New Preemie Mom, Very Confused....UPDATE!!!!!

For new mommies with preemie babies

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New Preemie Mom, Very Confused....UPDATE!!!!!

Postby MattandMel » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:14 pm

I just gave birth to my preemie on Saturday February 12, 2011. She was born at 33wks and 6days. She weighed 4lbs 8oz and 17 3/4 inches long. She seems to be doing well. She had a cannula the first night and they took it out. She's now maintaining between 98-100 on her oxygen level. She had a feeding tube in, but she ripped it out today and since she's been bottle feeding really well so far they haven't put it back in. She was moved from the isolette and off the warmer into an open crib today, and she's maintaining her body temperature. So these are all good signs, right? To me, I feel like that's alot of progress in 2 days, and I wasn't preparing myself for any setbacks, until the nurse told me today that I should expect setbacks because they will most likely happen. She said that setbacks are common and pretty much expected with preemies. That's not what I wanted to hear. I've been so excited by her progress and I was starting to feel a little better and now Im back to constant worrying again.
I want to be there by her side every minute of everyday but I also have a 13 yr old at home that needs me too. Every time I leave her to come home I feel guilty, and I feel guilty when I'm away from DS. I'm physcially doing well, but mentally and emotionally I'm drained and exhausted. I feel like nobody around me understands.
The monitors and alarms freak me out, and I can't tell if they're going off for a reason or if it's nothing. For example, my daughter's alarm went off today because the monitor said her HR dropped into the 80's. When I questioned the nurse, she brushed it off and said there's nothing wrong with her HR and hasn't been since she's been there and told me to let her worry about the monitors, and that I should just focus on the baby. They never really explained much to me, and I can't help worry when her alarm goes off and the monitor shows her HR is low. I guess I'm confused on how to tell if it's something to worry about or not, and why it wouldn't be something to worry about. They won't even give me an estimate on how long they expect her to be there. That's frustrating too. I know she's in the best place she could be right now, and I certainly don't want to rush it, but it would be nice to have an idea. Sorry to unload all of this but I have nowhere else to vent right now. Any advice or feedback would be appreciated.

UPDATE!!!!! Emma's now eating 35ML's every 3 hrs from a bottle, and doing GREAT! She's had no serious problems. She's in an open crib, off oxygen, no more feeding tube, and they took her IV out today. She's on a bili blanket, but her jaundice is very mild. Her level was at 10 they said that's actually borderline for her age and size but he wanted to treat her anyways to catch it before it got any worse. I got to talk to her neonatologist today and he said she's doing fantastic, and as long as nothing changes, she'll be coming on Sunday! She's mostly staying to be on the bili blanket and finish her antibiotics, other than that he said everything she needs to do in order to go home, she's already doing. We're supossed to take her car seat in tomorrow so that she can do the car seat test. If she passes that tomorrow then we got it out of the way, if not her nurse said we can try again Friday or Saturday that way we have more opportunity to see if she passes so she can still come home as scheduled. We're excited, and relieved, but still a little nervous and trying not to get our hopes up, just in case.
Last edited by MattandMel on Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Emma Kimberly born February 12, 2011 at 5:24pm, 33wks and 6days, 4lbs 8oz, 17 3/4 inches long, All Natural- med free vaginal delivery!!
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Postby Jamm » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:25 am

Wow she is doing amazingly well! Congrats on your new baby! It is a roller coaster ride and the nurse I think is just wanting to prepare you for any set backs. Almost all preemies have them. Everything they do takes energy. Eating, keeping themselves warm, heck at this age breathing! She is doing wonderful and I am sure your DS completely understands why you are at the hospital. The alarms can go off for a number of reasons. A lose lead, a lead not placed properly, the cords getting tangled and tight to wear the plugs get lose. The doctors and nurses are probably looking for a mix of symptoms kinda of like ok her heart rate is registering at 80 but her pulse ox and respiration is completely fine. Probably a false alarm. Don't be afraid to question everything they do or every time her alarm beeps. Ask why its not a big deal. Ask them what the normal rates are and sign that its not a false alarm. You are the babys MOM and her advocate you have every right to know about everything she is doing and every alarm and sound and decision they are trying to make with her. Being a preemie mommy can mean 2 steps forward and 1 step back with progress it is very true. Preemies are funny little buggers who like to keep everyone on their toes. Ask what setbacks they think she may encounter. It is your right to know everything and once you know in black and white everything you need to it makes you feel more comfortable and confident in decisions and care. I hope I didn't miss anything and my post makes sense. Congrats again on your beautiful little girl! Remember question question question and question again everything!
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Postby PixieB » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:55 am

At 33-34 weeks she's starting out at a great strong gestation. She's getting her breathing and sucking worked out (push for breastfeeds rather than bottle though, saves nipple confusion, is better for your supply and is brilliant for avoiding many prem health problems).

