Parents Names: Natasha & Clayton
How many premmie babies do you have? Just the one, a little boy born at 23 weeks 5 days, after our car was hit by a drunk driver. I am currently 25 weeks pregnant with my second.
How long were they hospitalised for? He was in hospital for 5 1/2 months…basically a day or two short of the time he spent inside me!
Is there any prematurity in your families history? My Dad was born 6 weeks premature 58 years ago!
How did you cope with the world of prematurity when your child/children were born? I was surrounded by family and friends….I made friends with the doctors, nurses and other parents….I saw one of the hospital psychologists when I needed an outside perspective and someone to just listen….I just took each day as it came.
How did you feel when you first saw your child/children after they were born? A bit numb…like I didn’t know quite how to feel
Did you find it hard deciding to have another baby or have you decided no more? Not really…I guess because there were outside influences (appendectomy at 14 weeks followed by a car accident at 22 weeks) that caused the birth and I was reassured by my ob. that it was unlikely I would have any problems in future pregnancies (keeping my fingers crossed though!).
Have there been any lasting complications due to your child/children’s prematurity? if so how have you dealt with it? He had NEC caused by the CMV virus and consequently had part of his bowel removed. He developed Stage 3 ROP and had to have laser eye surgery and now wears glasses due to shortsightedness in one of his eyes. He had BPD and was on oxygen (mostly at night) until he was 18 months old. He has developmental delays and is seen by an OT, physio and speechy. He only started walking at around 2 years corrected. They haven’t yet ruled out mild cerebral palsy. I cope because you have to. I have a lot of family support and a good network of prem mums who can relate to what we are going through. I also continue to see a psych. Mostly though my son makes it easy to cope, as he copes so well with everything!
How do you feel now about prematurity and how do you help others be aware of how serious it is for babies? Raising awareness about prematurity is a big part of my life now. I have developed a baby milestone book designed specifically for a premature baby’s time in the NICU and sell it on my website www.BubBornEarly.com.au , where I have lots of useful information about prems, including links to useful nappy, clothing and support websites; an NICU glossary of terms and stories from prem parents.
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