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    New to being a Preemie Mama
    skerina posted:
    Baby girl (Josephine Holly) made her appearance on 1-19-2010. She is 32 weeks, 5 days. Weight just a hair under 4 lbs, length just a touch over 16 inches. She's in the NICU, but doing as well as can be hoped for at the early age. I'm trying to heal up from a 2nd c-section and wrap my brain around having a preemie. I was woken up around 3:30 am by DD#1, as she wanted a drink. I noticed I felt a little wet, stuck a handy burp cloth/cloth diaper under myself and checked it a few minutes later...I was bleeding. So, I called my mom to come get me, as DH was out of town on a business trip. Stuck a new cloth diaper in my undies and pulled on sweats, etc. Arrived at L&D around 5:30 am. They took me back to triage (mom and DD had to stay in the lobby, due to no under 18 allowed back), got me gowned and stuck monitors on me....I wasn't too worried yet, as baby was moving around, although I was feeling some light contractions. Ultra-sound didn't show anything out of the ordinary, so they took me to a room and had the on call doc (happened to be my OB) come check...I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced, big shock to me! They put me on magnesium to try to stop the labor and gave me a steroid shot to help baby's lungs speed up. Mom and DD came back to see me, and DH had made arrangements to fly back early. The magnesium seemed to be working, for a while, then the contractions picked back up and the bleeding started again. A second internal revealed I was to 4 cm and 100%, so obviously baby was not going to stay put. Due to the breech position, we started getting me prepped for c-section. Before long, all we were waiting for was DH to get here from the airport, which he did in very nice time. Got him gowned up and we went back for surgery. I highly recommend spinal over general anesthesia, having tried both now. I feel better about this birth, having been able to be awake for it, although the sensation of lacking sensation (does that make sense?) is very strange. Turned out that my placenta had started to separate, and there was a fairly sizeable blood clot, so she definitely needed to come out! Once I was able to move my legs a bit (enough to shift from the OR bed to the room bed), I got to go see my baby girl briefly before getting settled for the night. I had some difficulty over the first night with throwing up anything solid or stronger to eat than ice chips, so I still have the IV start in, just in case. Hopefully that'll come out later today, as I haven't even felt nausea for about 24 hours now. Probably just a side effect of the anesthesia, although it might be stress combined with no food for a bit over 24 hours. Hard to say for sure. I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that she's really here, not in my belly anymore. I think it will take weeks, if not months, to make the adjustment. My milk has started to come in, so there is enough to cover Josephine's feedings, assuming it matches her needs and can get enough calories, vitamins, minerals, etc. into her. If anyone has thoughts/advice on the ways to get through these first days at home w/out my little girl, I'm open to learning from those who have been there before me! I know I need to go home, for my DH and DD#1, but it's hard to even think of leaving without Josephine. -Amber
    simerlm responded:
    Amber, Congratulations on your baby girl! I'm glad your DH was able to make it back in time. The only advice I have on surviving going home without your baby is to visit often and be as involved in her care as they will let you. They would assess my DD at regular intervals and they would let me change her diaper and take her temperature and things like that so that I felt like I was involved in her care. It is a very hard experience. You CAN do it though. If you are feeling anxious about her when you are not at the hospital, don't be shy about calling her nurse to see how she is doing. That always reassured me. Hopefully your NICU stay will be a short one. Good Luck to you!
    RJS2008 responded:
    Hi Amber, Congratulations on your little girl! I am currently in the NICU boat and have been for 83 days and counting. (My little girl was 12 weeks early.) I agree with pp, call often and stay involved. It really helps pass the time. As far as coming home without her, I won't lie, it is difficult. Just remember she is in good hands and you will have time to recover and finish getting things ready before she comes home. Another thing that has helped me pass the time is set a goal for yourself each day/week. I had boxes and boxes of things for her room such as swing, bouncer, stroller, etc.. and I made a goal to put something together or arrange something in her room each week. Especially those first few weeks when you are moving a little slower from the c-section, a little task will take a lot longer. Hopefully your nicu stay won't be long but remember it is not permanent. Take it day by day, and it might be a bumpy road but for every 'down' there will be an 'up'. Stay involved and take lots of pictures!
    ambern99 responded:
    I'm lurking here but just wanted to say congratulations! I'm glad that everything went well given the circumstances. I hope you'll get take your little girl home soon.
    newmommy1209 responded:
    When I left the hossy without DS it was the hardest thing I had ever done. For me it was so hard to see other new mommies with their babies I almost felt resentful. Your breastmilk is the best thing for her, it actually knows that she was early and will provide exactly what she needs right now. I would go to see my baby several times a day and when I would pump in the middle of the night I would give his nurse a call just to see how he was doing. Let your family be there for you if they want to help let them. For the first week I had people drive me to the hossy. I also found these boards very helpful. I really hope she comes home ASAP.
    EvettsMommy responded:
    Congratulations!!!! It's the hardest thing in the world to leave the hospital without a baby and see other's leaving with their's. :sad: My son was in the NICU for 11 days. I spent EVERY waking moment at the hospital. I went to the hospital at 7am and left at 1am. I tried to be there for every feeding and I called as much as possible. My parents went to the hospital at 5am every morning he was there and stayed until I got there. So it was helpful knowing that someone was with him almost 24 hours a day. There were plenty of nights I woke up crying and my DH jumped up and grabbed the car keys and we flew to the hospital! He's amazing! :smile: I suggest you just do what you can to make yourself feel comfortable. Find a babysitter for your DD #1 so you can visit your DD #2 as much as possible. Don't be afraid to call the NICU anytime you have a question or concern if you can't be there. That's what they are there for.
    ReptileGirl responded:
    The only advice I can give is don't feel guilty if you can't visit every waking moment!!! I went through horrible guilt that I could only visit once per day. (I had some issues with pain due to episiotomy and forceps to get him out quickly). I also felt like not much of a mother watching the docs and nurses taking care of my baby. A lady there really put things into perspective for me. She told me I AM his mother and that even if I don't feel the bond right away due to the circumstances, I WILL. She also said that I am doing the best thing for him...pumping my breastmilk which is helping him to gain weight and strength more than anything else.

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