Whilst she may have some hiccups along the way, it's not unreasonable to expect her to cruise through it all too.
My Talia cruised through most of her NICU time. She did take longer than normal to come of CPAP, but never really crashed. She did need two blood transfusions, but neither were drastic fear-for-life threats (one was low blood due to so much blood testing, the other was to give her a boost to kick the CPAP).

Take joy in all the things you -can- cross off her risk list. Cerebral Palsy is really unlikely because she hasn't had brain bleeds or lost air for extended periods. NEC (necrotised gut) is unlikely because she's an older prem so her gut is better developed and more 'closed'. ROP (retinopathy of prematurity; vision damage) isn't even on your radar because she wasn't ventilated. PDA; has the duct in her heart closed itself or in the process of closing with meds?

The alarms are scary at first, but it gets easier to measure what's wrong as you get familiar with the place. Sats monitors going off is fine unless it's dropping badly below say 75. Check her charts, if she's had a serious desat they'll write down how low it got and whether her colour changed (dusky, blue etc). When the baby desats they look to see whether their skin tone changed, whether they were mid-cry and just holding their breath, or whether they've gone limp. They read a lot of different cues, and definitely will act if it gets serious.

You're doing great, and so is she. Keep positive. And try to let go of the guilt. If you really must choose, your 13 your old will be more aware of your absence, but they're also old enough that they can cope without you for an hour or 3 whilst you're in the hospital. Your baby won't remember this time, or your absence if you must go. It hurts in your heart because you're torn between two places, but you will get through this, and your children will both know that they are loved.
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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. ... y/0000scpq
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Postby shrimpsey » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:15 am

Congradulations on your new little princess. I totally understand how you feel with being torn about where to be. When I was at the hospital, I felt bad about not spending enough time with my other kids, and when I was at home with them, I felt bad for not being with my babies. My favorite time to go up to the hospital was late at night after my kids were in bed sleeping, it was my only guilt free time when I didn't feel torn. It is a whole differant experience leaving your baby in the hospital for others to care for, and it is hard. (((HUGS))) to you. The nurses while they do their best, and do a great job sometimes don't anwers the questions we ask, or don't realise they seem aprupt or quick with their answers, not leaving us as parents satisfied with the response. "Don't worry about the moniters and just watch the baby" is pretty much easier said then done for a new preemie momma, but the nurses are around this everyday, so they don't realise or understand what it is like being a first time preemie mom. I hated the alarms going off at first, and got scared thinking what if something is wrong, but when they say watch the baby, that is really what you need to do. Look for things like her color, is her color still ok, are her breathing movements ok, if she is squirming around, it can/will set off alarms because the leads are not getting a strong signal at that time. Also, the alarms have a double tone to it, one for regular desats, hr drops ect, but if it drops even lower, they will rapidly ring and those nurses are there STAT. I remember feeling surprised when alarms were going off and the nurses were so non chalant about it. But after a while, you get to know your baby, and what to look for. Ask the nurses for books you could look at that will help you to knowwhat to look for. They should have some there.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about the set backs until they happen IF they even happen. My girls were 31 weekers and they sailed throiugh the NICU, with minimal little bumps. My advice would be don't get caught up in the what ifs, just stay very in the moment, worry about today only, and one day at a time. I didn't ever ask the question "when do you thnk they will be home by" or anything like that, just one day at a time. And soon, you will go in and they will say, she can be discharged probably 2 days time. What a great feeling that will be. She is where she needs to be right now, and you are doing a great job. What you are feeling is normal. You will get through this, and soon you will have her home with you.

As for feeding, if you are breastfeeding, we used a nipple sheild at first which really helped with latch, and teh girls were off the sheild by 1 week of being home.

Good Luck momma, keep us posted on how you are doing!
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Postby mom2abandkb » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:29 pm

Melinda congrats on your preemie!

I'm so happy that she is going home soon and has done so well in the NICU. I think my baby liked it too much in there and liked the heater lol. She didn't know she lived in Florida at the time.

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Postby toby1119 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:24 pm

congrats on your beautiful baby,. sounds like she is doing amazingly well. my dd was born 10 weeks early and spent 6 weeks in the nicu. i can totaly understand how drainging the experience is.
she seems to be doing fantastic. 35 mls!!! woohoo!go baby emma. my daughter passed the carseat test at 4.5 lbs so im sure she will do just fine. KUP! hope you get to go home sunday. beign home with her will be the best feeling in the world.
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