Sarah & Justin – Premmie Parents Of The Moment

Parents Names: Sarah and Justin

How many premmie babies do you have? Hayden born at 32+3 weeks and William born at 30+1 weeks

How long were they hospitalised for? Hayden was in hospital for 15 days and William was in for 5 weeks

Is there any prematurity in your families history? None on my side however Justin’s Mum had a 20 and 21 weeker due to incompetent cervix.

How did you cope with the world of prematurity when your child/children were born? Both times it has been one of the hardest things to go through as a parent, with Hayden i put on a brave face, i did what i had to do with the help of Justin, and with the help of our wonderful families to help look after the older kids.

With William we were 1000kms away from home, with very limited family support, and with the added bonus of our 3 yr old ending up in hospital after a fall the day after William was born support from Justin became non existent as he was running between the kids at home, the kid in hospital and me and Will. I was feeling rather alone and well i honestly dont think i coped all that well myself, i just dragged my self out of bed in the morning, went the nicu, dropped of milk, cuddled bubs for a bit then left to go see the other kid in the childrens hospital! – while also being very sick my self! – i think too much was going on that i couldnt actaully dwell on any one thing for a long period of time, cause before i new it i had to duck off again to see the next kid, and i didnt help not having my other 2 children back up home. One of the best things said to me by one of the NICU nurses was “William will not remember if you are not here, but your 3 yr old will, go see him, go spend a couple of hours with him as he really needs you right now.” this made the decision to go be with my 3yr old so much easier. it was like i jut needed some one to tell me so.

How did you feel when you first saw your child/children after they were born? With Hayden i ddint get to see him till he was about 12 hrs old, by this time he was just a tiny baby in the isolette – yes it was scary to see him so tiny, but after being told that he wasnt breathing when he was born and that he was on cpap that night, to come in and see this baby with only a IV in his arm was like – what you all talking about hes fine!!

With William i saw him with in mins of being born – he was have a good old cry when he was born, and that was very reasuring. I felt like this little guy knew what he was doing and was going to be fine! However 10 mins later he was ventilated and that kinda scared me a bit, seeing him on the vent, so tiny and helpless. Thinking all i wanna do is give him a cuddle and a kiss and tell him mummys here and everything will be ok.

Did you find it hard deciding to have another baby or have you decided no more? I think cause of our postive (if you can call it that) experience with Hayden it made the decision to have another baby fairly easy, also the fact that “there is no reason my next baby will be a prem” kinda weighed in there. However now, since having William im finding it a little harder to make a definite decision, yes there is still not reason not to have a healthy full term bub, but still the whole prem thing hovers there and seeing as my babies have each come earlier than the last its kinda worrying.

Have there been any lasting complications due to your child/children’s prematurity? if so how have you dealt with it? Hayden – no, infact if it weren’t for the fact he looks smaller than his big brother (10 mths older than him) you would think they were twins (and we often get that comment!)

William – well hes only 5 mths old and so far we have only had issues with his hearing – which is fine now, and his weight – still working on, and reflux(?? if that is due to prematurity or not???).

How do you feel now about prematurity and how do you help others be aware of how serious it is for babies? I believe that raising awareness for prematurity is very important, the amount of people i have spoken to in the last 2 yrs who upon asking about your little one say oh my child was a prem (like 10-15 yrs ago now) is incredible, but whats worse is hearing about the way family members treating the baby, i remember talking to one mum who’s son had been born at 32weeks like my Hayden and she said her parents said to her after is birth, oh there are places we can leave him that can take care of him so we dont have to bother!!! i was so shocked im guessing just as much as she was back then. I Believe not only do parents need support, but also the general public need to be made aware, as an outsider all thats thought is – just write the kid of now, life is gonna be to much coping with a disabled child – then they meet a real prem and this prem is no different to every other little kid out there – yes they may have special needs – but they are still happy energetic children with parents that love them just as much.

These days i am slowly getting to a stage where im happy and willing to talk to anyone about our prem journey with William, its slow but its still very raw. With Hayden im proud to tell anyone and everyone that this healthy happy child was born early.

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