What is it like when your preemie baby 1st comes home

Ashley - posted on 03/18/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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what is it like when your preemie/preterm baby 1st comes home. what is to be expected

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Karen - posted on 05/07/2010

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It's a huge relief, a bit scary, but wonderful to finally bring your baby home :) We had a lot of trouble settling our daughter, until we realised being in a dark room (just a night light) and the quiet was really abnormal for her. In NICU it was always noisy, people coming and going, other babies etc, and it was always light. So we gradually got her used to the lack of noise and light when she was sleeping. It was such a simple thing, but it took us a few sleepless days/nights to figure out.
We also didn't tell people exactly when we were coming home. It sounds a bit mean, but I am so grateful we did it. It gave us time to 'get used' to being at home with bub. Obviously our immediate family knew, but it gave us a bit of breathing room to establish a routine before we got a lot of visitors.
Best of luck, it's wonderful that your baby is almost ready to come home :)

Erica - posted on 05/07/2010

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IT WAS SCARY , CAUSE SHE WAS SO SICK.NICE CAUSE AFTER 2 MONTHS SHE WAS HOME.I FELT LIKE BEING MOM FOR THE FIRST TIME.I WATCH HER THE WHOLE TIME.I CAN,T BELIEVE SHE IS HOME.

Whitney - posted on 04/14/2010

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I was nervous when I first got to bring my son home but after about a week I quit getting so nervous and parnoid all the time. But I checked on him every hour on the hour for about a few weeks. My best advice is to stay calm and try to keep the NICU shedule. And to enjoy every single moment home because they grow up in front of your eyes.

Gina - posted on 03/23/2010

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It is pretty awesome ! My son was born at 23wks 2dys and he came home after 6 months in the NICU and ICC. He has a feeding tube, oxygen and a contact in his right eye. I thought it would be impossible. I was wrong ! It all became a normal thing. Your perception of normal will change and it will be for the good. Enjoy this time with your baby, it will be gone before you know it.

Helene - posted on 03/21/2010

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Hi there. Above suggestion for keeping a record chart is a great idea. I did it for the first few weeks when our wee one came home, Personal message me and I'll be glad to e-mail you a copy of the one I designed. I work in disabitily social care, so I make these documents up as part of my job. Chart was great for health visitor and nurse visits as well as taking along to appointments. I have made up a folder with charts, appointment records and details of my babys progress, immunisations and test results/health issues. It not only helps as a great tool for storing and sharing information, but also gives me back a sense of control in an otherwise completely uncontrolable situation. You can feel quite helpless at first when you bring your little one home finally, but feeling on top of this, can in turn help you feel more on top of everything. It was a great guide for us as changes in routine are far easier picked up when you have them documented. Our son has now been home 3 months and I no longer keep a daily record, but the folder is there for my reference and to document anything I feel needs to be brought up at future appointments. Our little man was born at 29 weeks, but his lungs stopped growing at 22 weeks when my waters broke. He came home after 10 weeks in ICU and Special Care, the day before his due date on Dec 22nd 09, but is still on oxygen and has been left with PVL cysts in his brain which are likely to affect his motor skills as he develops. Each baby and their circumstance is different and hopefully you won't have to deal with equipment or meds, but if you do, please try to not be too fazed by it all. It is manageable. You will experience the same joy and fear every mother does when bringing their baby home, full term or premature. It's just that I think us premature mums have an even greater appreciation of just how lucky we are to be getting the chance to bring our children home, and also a far greater understanding, and in turn healthy fear, of all the things that can go wrong, having spent the time in special care with not only our own child, but the families of all the other children being treated alongside our own. You not only have the support of your family, doctors, health professionals and friends, but also on forums such as this where you can confide to other mums who have shared your experience, can share the wisdom of their own, and also fully understand the emotions and concerns you may have. Feel welcome to add me to your circle and I'll gladly listen and help in any way I can. xxxxxxxx

