Premie Mom Life
The Baggage & Motherhood Guest Writer’s Series gives a space for moms around the world to share their story of what life has thrown their way and how it has impacted them in their role as a Mom. This post by Katrina McKeone explores what Premie Mom Life is like. Katrina delivered her son very prematurely and the doctors did not give her hope for his survival or quality of life, but her son went on to prove them wrong!
All of the posts in this series touch on the real life struggles of bringing your “stuff” with you to your most important job: Motherhood.
Born at 25 Weeks Gestation
When you find out you are going to be a mom, it changes everything.
The excitement and thoughts of a sweet baby and everything going perfectly can become all you think about.
However, what if things change?
What happens when your baby actually ends up fighting for his life?
My baby Bobby was born at 25 weeks on a cold January day in 2019. I had been stuck in the hospital for two weeks before that.
There were no medical problems or family history that pointed me to being High-Risk, and it was my first baby so I was totally clueless as to what was happening within my own body.
Here is what I have learned about Premie Mom Life:
There Is Almost Nothing Out There Aimed to Help Prepare for Preemie Mom Life
I had only two weeks to sit and prepare for my baby to come early, longer if he hadn’t come then since I was hospitalized until I had him.
I scoured the internet, looking for anything that I could find. There is so little out there, and most of the stats were outdated.
Aside from two or three good sites, I came up empty handed. That made my experience all the more lonely.
Doctor Are NOT Necessarily Always Right
Never let the doctor tell you what your baby is going to do.
My baby got a prognosis, if you even want to call it that, that he was not going to live.
If he was going to survive he was not going to have a way of life that was worth anything.
However, he proved them wrong.
They have an MD, but they cannot predict the future.
The Guilt Is Real, And Painful
You may feel guilt worse than you have ever felt before. My son was born a year and a half ago, and I still feel extremely guilty for what happened.
I wish that I could say after the first year it goes away, but I would not be able to lie about it.
All we can do is keep going and try to help other moms who are currently there.
NICU PTSD Is Real, And You Might Have PPD Too
The test that they will give you for PPD (Postpartum Depression) is flawed when it comes to preemie moms.
It will seem like you are just living normally under the circumstances, when in fact, you are probably dealing with it.
Dealing with the NICU is a very traumatic experience. Between the beeps, ventilators, and watching your baby fight for their life you are bound to have some Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A couple of examples of mine are:
- I freak out every time the car door dings
- I have kept my baby (for the most part) locked in the house over fears that he will get sick during the pandemic and be put back on the ventilator, which I have had complete break downs over just the thought of.
- I can hardly feed him things that he has not tried yet for fear of him choking and losing him
These are hopefully extreme examples, as I would hope no one suffers the way that I have from this, but possible nonetheless.
With All That Said, It Isn’t All Bad
I know most of what I shared is the tough side, but it isnt all horrible.
You get to see the resilience in your child in a way that you would not have.
You will meet some AMAZING people that will fill your life with camaraderie and hope.
We have one nurse in particular that we still talk to from time to time.
My fiance and I’s relationship even came out way stronger.
So, while it is tough, there are good sides.
I WANT TO SAY tHANK YOU TO Katrina. THANK YOU For sharing about premie mom life, and your experience of the fear of finding out your child will be premature to the aw of watching your child show immeasurable strength to beat the odds.
SEE THE REST OF THE POSTS IN THE BAGGAGE & MOTHERHOOD SERIES HERE!