Aru was born a premature baby at week 33 – as opposed to the general 42 week period. He was our first, so let alone being premie prepared, we weren’t even baby prepared. I don’t want you to read this post thinking, “This could happen to me!”. I’d rather you read it and think, “Okay cool, if I do end up having a premature baby, I’ll come back and re-read this post.” Sometimes the stuff we think about too much – gets a bit real.
- I think this was the biggest surprise. Babies in the premie department in hospital, work like clock work. They get fed on the dot, every 3 hours. Through the night as well. For some reason, this is how we thought it would work when we took him home. No such thing.
- If you don’t have to spend another night in hospital as you leave with him, don’t. We didn’t have to, but we did. Fear? First time parents? Not quite sure really. As they say, you’ll figure it out on the job. Such a light saying for something so heavy duty, but it’s true.
- I remember crying to V, saying, “I don’t even feel like a parent yet.” A dear, dear friend of mine said to me, “Don’t worry Kish, you’ll have plenty of time for that once he’s home.” Gosh she was hella right.
- Whilst you don’t need premie baby clothes, they do exist.
- When the day comes for him to come home, it might just happen in a rush. We got told on a Friday that he could come home on a Monday. After all that time, I still don’t think we had everything ready! We were still rushing out to buy an expressing machine and batteries, more clothes – etc etc.
- Use the time to heal. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t stress. Don’t wallow. Just let your body heal and be grateful for that window of time.
- The dates will mess with your brain. It will be a bit trickier to navigate his growth in the months to come. Some babies will be crawling, he might still lying down and just chilling out. That is a-ok. Just expect it and know that it doesn’t really matter too much unless your paediatrician says it does.
- On that note. You do need to have follow up appointments with his specific paediatrician. No one told me this when I left hospital. Paediatricians get booked out super fast. Handy thing to know 🙂
- Other mums are going through their own stuff. If they aren’t friendly or forthcoming, just don’t take it on. Everyone has their own story and with a premature baby, it’s like we’re all in line – hoping that our baby is next. In the same context, don’t be too surprised if no one wants to stay in touch. For me, it was something I don’t like thinking back to. I’d rather forget the sounds of the monitors and his frail looking body. It sounds harsh, but I rarely look at his in-hospital pictures. For some reason it just makes me a bit sad.
- He is tougher than you think. Much tougher. And he will seem just like every other baby soon enough. Just wait and watch. You will be totes amazed.
Hope it helps.