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Theo - posted on 12/07/2013

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thanks Helene for this post, I don't know whether you only told an individual to personal email you for the chart you designed but I will be glad to receive a copy, my little bundle will be home in a couple odf days & am really scared of my environment & everything. if its ok with you my email is "theonathanj@gmail.com"
will be glad to receive more help, & testimony
Thanks again
Theo

Joanne - posted on 05/15/2010

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my son was born at 25 weeks and discharged from hospital 1 day after his due date. he came home on oxygen.
we were very nervous, what if he stopped breathing? or choked? or pulled his oxygen tubing off? and we couldn't get it back on? etc etc etc but really, it wasn't bad, and none of that happened, well some did like the tubing stuff but in the end it was nothing we couldn't deal with.
so just take a deep breath and relax! although hopefully bubs is already home and you have found out it is a piece of cake.

Sydney - posted on 05/14/2010

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It is fantastic! I cried the whole time my daughter was in the NICU (2 weeks) and never cried once since I brought her home (6 weeks ago). She had breathing issues and they decided that she didn't need to come home on a monitor but when I got her home she quit breathing on me. The best advice someone gave me before I brought her home was to never trust a preemie - good thing I didn't.

Brandy - posted on 05/14/2010

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i asked my friends and family to wait several days before visiting too, i forgot about that. it was much easier that way for me, partly because i was so nervous and i didnt want someone looking over my shoulder all the time like the nurses in the nicu.

Emma - posted on 05/07/2010

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The first I did when me and my preemie got home was cry, not because I was sad but because I was so relieved to get my little miracle home.

Sherry - posted on 05/05/2010

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It was really scary for me at first cause my daughter only weighed 4lbs when she came home she slept alot of them time and i mostly had to wake her up for her feedings. She didn't want to nurse and still doesn't. but she is more alert now just took her intill she got up to about 6lbs to become more alert. She is still tiny but is doing good. I've had to premature babies within a year from each other but she was my smallest and it was really scary and i'm sure you will do great even though its scary as long as you have a great support system you will do fine and you have all of us on here if you need any advice

Brianna - posted on 05/05/2010

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I was partially more relaxed because i was in my own invironment with my son instead of being in the hospital, but i was also on edge... constantly making sure he was still breathing. pretty much holding him and cuddling with him 24/7.

Breanne - posted on 04/23/2010

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I didn't think it any different! My preemie was walking at 11 mo (he was 7 w early) and was happy and healthy at 1 year. It was a fantastic day.

[deleted account]

my son was 6 weeks early. he was n the hospital for a week. wen he came home he had to b on a heart monitor for about 5 months. but now he is 2 years old and is a healthy boy. it only takes time. its scary at first but you will be able to get through it. i did

Brandy - posted on 04/18/2010

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my daughter lived in the hospital for about 3 months so she was used to the noises in the hospital, it took awhile for her to adjust and i of course was a nervous wreck, but after a couple days it feels normal and you can get into a routine, the hardest part for us was jenna had collic, but we got through it :)

Sheila - posted on 04/15/2010

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My son was born 28 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 3 months. When hes ready to go home after 3 months, Hes doctor told me to treat my son as newborn though hes already 3 months old that time.

Andrea - posted on 04/09/2010

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When my DD came home it was scaring but also a releaf to finially be home!!! Her feedings were pretty much on the same times they were at the hopital... the first few nights I didn't really sleep well and my hubby was scared to death of touching her LOL!!! I did have to put in a lil sleeping light/sound thing on her bassinet thing. She had to have noise/light almost constent or she wouldn't sleep!!! I think our routain (though flexable) was a really big help for me when it came to getting used to having her home!!! I will say the only thing I didn't like about bringing her home was that we brought her home on a Friday and she hadn't pooped since thrusday so we ended up in the ER on Sunday cause hadn't had a BM!!! Which we were told was a parinod Mommy and Daddy LOL!!! I think the best advise anyone can give about this is enjoy these first moments at home!!!

