When I started giving birth 31 weeks later, I mourned the midwife. “But I’m only up to the sixth chapter: ‘What to expect when you expect?’
I did not know anything about premature babies, I did not even think that my baby would come soon. But he did. He was supposed to be in the state’s largest public children’s hospital so soon, because the hospital where I was supposed to be did not have facilities for kindergarten so soon.
It was an emotional, physical vortex that left me feeling hurt for many years. But it is a reassuring story with a happy ending. My son was fine, yes.
These days, we talk more openly about birth stories, so we can learn from each other and unite in a common experience. But we do not seem to talk much about trying to bring home a premature baby.
And we have to be, because in Australia, about 8% of babies are born prematurely (up to 37 weeks pregnant). Most of them are in 32 to 36 weeks. This means that tens of thousands of families bring premature babies home, overcoming the unique physical, mental, and emotional burden that comes with them.
These are the stories of three women և their advice to other parents who bring their precedent home.
Twins born at 32 weeks
Nirelle, the 13-year-old mother of IVF Miracle Hugo Alex, now developed preeclampsia and gave birth to her twins at Adelaide Hospital in 32 weeks.
«[When they were born] they were breathing independently. One of the boys could feed a little, the other could not.
“So I became a Daisy cow expressing one liter of milk a day. For the first few weeks, we fed them in a bottle, using a nasogastric tube (liquid food through the nose).”
Nirelle says working in the pharmaceutical industry was rewarding because he believed in hospital and medicine.
“It must have been stressful, it probably was, but my husband Ben and I chose to be afraid of our boys’ existence, directing as much energy as possible,” she says.
“We went to the hospital three or four times a day for a few weeks for Christmas [there]և brought the boys home before the new year, when they were equivalent to 36 weeks old.
“Ben was driving at a speed of 40 km per hour with emergency lights on the house. That was a big deal. “
Although Nirel is mostly pragmatic about her birth story, she admits that the elements of the experience were very unexpected for her husband.
- “Trust the hospital staff, especially the midwives. They may seem intrusive, [but] They will sort things out for you, such as breastfeeding (if you choose), routine activities, hospital visits, and more. They can make things a lot easier, even after the baby is home. ”
- Share your birth story with people who have had such an experience. Nirelle says it’s very important to her mental health. “It’s good to be a member of a group of mothers. I went once, I was afraid that no one understood the twins (I found a group of twins when they were little), I am sorry for that. It would really help me. ”
The third son at 36 weeks
Hamilton, who lives in Dubai, worked as an artificial maternity nurse around the world for 30 years before settling in Sydney and having three children.
Her third was premature, born at 36 weeks, when she first gave birth at 31 weeks.
He says that “premature babies usually spend time in special kindergartens, where there are many instructions for parents.”
“Then, when the child is at home, there is no same support.
“There is a lot to think about with a premature baby at home. Baby’s health, ongoing health problems, maybe they are still on the feeding equipment. “
They say that when so much is uncertain, it is natural to feel out of control.
“My preterm baby was so small, it was hard to find the right clothes. This made me feel stressed when I thought I was better prepared.
“Fortunately, there are more options these days than 0000.”
En are my advice.
- “I found that men are worried about their mother, so communication between parents is the biggest thing. Keep talking. ”
- “Because many premature babies arrive unexpectedly, parents may feel that the home is not as organized as they would like. So get organized and ask for as much help as you can. For example, despite my professional experience, I still consulted a lactation specialist when we had problems with latches. Get support so you can focus on your child’s obesity to get rid of external pressures. ”
- “Give hope by celebrating small victories, it is easy to focus on problems, to feel overwhelmed.”
- “Remember that every case is different, so do not compare. This is your journey. Your baby is unique. ”
Three surviving miracles
Kylie is the mother of Sydney, whose difficult-traumatic multiple birth experience led her to establish the Miracle Children Foundation in 2005 to support parents of prematurely ill infants.
Kylie is the mother of 19-year-old Medellin, who was born at 30 weeks; Scarlett, 17, born 25 weeks (her twin brother, Marcus, died within two days); և Liam, 13 years old, born at 38 weeks (full term).
Kylie also had miscarriages on the way to motherhood.
Many of Kylie do not realize how horrible it is to finally bring home a premature baby.
“It was very difficult to get home without Marcus,” says Kylie about bringing Scarlett home after Marcus’s death.
“Scarlett came home when she was four months old, but she struggled a lot.”
At one point he needed surgery, for which he had to stay in the hospital again.
“There were constant appointments in the hospital, which was stressful, but he returned to the only place where Marcus was. [the hospital] It was very difficult.
“I was a sad mother with a premature, vulnerable child, a baby. I also suffered from sleep deprivation. ”
Kylie says that she managed to get up every day for a reason.
“I knew I had to wake up for two girls.
“Of course, Marcus was always on my mind. But I worked so hard to become a mother, I wanted to be a good mom. Yes, I was sad for years. But I was working on myself, developing my own coping strategy.
“I knew I had to find a way to recognize my newborns who did not survive.” Scarlett was one of the creators of Miracle Babies. It was a safe environment to share my role. ”
- Be open with your partner about your thoughts and concerns so that your partner, family, friends can support you the way you want to.
- Find a way to honor your motherhood experience, as it is likely to be a lot to work on. This can be done by sharing your story with others in the online mom group և providing support and advice where needed.
Nama Winston is a solo mother և an incredible young teenager և Churchill the dog BFF. Former lawyer, now opinion writer և parent. Proud WOC, և single parent lawyer. Find her @namawinston
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