This Irish mums writes drawing from her own personal experience
Having a premature baby is something you probably never imagined having to deal with but yet here you are trying your best to cope with an incredibly tough situation. There will be ups and there will be downs on your journey and so I have listed some things to expect just in case and hopefully they will help you, your partner and your baby have the best start possible.
- Your baby will be whisked away- In most cases depending on the age of your premature baby, your tiny one will be whisked away to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This will possibly be one of the most difficult things as you have being looking forward to holding your baby.
- You may only get to hold your baby’s hand- After your baby has being looked over by the doctors and is placed in her incubator you may be able to hold her hand and this will be a joyous experience though it will be heart-breaking as you understandably want to reach in and cuddle your little one.
- You may or may not need to feed your baby- In some cases depending on your premature babies’ age she will need to be fed through a drip via a vein. In other cases it may be decided it is best to feed your baby through a tube with your own breast milk, and it could be some time before you can feed your baby yourself from your breast or a bottle.
- It is incredibly scary- The neonatal unit is full of tiny babies in incubators and machines all around making funny noises, and some beep erratically which can be terrifying for parents. In time you will become accustomed to the goings on and it will be less scary as the days go by.
- You may be jealous that other women have their babies beside them- Being in the hospital surrounded by women who have their babies beside them is ridiculously hard and you may feel jealous. We all take for granted that once our baby is born we can hold them, feed them and cuddle them though this isn’t always the case, give it time you will get to do all those things with your baby.
- You need to ask questions so do as much as you like- You and your partner will be informed of your baby’s health and what is the best course of action, and there will be some huge mouthfuls of medical jargon. Feel free to ask questions so that you fully understand what is going on, you need to be informed and that is what the nurses and doctors are there for.
- It will be a long and hard road- Depending on your tiny baby’s age it could be a long road or a very long road ahead and you will need to stay strong in the weeks ahead. You may not want to leave the hospital when you are well enough but the nurses are there with your baby and will take care of her, and you can spend your days with your baby. Look after yourself and your partner too as you will need all your energy for when your new bundle comes home.
I wish you the best of luck with your tiny bundle x