There’s a New York TImes article floating around preemie land. It discusses parent preparation for extreme prematurity and learning to make difficult medical decisions for your child.
I’m not going to link the article. The comments section is awful, and I wish I’d taken the advice of my sister and other preemie parents and avoided it.
My son was a 30 weeker. He was 2lbs, 14oz (1304g) at birth. He had trouble gaining and at his lowest was 2lbs, 9oz (1162g). He had a fairly easy NICU journey. We had a lot of trouble with A&B’s and jaundice at first. He’s considered very low birth weight.
Without medical intervention, my son would have died at birth. He was not breathing and was ventilated, moved to CPAP, and on nasal cannula during his NICU stay.
I loved Kangaroo care, but at first every time we’d try to settle in together he would have and “episode”. That respiratory rate and oxygen number ticks down and you try to stay relaxed. Breathe baby, breathe. Stay with me.
He has some muscle tone and other developmental delays that we are working through with the NICU follow-up clinic and Early Intervention. It is thrilling to watch him learn and progress.
I firmly believe there is no way to prepare parents for the NICU. Every stay is different, every child and their medical needs is different.
I’m glad we didn’t have to make the hard choices. We were never faced with a no hope or extremely dire situation. We would have done our best, and I think that’s what most parents do.
Never tell me that due to cost or developmental delays or medical issues that saving a life isn’t worth the trouble or expense. I just won’t agree with you. You’re not God, and you don’t know the outcome.
I do think my doctors during my rocky pregnancy could have prepared me better, and armed me with some knowledge. That’s the only thing I would change about D’s birth.
I will admit that the fear of another preterm birth experience and what it would mean for that child does make me shudder inside when people ask when he’s getting a sibling.