Erin’s story and some words of wisdom……….
Falling pregnant was a big surprise for me and my husband at my age of 48. The chance of a natural conception was like winning the lottery. Our beautiful Erin is worth more than winning the lottery.
We were just getting used to the idea of being parents for the first time after getting over hurdles of high chance of miscarriage and other complications and then at 21 weeks our world turned upside down. To cut a long story short I ruptured my membranes at 24 weeks after having a cervical stitch inserted at 21 weeks. The roller coaster ride began, the information you are given and then the decisions you have to make between 24 and 26 weeks whether you want to resuscitate your baby or not ie do you want to give your baby a chance to live or not are decisions no parent should ever have to make needless to say a very emotional time and lots of tears. Every night I would look at the clock striking past midnight and I would think yes one more day my baby is a little stronger and bigger. I had worked out from serial ultrasounds she would grow 13 grams a day which doesn’t seem a lot but for a baby at this gestation it means a lot.
After holding onto my precious bundle for another 4 weeks mostly as an inpatient on the antenatal ward I went into labour on the 25/11/2013 and Erin came into the world at 28weeks weighing 1031 grams. Because Erin had to be nursed in a humid environment I had to wait a whole week till I could hold Erin I felt so cheated, when I got to do kangaroo care for the first time I just cried and cried. Thankfully Erin had what you would describe an uneventful course through the Newborn Care with only a few minor setbacks and was discharged home 8 weeks later weighing 2350 grams. Our beautiful daughter is now 22 weeks old (or 10 weeks corrected) and weighs 5830 and is delighting us every day with something new.
Some words of wisdom from a mum with a baby born prematurely.
-You will know your baby better than anybody else so if you have concerns voice them ask the staff lots of questions particularly if you don’t understand what is going on. No question is ever silly. Try to make doctors rounds you get a lot of information from them and a chance to ask lots of questions.
-Make friends with other parents in the nursery I started a facebook group with mums that I was in with and they are an invaluable support, we now meet regularly together you give each other strength and support as you have been on journeys together.
-It is probably more economical to buy a breast pump instead of hiring.
-Don’t compare your baby to others they are all little individuals with their own little journey
-If you don’t have a good GP with paediatric interest find one before you need them (ask other mums, staff or your Early Childhood Nurse
-Keep communicating with your partner you both may be feeling different things an have different understanding of what is happening so clarify things with each other and make time for each other.
-I wish I had of known about the T-shirt sling it would have been perfect for months (Erin is too big for it now)
-Start a journal it helps track the progress of your little one and helps you remember things
– Drinks lots of water and take in health snacks to eat while you are at the hospital, it will also help your milk supply.