BABY (preemie) roll call

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
BABY (preemie) roll call
11
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 11:43am
I hope this isn't a problem me asking for a roll call, when I am really just a lurker. But because I am on bedrest at 33 weeks for PTL and it looks like my son Adam is coming REALLY soon (he certianly won't make full term) I would really like if everyone would respond to this message. I am curious how many weeks gestation you were when your children were born, if you had recieved the steriod shots for babys lungs, your childs birth weight, time in the NICU and any problems that they have had.

I am scared to death and need every bit of advice possible. I had PTL with my fist DS but it was later in pregnancy and I never actually dialted. (I am now 3 and 80% baby is at 0 station) My DS was born at 38 wks and was 7lbs so he wasn't even considered a preemie.

PLEASE HELP, any success storys are really encouraging to me. I don't know how I will handle a teeny tiny baby and since my local hospital doesn't have a NICU I hope I can get to atleast 34 pr 36 weeks.

thanks

alison

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 12:09pm
Hi Alison!

I know how scary it is to be facing an early delivery. My son was born Dec. 16, 2002 just over 31 weeks gestation. I developed severe pre-eclampsia and the doctors thought it best to induce me for both my and my baby's safety.

I did receive the 2 doses of steriods prior to delivery and was very concerned about lung development. The doctors said that at 32 weeks the baby's lungs are pretty comparable to a full term baby so that should set you at ease a little.

Graeme was born 3 lb. 2 oz. and has never had a moments problems with his lungs. He breathed room air from the moment he was born and never needed oxygen.

He stayed in the NICU for 6 weeks, mostly eating and growing and was 5 lb. 10 oz. when released from the hospital.

Having a preemie is very stressful. I think the hardest part for me was having to come to terms with not having a "normal" pregnancy. He is my first child and I feel like I lost all of the excitement of the last 2 months of my pregnancy. Seeing your child in the NICU is also hard and often it feels as though you have no role. But you do!! Be a part of what's going on. The nurses at the hospital were really good and trying to keep me informed, but sometimes it does feel as though you're an outsider.

The other difficult thing was breast feeding. Graeme took to it well and was eager but they had me start him at 34 weeks and, in my opinion, pushed it too fast. If I knew what I knew now, here's what I'd do differently. 1. Don't expect your baby to start taking any amount of breast milk before they would be considered full term. The feeding tube looks horrible in their little noses, but in the long run it's helpful not to rush the bfing. 2. Put your baby to breast any time they look interested, even if they are just sitting there they get to know that it is a nice place to be. 3. Kangaroo your baby whenever possible. This is skin-to-skin contact. It's just a nice thing to do, but it also helps to develop a bond, gets them use to skin-to-skin and the breast, and will help with your milk supply. 4. Do not let them talk you into using a nipple shield until your baby is full-term and you have exhausted all other means of getting your baby to breastfeed. I am really bitter about the advice I received to use it when he was only 34/35 weeks.

Once home, our bfing experience quickly deteriorated and now I am eping full-time. I did continue to put him to breast and he did learn to latch without the nipple shield, but he's never taken to it full-time. Eping is not what I'd recommend if you have the option. It's hard work, time consuming, and I question my decision to do it every day.

Now, 4 1/2 months later, Graeme is close to 13 lb. and doing fabulously well. You would never guess that he was born so tiny! It's amazing to watch his development and I continue to remember that I've been blessed with 2 months that most people never get to witness. It's a difficult road, but one that is more than worth it.

I hope all goes well for you and that you keep your little one real close to you a little while longer. Please don't hesitate to email me directly if you'd like to chat or if you have any questions. I know how difficult this is and I also know how isolating it can be. Take good care of yourself- people often ask about the baby but they forget about the mom!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

scasemore@sympatico.ca

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 12:16pm
Hi Alison!

I responded to your "update' post, but here is a quick version of my syory. My DS was born 7 weeks early due to pregnancy induced hypertension. He was small (4 lbs. 11 oz.) but healthy. He is now almost six mos. He was only in the NICU for one week. You acn email me directly for supporyt!

Melanie

mcoggins@snet.net

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 3:13pm
I'll also post here for everone's benefit... just the stats... My twins were born at 35 weeks due to pre-eclampsia after 10 weeks of bedrest. I didnt have steroid shots. They were 4 lbs 9 oz and 5 lbs 12 oz. Abigail roomed in with me (she was the smaller) for the first 4 days until she developed jaundice and then stayed under the lights in the newborn nursery and was released at 6 days. Aislinn was in distress at birth and spent 8 days in the NICU to rule out sepsis. They are both fine now, and weigh about 10 and 11 lbs. You can see some pictures of Aislinn in the NICU at http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/m/meresbabies in the gallery.

-Meredith, SAHM to Mikaela (5), Madeline (3), EPing for Aislinn & Abigail (15 weeks)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 4:54pm
It's good you're getting prepared! Check out the bedrest board for lots of support, too. Rayna was born at 33 1/2 weeks and 3 pounds 1 oz. She was intentionally delivered early because she basically stopped growing and then her heart rate looked bad. An average 33 week girl weighs closer to 5 pounds. She was in the NICU for two weeks, and had her own room in the hospital for one more week. I did receive one dose of steroids at 32 weeks, and then refused a second dose based on advice from an OB friend and my interpretation of the new (at the time) ACOG guidelines. Rayna's lungs were mature when she was born. She required some CPAP (positive pressure mask) to help her breathe for about 24 hours, but was not intubated and never needed extra oxygen. She had some difficulty with apnea of prematurity (where they basically forget to breathe and need a little stimulation) but it resolved. She gained weight very quickly.