Angela - posted on 04/09/2010

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scary, exciting, wonderful to be a 'real' family :D ur babe may take a little while to get adjusted because of the change in noise levels and you may need to have a lamp on and perhaps a radio for a few nights, and if youre like me you'll probably be up checking his/her breathing regularly for the first few nights until you're both comfortable lol but enjoy it, I think preemies are so special and I reckon that having those extra hurdles at the beginning makes for stronger mums (and dads) and stronger babes because they are just that much more appreciated :D enjoy!

[deleted account]

My son had feeding issues in the NICU which turned out to be just an allergy to milk but when he came him I freaked if he didn't eat the "minimum" amount that they had made him eat in the NICU. I am a first time mom so I'm sure a lot of the fears I had were perfectly normal but the first few weeks I hardly slept. I watched him sleep and looked at his chest to make sure he was breathing. Another thing that freaked me out was that I was sooo used to the monitors they had him on. In the NICU he was having A's and B's so I was constantly looking at his face for color changes and watching for him to take a breath. He's been home for 4 months now and I feel a lot better about it, we've got our own little routine and I am not as freaked out by every little weird sound he makes. I think with time it all gets better.

Shanica - posted on 04/05/2010

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I was abit paranoid to bring my preemie baby home since he was in the NICU for 10 weeks but I was at the hospital every single day, spent all day there so I felt comfortable bringing him home and frankly was glad to bring him home and take care of him the way I wanted to. Just relax, do not stress and I wont lie, you will probably not get any sleep for the first week as I was constantly checking to make sure he was breathing howeever you will be amaxed to see how well they thrive at home with the constant love and care from mommy and daddy. Make sure you establish a feeding routine, try and nap when your baby is napping and and try to enjoy. It's going to be great and you will be wonderful.

Erica - posted on 04/02/2010

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I thought I was going to go crazy when I brought my little one home, but I didn't. It didn't take me long to get her on a schedule. The only downfall was the fact that I didn't get to spend much time at home with her because I only got 6 weeks maternity leave, and she was in the NICU for 2 wks.

Kylie - posted on 03/29/2010

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I found it really surreal, this tiny little baby that i'd been visiting every day in hospital for 10 weeks was living at our house!!! It was so odd!!

I found the hospital experience so traumatic, that I loved having Joseph at home. Like Angela I found he was in a great routine, and was able to settle himself to sleep without any problem.

I did find it hard when we started going out, or people came around, and said things like "he is so tiny how do you cope?". I think its a bit like when you first learn to ride a bicycle, and someone says, oh wow, your riding your bike, great...and you fall off!

Just trust your instincts, and enjoy all those cuddles without having to ask permission, or wait for rounds to finish, and with no wires and bleeps!

Angela - posted on 03/25/2010

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well the great thing for us was that the NICU had got her into a great routine! - the envy of all the other mums! lol u may find that you will need to have the lights on and some noise over night for the first few nights as home may be too quiet, but enjoy your very special babe, and at home you will be able to really bond, they may have had a tough start but they have the rest of their lives to enjoy and be enjoyed :D

[deleted account]

It's wonderful cause you don't need to leave then in the hopsital and come home. You'll be awake for weeks, moan at your partner, eat weird things but it's absolutly fantastic and worth every bit of it! Enjoy your bundle of joy! x

Melanie - posted on 03/24/2010

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It's the best feeling in world!! Yes, it is very scary because it's not like just any other NEWBORN!! You have to give Preemies more attention, because they r more fragile, or they may have certain medical problems etc. So hang in there hunni If u need to talk just feel free to add me !! Melanie

Anna - posted on 03/24/2010

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Expect to get very little sleep for awhile :) I know that I spent the first few weeks just checking on my preemie (born at 30 wks, spent 7 wks in NICU) every hour or so! So, as others have said, write everything down. I always wrote how much she ate, when I changed a diaper, and when she got her medicine. You will probly need to take her in for checkups quite frequently and without sleep it is really hard to remember how much she is eating or how often her diaper is wet/dirty. But, otherwise, bringing your preemie home is one of the happiest moments! You will finally feel like this baby is really YOURS. Instead of the nurses telling you how when or how things should be done with your baby, you will be able to create your own schedule, and cuddle and kiss your baby whenever you want! Enjoy your little one! Congrats.

