Last Updated on
I always wanted to be a mother but I never imagined that my journey into motherhood would have ended with having two micro preemies. I delivered my identical twins at 25 weeks 1 day. My daughters weighed 1 lb 9 oz and 1 lb 2 oz. To say they were tiny would be an understatement. Due to an intrauterine growth restriction, I had to deliver the girls premature in an attempt to save the larger twins life.
The doctors rushed me to the operating room to perform an emergency c-section. I prayed that my preemie girls would make it. There was no sound of a baby crying. I laid on the table squeezing my husband’s hand for comfort waiting for the doctors to come over with news if my babies were alive. As the doctor came over she pointed to my girls who were being wheeled away I was able to capture a few quick glances of them. The smaller twin passed away after the fourth day of fighting.
My daughters were rushed to the NICU where my preemie would spend the first several months of her life being attached to tubes and wires and being cared for by strangers. The first few weeks I didn’t know what to expect. I sat quietly next to my daughter’s bed every day silently observing the other babies and parents. The other parents and I would look at one another and politely smile. They had the same look of exhaustion on their face and you knew they understood what it felt like to sit in the uncomfortable chairs for hours.
New to the NICU
The nurses were all friendly and always included me in cares with my daughter. Walking through the NICU doors I would instantly get butterflies. Not knowing if that day was going to be a good day or bad. I was told that the NICU life was a roller coaster ride which is true but it never got easier to hear.
I had lots of time on my hands watching my daughter breath through a ventilator so I took the opportunity to read as much as possible about the NICU. The things I read terrified me. They also helped prepare me for the next several weeks/months ahead.
One of the things I did learn that I didn’t read about is that the outside world has no idea what you are going through with a preemie. Many of our friends, family and complete strangers were supportive and understanding. While a small few would say things that were hurtful that I took personal as a preemie mom.
1. Are you scared?
Yes, of course, I’m scared as I’m learning medical terminology that I never wanted to learn. I also already lost one daughter and my other daughter is fighting for her life. Regardless if my daughter wasn’t in the NICU being a new mom is scary as shit.
2. Will she have problems?
Yes, being born so premature puts your baby at a higher chance of having developmental delays. It also sets her back 4 months from a full term baby. The day before I delivered the girls the doctors spent hours with us going over all the possible scenarios and issues that could happen. So yes, there is a chance but will I love my child any less? Absolutely not.
3. How much does she have to weigh to come home?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Several milestones will need to be accomplished in order to go home, gain weight, eat from a bottle, and breath on her own plus several other tests that must be completed before she is released. It’s a long process and being asked this question can be frustrating as it’s not a simple answer and only reminds me how long my daughter will continue to be in the NICU away from me.
4. I could never do what you are doing.
Trust me I never wanted to have to do this but I didn’t have a choice. If you are put into a position such as the health and well-being of your baby you will be surprised at what you are able to do.This statement frustrates me the most as you don’t know what you would do until you are in the situation.
5. Success stories you read about.
Every situation is different so it didn’t always bring me comfort hearing other stories you had read about. If you want to relay a story to me to bring me comfort please don’t. I hate hearing well so and so’s baby went home at 2 months why hasn’t yours. Or so and so baby didn’t have that problem why does your baby. As a new mom, you are already vulnerable and it’s 100 times worst as a preemie mom as you blame yourself for your baby being in the hospital.
Having a preemie is not something everyone is familiar with. As a preemie mom, I find comfort in hearing “you are strong”, “you are a great mom”, “your baby is such a fighter”, and “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” If you have a loved one who is going through a similar situation think of what you would want to hear if you were in their shoes. Let them know you are there for them.