Advice for premie/NICU Moms!

For new mommies with preemie babies

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Advice for premie/NICU Moms!

Postby nauticaboo » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:22 am

Here are some things that I did, or wish I would've done while Desi was in the NICU that I thought might help other Moms who are going through this. Feel free to add!

-Record "milestones", like weights, when they got off vent, CPAP, incubator, first feed, etc. I didn't write down a lot things about Desi, thinking that I'd remember them, and now I don't. One thing good that I did do though, is to take pictures almost every day, so I can kind of guess around what time certain milestones occured.

-CARES. Do as much of your child's daily care as possible. While Desi was still in the incubator, I was really only allowed to do her cord care, swab her mouth, wipe her down, take her temp, and lift her up to do her daily weights. Towards the end of her stay, I would come in and do everything during my time there - the nurses would just let me have at it, and they'd just check in every once in a while. This included feeding her, getting her dressed, taking her in and out of the incubator and crib for tummy time, baths on bath night - everything. The nurses love seeing you be so involved, and it frees them up to spend time with needier LOs.

-You can never be there (or call) too much. If it's 1, 2, 3 AM and you're worried about your LO(s), then call. At our NICU, we had 24 hour call and visit access. I never needed to call, because I was there at least 8 hours of every day (even after I went back to work), LOL. But they never got tired of me being around. Even the nurses that didn't work with Desi knew who I was, LOL.

-To me, the most important thing that I did in all of my time there was KANGAROO CARE (tummy to tummy). I had to wait a few days before she was stable, but after that I did it every single day that Desi was in the NICU. I could tell how relaxed, safe, and secure it made her, and I really think it's why she did so well in the NICU.
Andrea & Kale - 28
DSS (7) and his half brother (4)

BFP after 32 cycles on 1st IUI with only 4 million post wash sperm count!

pPROM @ 25 weeks
Born on 4/3/09 @ 27 weeks (placental abruption) 2 lbs 5 oz, 14 in

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Postby irishsweetie2003 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:43 pm

Breastmilk q-tips during gavage feedings and definately Kangroo Care....
These two simple routines made bonding so much better, and helped with breastfeeding.
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Postby mom2abandkb » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:04 pm

Gosh I have tons to add, but I'll start with a few for now:

I second the writing, or journal, or go all the way and start a website like I did and caringbridge is wonderful because it automatically sends everyone who has visited the site an email when you update it so you don't have the constant how is he/she doing every time you open your email or even get a phone call. It's all too much. You just want to concentrate on keeping yourself together and getting to see that little human being you created.

It's going to be a bumpy roller coaster. There will be up days, and there will be down days, and there could be nightmare days. Just try to go with the flow and never give up, always pray if you pray and stay hopeful even though it was the darkest day you ever saw.

Ask lots of questions! Ask them again if you forgot the answer. Ask to speak to the doctor, the specialist, etc. You are your child's only advocate. Stand up and do your own research and don't be afraid to talk to the nurses or the doctors and ask them anything. I one time set up a meeting with the NICU doctors, and the GI specialist and a surgeon and I told them what I thought, and I think they were shocked at how much I knew and then I made suggestions to them.

Take lots of pictures. Send them to everyone you know and say look at this miracle!

If you don't want to talk on the phone, then don't. Let the phone ring and let the voicemail pick up. You need to keep your sanity and you need your quiet, me time too. You need some time to get away from it all, all the beeping and buzzing and hospital gowns and IV's, and needles, and that smell you will never forget.

Touch your child, talk to him/her, let the baby know you're there even if their eyes aren't open yet. It was tough for my dh to talk to her, and I had to push him to do it a little.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. That was my biggest issue. For some time right after Kiran was born, I felt like I was slowly slipping away from reality. It was all too much too soon. I was cleaning the house, taking care of my older daughter, and visiting my preemie as much as I could. You need to let the house go if you have to, or ask a friend/neighbor if they can watch your other child if you have another. Ask a friend if you could stop by for coffee and just talk. Chances are, you'll be invited back for dinner or lunch. My sister made so many meals for us. We would go visit Kiran in the hospital, and then my sis would call and just say come over for dinner. It was such a relief not to have to think of dinner at 7, 8PM at night after visiting your preemie.

Check with your church if they have a Stephen Ministry, help for people who need it. I just found a wonderful church and I have a lady who comes 1 to 3 times a week for a couple hours and it takes a load off, it really does. They can deliver meals, drive you to the hospital, hold your hand, etc.

That's mine for now. I'm sure I'll think of more!
Lisa-37 dh-33 dd-6
Kiran 8/17/09 2lb 7oz, 14.5 (pre e,HELLP, vp)
Hernia surgery 11/5/09,G tube 7/24/10
130 days NICU- reflux,hypotonia,ptosis,2 meds 2x/day
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Postby Cindy » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:02 am

Call the nicu often.
Demand to hold your child
Ask ahead when they will be doing the feed, baths, everything. Do these things even if they seems scary. It`s hard to bond with a baby you can`t touch or doesn`t feel like he/she is yours. Always having to ask if you can touch your baby, or cuddle with her/him.

Ask the proper ways to touch them. Earn the nicus trust

ask for a primary nurse who will see your child whenever she is working. It helps with the baby to have someone familiar there all the time. They will feel less alone. Also, a primary would pick up things more because she/he knows your child.

Research and know about kangaroo care. Be prepared to fight for it.

A journal of everything is right. Even leaving a camera there for the nurses to take pics too because they will. especially your primary nurses.

Read a nicu glossary

be there for rounds so you can ask questions..if you miss rounds, call in and see what was said

Also their charts are usually kept bedside and in the computer, but for on hand really fast. Ask if you are allowed to read it. I was.

Research black and white and how good they are for a preemie to look at. I suggest get black and white faceshots of your family and tape them to the incubator.


Also,. ask for a diaper, leads and anything that you can. hair. soother.sunglasses from under the bili lights.

And my journal..I would have gone crazy without.
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Postby GreekMythFreak » Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:53 pm

These are all wonderful tips!
Robin (31)
DH - P (32)
DS - D (4.5)
DD - W (3)
DS - W (3)

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Postby PixieB » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:36 pm

* You can never take too many photos, videos are awesome too (if you're allowed).
* Keep a journal, you will forget the details in time. Have your child's nurses write in it too.
* Don't be afraid to ask for help.
* You are your child's greatest advocate, be as involved in their care are you can, ask questions until you're sure you understand, find out all you can about their relevent conditions, and if something doesn't sound right -ask-.
* Treasure every milestone, it'll help you through the hiccups and trials.
* Give yourself permission to grieve.
* Your baby will forget their NICU time, their older siblings may not. It's a hard choice, don't make it alone.
* Talk to other parents in the NICU, they may become a life-long friend, in the least their path to parenting has been similar to your own, they'll likely understand where others have no experience to really 'get it'.
* Take time to be with your partner, you don't want to burn out. Keep in touch with life outside the NICU, to keep yourself sane.
* Collect momentos; get the nurses to do their footprints, keep their name card, nasal prongs, sats monitor leads etc. I've put mine on a prem doll I had made to Tali's birth specs that lives in a beautiful little isolette that DH made as a birthday present for me.
Talia Grace: born Friday 13th of July, 2007, at 27w4d gestation, 700g/1.5lbs. Nursed for 4 years
and Violet Joy: born Thursday 19th, VBAC waterbirth, 39w2d, 3.35kg/7lbs 6oz, still a booby monster, just shared it with her big sister for 18 months.
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