Ashley - posted on 03/22/2010

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My lil ones where 34 weekers and spent 2 weeks in the hospital.. its stressful-but eventually mommy mode takes over and you learn to relax.. my lil babes slept ALOT which was nice-it helped me to catch up on sleep. I also had to feed them every three hours-the nurses got them on a good routine..though I had to use an alarm clock-cause they wouldnt always wake up in the middle of the night. One of them also had apnea. He was sent home with a machine that would beep if he stopped breathing or his heart rate became to low-which luckily he never truely had an apnea episode at home. He had to also take medication-so unless you can remember all the times for feeding/medications-write it down! Believe me-you get a lil loopy when you are raising twins. Extremly forgetful. heh-make sure to write all thier info in a notebook-Drs numbers, meds, weights, dates, ect-for easy access-cause you will forget something. My lil ones are almost 6 months old and doing great...Im also a single mom with a great support system..but do most on my own. Im thankful to have ppl around who can love on them when Im busy with the other. Anyways-ramble ramble-it is possible to raise them WELL by yourself-but do have some close friends/family that can pitch in when absolutely needed. Good luck!

Brittany - posted on 03/21/2010

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mine came home a week apart after 4 months of being in the nicu.. i had 24 week twin boys.. when i first got aiden home he woke up every 3 hours (b a the nicu scheduale) and he ate.. he slept alot.. and a week later cj came home and was the same as aj.. but i had to feed them at the same time if i could.. and 2 weeks after they came home daddy left for basic training so i was doing it all alone!! any way if ur baby comes home with meds just try this it helped me alot.. try: to make a littl paper chart with times and doses the meds are due and check them off when u give them and also make a chart for when ur baby goes to the athroom.. bc i know my dr would ask how many times they peed or pooped!! and i could tell them bc a the chart.. i know life is hectic especially at first but just stay calm and go with the flow!! im glad ur baby will be home soon

Felecia - posted on 03/21/2010

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For me my son was 12 weeks erly and i was scared being as he is my first. I just watched his breathing always checked his temperature and just was really nervous. The first weeks at home your nerves are on edge and your paranoid about everything.

Kassie - posted on 03/20/2010

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My youngest son was a few hours from term. He had breathing problems and was tube fed the 1st couple of days. I was heartbroken to know that I had to wait a number of days before he could come home. He wasn't the only baby born early that night there was one that was months early. After I talked to that mom I realized I had it better then most. I was so anxious to bring Noah home and let his big brother get to see him .Noah was in the NICU for 5 days before I got to bring him home. They took him from me minutes after I had him. I was nervous because I was scared his breathing would act up and I really honestly had no idea what to do if it did. At the same time I was excited though. Now I wouldn't have someone hovering over me like I didn't have a kid before. In the end I loved it I felt like my family was full since Hayden was having to stay with family members cuz their daddy was working and somebody had to be with Noah.

Ashley - posted on 03/19/2010

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My biggest advise to you honey is relax....its a wonderful time for both you and your baby so relax and enjoy every bit of it.First thin I personaly did was to get him on a feeding schedule...soon he was like clock work...it got very easy once he was on a schedule. so...since he eat every 3 hours he eat at 3 6 9 and 12...enjoy

Sagen - posted on 03/18/2010

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its kinda scary at first but i found it more relaxing the the hopital because i was able to set my daughter on a routine of my own and i felt more secure bout here at home at first i did check on her alot whjile she was sleeping but everyones different i kno my daughter was wanting to be rocked at night more because that what the night nurse did and we had to play music for her because of the difference of noise from the nicu to home depending on how premie mine was sixs weeks she squeeked alot in her sleep and also would sumtimes hold her breasth after crying but it all will be fine anf ull do great im sure

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