I have ‘blogged’ previously about my preemie babies, but incase you haven’t read them here’s a quick run through.
November 2013, Jack was born at 29+5 weeks and spent 6 weeks in NICU, Michael (Mikey) was born at 35 weeks in October 2014 and came home after 2 days. So this post specifically is about Jack.
The title may shock you, my story is unique as are all other preemie mum stories, here are some of the shocking phases (and explanations) I’ve heard as a preemie mum.
#1: “You need steroids!”
What? Steroids? Do I not look buff enough? Well it turned out I didn’t need to bulk up but as my waters went at 25+5 weeks, I’d need two rounds of steroid injections to strengthen Jack’s lungs! It worked, born 4 weeks later, he took his oxygen mask off himself after 2 days!
#2. “He is blocking the hole with his head”
No it’s not as gross as it sounds, when my waters broke at 25+5 weeks it was because of a hole being made in the sac, but Jack quickly turned and blocked it with his head, which meant he stayed cooking for an extra 4 weeks! Genius baby!
#3 “Your hospital tour is today and your baby is coming!”
I’ve condensed this sentence, I told the midwife I was due on a hospital tour that day, I’d come in after leaking more amniotic fluid, she told me “Yes they are touring now, you won’t be on it though, your 2cm dilated…the baby is coming” Ooops!
#4 “He’s breathing!”
You’d think every mother would be dying to hear this and as I knew I was going to be a preemie mum I was over the moon! But them actually having to consider him being alive or not was horrible, the fact they were expecting him to come out unresponsive and had a cardiac arrest table beside me was terrifying.
#5 “We’ll put him in a bag, sort of like a freezer bag”
No I’m not talking about child cruelty, it turned out that being so premature my son was small enough to fit in a freezer bag, being tried and tested it had proved a medical miracle for helping preemie’s stay warm! My response (high on gas & air at the time) was hilarious to those around me “A bag!? Don’t put it over his head! He’ll suffocate”…yep that’s the information I added to the knowledge of the 15 medical staff in the room!
#6 “He’s doing amazingly! He can now tolerate half an ounce of milk every 6 hours!”
Yep…half an ounce, not enough to dab a dry pallet, but for a 3lb & half oz baby, his body being able to tolerate that much was astounding. Plus he’s over 2 stone now at 15 months old, so it hasn’t done any harm!
#7 “Your baby needs Ibuprofen to heal his heart or he’ll need open heart surgery”
The scariest moment by far, we learned Jack had Patent Ductus Arteriosus, a Congenital Heart Condition!.They informed us he’d need Ibuprofen for 3 days and if that didn’t work he’d need open heart surgery! It worked, something available over the counter at your local newsagents saved my baby’s life.
#8 “Your baby can go home”
I’ve heard of people being discharged 6 hours after giving birth, but for us it was 6 weeks. NICU feels like a never ending corridor of doom, working your way from high dependency down to your baby being in a cot with not one tube or wire attached! The moment you step outside those doors into the light, feel the sun on your face and introduce you baby to the outside world is scary but beautiful!