Rebecca and Keith ~ Premmie Parents of the Moment

Parents Names: Rebecca and Keith

How many premmie babies do you have? 1 son – Caleb

Their gestation born: 32 wks + 1 weeks. He was born at 1.30am, so he was classed as 32wks exactly1382_10151114149601436_835349398_n

How long were they hospitalised for? Rebecca was in hospital for 9 days, and bub was in NICU for 22 days

Is there any prematurity in your families history? No history of premature birth in the family lines that we have found or are aware of there being

How did you cope with the world of prematurity when your child/children were born? I was terrified at first. I had been to the hospital twice and said something wasn’t right, and was dismissed both times. Not even 48hrs after the last dismissal, our son arrived after 3 attempts to stop the labour. We spent lots of time talking with the NICU nurses, the doctors and other prem parents. I asked a lot of questions, asked for demonstrations on how to do things if I was uneasy, cried a lot. We made some wonderful friends, and it helps to know there are people who understand the whole process and journey. I also developed mild PND, and was afraid to even leave the house. I began seeing a health nurse weekly, and she helped me get over my fears of germs/illness, not reaching milestones “on time” etc. One thing we learned that helped me a great deal: There are no silly questions. If you are unsure, worried or concerned, then speak up and ask

DSCN2245How did you feel when you first saw your child/children after they were born? I first saw our son as he arrived into the world. He wasn’t the healthy pink that you expect to see, and he wasn’t making any noise at all. I panicked, I actually thought he hadn’t survived. Moments after they got him safely out, he took a gasping breath, and they assured me he was trying to breathe, and they were going to help him. I was beyond relieved, we had made it through the birth safely, and our miracle was here. In that moment, I felt like my world shrank, and it was me, my partner, and our baby boy

Did you find it hard deciding to have another baby or have you decided no more? We originally decided on waiting until Caleb was around 2yrs old, or in pre-school before trying for another baby. Mother nature had other plans, however, and we fell pregnant when Caleb was just 6months old (4months corrected). Unfortunately, I miscarried at 5wks. We have since decided to continue with our plan, and wait until Caleb is at least potty trained (He is 23months as I write this). On the other hand, I am getting just a little clucky……..

Have there been any lasting complications due to your child/children’s prematurity? If so, how have you coped with it? We’ve had 2 ER/ED visits, 1 resulting in ward admission, both times for respiratory distress/RSV/bronchiolitis. Just before his 1st birthday, we were put onto an asthma management regime for the continual respiratory issues. I am happy to say that Caleb is now only the ventolin as needed (when showing signs of asthma, wheeze, puffy etc), and has had no more hospital visits since April 2012. He also had a problem with his testes, one of them re-ascended into the groin, and drifted into the lower abdominal/upper pelvic region. A simple 50min operation corrected the issue, after 10months of waiting to see if it would drop (which it didn’t)

How do you feel now about prematurity and how do you help others be aware of how serious it is for babies? I always thought that premature birth happened for a specific reason, be it medical or health reasons, but I now know that it can simply just happen. I am all too aware of how quickly things can happen, and/or go wrong. It is an issue close to my heart, after our sons impatient arrival. but also because we have now witnessed several friends lose their babies, and its heartbreaking every single time you get the message or phone call that a friend must now say goodbye to their son or daughter. I fully support the national/international days such as “Wear Green For Prems”, “International Infant Remembrance Day” etc, and always encourage my friends to at least acknowledge the ongoing issue and be aware, even if they don’t want to buy the merchandise.

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