Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Prematurity

* This is a little rant-ish, but I wanted to get it out of my system*
So, Mustang Boy is still good. We are coming along...
But I am here to tell you, having him be five weeks early? Is a challenge in itself.
One thing I am already tired of is people telling me how "lucky" I am to have given birth to a small baby. Lucky, really? Because I felt contractions just like everyone else did. He came out, just like most other babies. And while they might think it was easier on me because he was only 4 lbs 9 oz, I can say I don't think its that much easier.
People don't stop and think about the fact that he is PREMATURE.
That means he was supposed to be still enjoying life on the inside! He wasn't quite ready for his entrance, and frankly? Neither were we! MM had to put together his furniture post haste, and his little clothes weren't even washed!
And, how about the fears that go with having a baby, early? I had a shot of surfactant, to help with his lung maturity, but I needed 2 of those shots, one 24 hours after the first one. I never got that second shot, so, there was a possibility he would need respiratory support. Being the star he is, Mustang Boy had a lusty cry right out of the uterus, and I have never been so glad to hear anything.
Then, there is the whole regulate the body temperature issues, because small babies don't have a lot of fat to keep them warm. Thankfully we had the boy during warm weather! Still, there were nights in the cold hospital where I had to beg the nurse to give us a little less air conditioning, but everyone else and their babies were warm. So we bundled up, and MB slept with me, in a hat, clothes, and at times, in 2 blankets....swaddled within an inch of his life...
And then, all the heel sticks for monitoring his glucose levels, and checking his bilirubin levels. MB still has holes in his heels, and he is 2 weeks old, already!
And the eating! Trying to get a preemie newborn to co-ordinate his suck, swallow breathe mechanism is hard work. And God Forbid the baby lose weight, or isn't getting enough breast milk or not pooping enough. We are still finger feeding him extra formula with a syringe and feeding tube to ensure that he gains weight, because I really don't want to have to go back into the hospital with him. Never have I worked so hard, and been so thrilled with a whopping 3 oz. weight gain! "Term" babies will lose a little weight, and it's okay, because they were bigger to begin with....
Why aren't we just using a bottle for that extra formula? Because.. right now he can learn one thing and be comfortable with it. Either breast. Or bottle. Not both. It would confuse him if we tried to go back and forth, until he is closer to his due date. I chose to breast feed. I'm not sorry. He will be able to go back and forth eventually, but not right now.
And his clothes that we picked out so carefully?
Don't fit him. Big time.
But we did get some cute preemie outfits, and he looks adorable no matter what he is wearing.
So do me a favor, if you meet a woman who had her baby early, don't try and tell her she is lucky. She knows she is lucky in a lot of ways, but, truthfully? Thats not one of them...
despite the challenge created by his prematurity, we are still really loving and enjoying our son, and as each day goes by he gets bigger, and stronger. We ARE lucky in that. Even when I went into labor, I just somehow KNEW he'd be okay. And he is, and he will be...


Finding Pam said...

I can't believe the rudeness of some people. I am sorry that you are getting comments like that.

Don't listen to people like that or have a really blunt answer for them.

Take care.

sybil law said...

People are such douchebags.
Ya hear me, lucky lady?

Daryl said...

This reminds me of the people who think its okay to touch a pregnant woman's belly without asking .. even asking is IMO tacky .. No you cannot touch ... GAH...