I guess the biggest lasting effect of her prematurity was that she didn't learn to BF so I EP'd. And now even that issue is resolved (she's 20 months old) so I think she's pretty much doing great.

-Becca

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 5:03pm
My twins were born at 34 weeks 0 days after 4 1/2 weeks of bedrest. I started to efface and dilate at 29 1/2 weeks. I had 2 shots of betamethasone (steroid) at 32 weeks. My water broke at 34 weeks on the dot, and my OB went ahead and did a c/s because baby A (Madeline) was breech. Madeline weighed 4 lbs 7.4 oz and Glen weighed 5 lbs 6 oz. Glen had some mild tachypnea (fast breathing) after birth and required oxygen for about 2 hours; Madeline did not need oxygen at all. Glen spent 6 days in the NICU, and Maddy spent 7. Maddy did go home on a monitor because she had periods of bradycardia (slow heart rate) which was due to reflux.

They are now thriving - at their 4 month visit Glen weighed 13 1/2 pounds and Maddy weighed 11. Maddy is off her monitor (yeah). They both still have problems with reflux and are on meds for it, but they are otherwise healthy and are developmentally on track for their adjusted age. If you have any questions or just need to chat, feel free to email me jsheppa9@bellsouth.net.

HTH.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 10:29pm
Thank-you guys so much for all you help, advice and support. Please keep these posts comong. Lots of you have offered for me to email you directly, I can't even say how much O appreiciate that. Unfortunatly being on bedrest I can't really set at the computer long. (the DR said that if I am setting the baby is still putting pressure on my cervix) so I can only set for 15-20 minutes at a time and stand for no longer then 10-15 minutes at a time. I also can't run or jump (duh) or lift anything over 10 lbs (like my ds Rian)Anyway the point I am straying from so quickly is that when I get on the net I barely have time to read the new boards. I will keep posting when ever I can.

I can't tell you how much it helps to be able to look forward to get on here to see what you ladies have to say.

please keep all your stories coming it gets me through each day, and each day is one more day that my son is baking in the oven.

thanks again

alison

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 12:03am
Hi Alison! I know how scared you are. My son was born @ 30 weeks gestation and weighed 4 pounds, I was told that was big for his age!! I had a perfect pregnancy and all of a sudden just started contracting. They did say that my amniotic fluid around DS was on the higher side of normal and this may have caused PTL. Luke was born breathing & with eyes wide open, I looked down in time to see him cry!! What a beautiful sound!! He stayed in the NICU & Special Care nursery until 2 days before his due date. Despite A's & B's, feeding intolerance and a staph infection (caught due to cross contamination from another sick baby, darn nurse grr....) he had a fairly easy hospital stay. There are ups & downs but time is definately your best friend, take it day by day. He is now a perfectly healthy 5month (corrected) baby!! No vision or hearing problems, is hitting his milestones on time or early and is 50% in weight and 75% in height! Talk about catch up growth!!! You would never know he was born early!! The head neonatologist at the NICU said babies over 30 weeks do very good!! In the Special Care nursery, the mom beside me had her son @ 34 weeks (by chance I KNEW her, small world!) and she skipped the NICU altogether, just there for 2 weeks. I am thinking of you and your baby. Luke has made me appreciate so much more than before, he is my miracle and the love of my life (don't tell DH, LOL!!) Take care, Love Ariel & Luke
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 12:05am
p.s I did receive the steriod shots, 2 days before birth, Luke was on a ventilator for 2 days, CPAP for 1 week and came home after 64 days. HTH!! Ariel & Luke
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 3:18am
I was told by my consultant that past 33 weeks usually present no real problems.

My twins were born at 34.5 weeks, weighed 3, 13 and 5, 5 lbs.

Had the steroid injection for their lungs.

Smaller one had to be fed hourly for the first 2 days (low blood sugar levels), and they both had a touch of jaundice and spent a night under the lamps. Otherwise no problems at all.

They were tube fed because they were too small to get their mouths round my nipple, hence me ending up pumping.

Don't worry too much, your baby is past the most dangerous time, now he/she will just need food and warmth and time to grow.

Good luck,

Julie

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2003
Sat, 05-17-2003 - 6:06pm
Alison, I gave bith to a preterm baby 2 weeks ago by emergency c section for fetal distress (low heartrate). IT was a total shock, so I didn't have any time to prep or worry much. Bella was born at exactly 35 weeks. I didn't need any steroids or anything, and Bella didn't need oxygen but ws in NICU for a week for jaundice, apnea, and bradycardia. She came home a week after being born with a monitor (which we still ahve). She was born 5 pounds, 12 ounces so was very good sized. She isn't BF (which is why I'm here : ) ) but is eating a good two ounces every feeding now. AT her doc appt on Wed. she was 5 pounds 7 ounces, up from her low of 5 pounds at the hospital.

I, too, mostly have felt "cheated" out of the pregnancy I didn't get, the birth I didn't get, etc. Don't get me wrong--I know how incredibly lucky I am to have her at all!!! But these are things I've been dealing with emotionally since her birth. You're doing a great thing by researching, getting input from others, etc. All the best to you and your little one. I hope s/he can grow and grow and grow inside of you! LEt us know how things turn out!

Tamala & Bella

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