How many premature babies do you have? Two. Our daughter was born at 32 weeks in 2006 & our son was born at 30 weeks in 2010.
Their gestations born? 32 weeks & 30 weeks.
How long were they hospitalised for? Our daughter born at 32wks was in hospital for 3 weeks and our son born at 30wks was in hospital for 5 weeks.
Is there any prematurity in your families history? Yes. My sister was born at 36 weeks and my sister in law had twin boys at 30 weeks approximately 2 months after i gave birth.
How did you cope with the world of prematurity when your child/children were born? When my first prem baby was born I was shocked. I didn’t know what to expect and felt very alone in my experience. When I had my 2nd prem my son, i ensured to prepare myself and was overloaded with information. I turned the experience into a positive memory.
How did you feel when you first saw your child/children after they were born? I thought i was just going to have a small baby, but the reality was so different. I remember being shown the first picture of her after birth and she had all these tubes & wires attached to her. I was in absolute denial. I did not believe this was my child. I did find it very hard to bond with my daughter as the hospital was such a sterile place.
When I gave birth to my 2nd son, I was more prepared. I had researched all the information I could, always kept the worst expectation in my mind so if anything was above this i was happy and somewhat relieved. I utilised all the benefits of having a prem baby and all the services available to us through the NICU. It turned out to be an experience where I felt in more control and I was able to bond more freely with my child.
Did you find it hard deciding to have another baby or have you decided no more? Yes initially we had decided after our premature daughter we could not go through this again but once my little baby girl started to become independent i longed for another baby. Although we knew there were high risks involved to maintain a pregnancy and the pregnancy itself, we ensured to gather all the information possible to help us on our journey.
Have there been any lasting complications due to your child/children’s prematurity? if so how have you dealt with it? My 32 weeker is now a healthy 5 year old girl. She has a small frame and suffers from chronic asthma and ezcema but has no other issues. My son whom was born at 30 weeks is now 18 weeks or 8 weeks corrected. We are currently facing the normal prem reflux and some stiff muscles requiring physio but we are hoping we have smooth sailing.
How do you feel now about prematurity and how do you help others be aware of how serious it is for babies? I have so much respect for the individuals who save our premature babies lives, and for all the parents going through the journey of having a premature baby. I hope to actively participate and support fundraising along other organisations and benefits in the hope to support premature babies, their families and community awareness.
If you wish to become a “Premmie Parent of the Moment” here at L’il Aussie Prems please submit your details to us. You will be contacted for a photo of your premmie baby(s) when you will be featured on the website.