The births of my two micro-preemies changed me forever, says this mom.
At 28 weeks pregnant with my second child, I was really feeling strong and went for a long walk with my dog and 4-year-old son, pushing the pram, around my neighbourhood.
The next day I had lunch with some old friends and felt really uncomfortable all day. Imagine the delight of my husband Geordi when, at 8pm, I said ‘let’s go to hospital’. It was a 15km drive including negotiating Boyes Drive after a long lunch.
The doctor calmed me down and gave me a shot of something that would stop the labour. I sent Geordi back to the house in the early hours of the morning to our son, Sebastian. Then I was told: ‘the baby is coming, get him back here!’
It had never occurred to me that a baby could be born so early. I had been well and strong and fit all through the pregnancy with Noah. It was all really surreal. Noah was a weak baby to start with and gave us a number of frights. So when I went into labour
at 27 weeks with my third son 11 months and 3 weeks later, I thought I knew the drill.The second birth
Saxon was born "mors dood", as my amazing doctor told me over coffee 2 years later and she and the nurse on duty who knew me well from Noah's birth decided they could not tell me the bad news without trying to revive him first – thank God they knew me!
Compared to Noah, Saxon was much stronger and seemed to cruise through it all with relatively few challenges until the bomb was dropped that he had a grade 4 brain bleed and hydrocephalis
(fluid on the brain). Our prognosis was he may be in wheel chair, but may also play soccer one day.
I realise now that while this seemed vague it was the reality – these little people are unpredicatable and challenge all we know as normal every day.
There’s a lot people don’t know about preemies
. They need to STOP thinking they know a lot because one little 25-week-girl made it home. They should ask: can she see, how is her hearing, how much physio will she need? Micro preemies need a lot of support to help them reach "normal" and you cannot compare then to full term babies.
Noah, now 4, is great, he has developed a passion for cuddles which is something that took time as his first few months involved many painful human touches - preemies are often averse to touch. I had to really teach him it is okay. He needs a bit of physio and a school that is gentle and makes allowances for his "clumsy" ways.
Saxon, 3, has cerebral palsy so we are on a journey of physio, yoga, horse riding, botox, special shoes and whatever it takes... forever.
He is a lovely happy little imp but our burden is changing our dream/vision of what the family was going to be.Kirsten would like to hear from other parents of premature babies. Please leave a message on her blog if you would like to chat about your experiences.
Are pregnant couples prepared enough for a premature birth? Share your story below or mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.