breastfeeding and prematurity- me sat feeding william for the first time in NICU

Breastfeeding and Prematurity

One thing I always knew I wanted to do as a Mother was to be able to breastfeed my babies. I managed easily with my firstborn and he fed from me for 9 months– until he developed far too many teeth and learnt to bite! This time around, it was a no-brainer, breastfeed again and hopefully for longer. There were for 2 reasons for this, 1 because I loved the connection that breastfeeding brought me and my baby and 2 it’s free and so convenient.

What I didn’t envisage happening was

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our NICU journey week three part two

Our NICU Journey- Week Three (part two)

Our NICU journey continues:

That night in NICU…

I was told about prem baby’s and their little noises but wow, I wasn’t prepared for quite so many groans, grunts, snuffles and squeaks! I wasn’t sure if I was going to get any sleep but you settle after a 2am feed and you go through until 4:30am then wake again at 6:30am. You show me that you can breastfeed on demand and wake for it ok. Your temperature seemed ok throughout the night– I checked the back of your neck, your chest and your back just to be on the safe side… I may have also checked your breathing a little too much!! I can see how I am going to be once you are home.

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Our NICU Journey- Week Three (part one)

Another week, more hospital NICU visits to come and I begin to notice the toll it’s having on all of us. The tiredness, the worry, the stress, the juggling of normal life with hospital life. You can only fully understand all of this if you have been in the same position, it’s a whole other world. Having Jake around is a lovely distraction from the seriousness of it all but trying to balance his needs with yours is a skill I am only just about managing.

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our nicu journey week two

Our NICU Journey- Week Two

One week has passed in NICU and so much happened that it was all a whirlwind. We had the elation of your arrival, the relief of you doing so well but also the sadness of leaving you behind as we went home each day without you. I’m not sure what to expect this week but I have a funny feeling it’s going to be even more emotional as time goes on.

Today (Tuesday) you would have been 33 weeks if you had still been inside me. You are still teeny but still doing so well. After one week you have come out of your incubator and today I can’t find you! I walk into intensive care and there is a space where your cot is. A nurse spots me looking a little bewildered and she tells me that you have been moved to your very own room! How have you come so far in such little time? You are now in one of the cubicles as the four cot room– which should be the next step– is completely full. You are still on monitors to check your heart rate, pulse, and respiration but you are proving to us that you are such a little fighter. You are also off the caffeine which was being used to regulate your breathing. You will have to be closely monitored to ensure this remains the same but I am so happy that it’s another step in the right direction.

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Our NICU Journey- Week One

So, you arrived early. I expected it, I just knew my body hadn’t felt right, I’d been saying this since week 24 and after my waters broke early I mentally prepared myself for your premature entrance into the world. We had the tour of Neonatal during my first hospital stay… it took me aback. We were shown the incubators and told that was where you would go straight after birth if you came early, it took all my strength not to cry. As a blogger, I have read many stories from others I follow of their premature babies being in NICU and I have been moved by what has been written but nothing can prepare you for for the reality of it all. To see tiny babies lying inside what is essentially a plastic box, being helped with their breathing via ventilators or under UV lights for jaundice is something that makes your heart sink. We were shown the two types of ventilators and the nurse explained why you may be on them and how they work… I couldn’t really take that information in because I didn’t want to picture you on one. We were told how the unit worked and how you would be under 24/7 care. I was shown the expressing room, where I would have to go and sit to pump breastmilk for you to be fed through a tube. Not the image I had for you to start your breastfeeding journey. I think I nodded along and tried to take the information in but it was a bit too much to process at once.

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