I'm in need of a little encouragement

Sherita - posted on 08/13/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a 2 yr old baby girl and she was born 16 weeks early She basically spent the first year of her life in the hospital She came on on a heart machine,oxygen and a feeding tube Now she can eat on her own and breath on her own but as far as doing other things that 2 yr old do like walking, talking, ect... She has not yet mastered due to the fact that she will be three in December my family say things like whats wrong with her. It makes me feel like I have failed in some area because other than her rocky start and some of her physical delays there is nothing mentally wrong with her I work with her a lot and she is in therapy I tend to feel extremly guilty for everything that she has had to endure because due to my large stress load that I had while I was pregnant with her is why she came so early so many times when I hear those comment is makes me feel even worse I just want to know if there is anyone that has a premature baby that everything worked out in the end I feel like if I knew of some success stories it would put the light back on at the end of my tunnel

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Suzie - posted on 08/14/2012

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I think your family and friends need to realize that children born premature like your daughter can't be measured by a typical/average set of developmental milestones. Your child not hitting certain milestones doesn't define whether or not you are a good or bad parent. There are a lot of bad parents out there that have children meeting certain developmental milestones and a lot of fantastic parents out there that have children who need extra attention and care and may... never reach certain milestones.

I don't know a lot about your daughter's situation. But I do know all children are different... even children that would be " in the same boat" as your daughter. When you say your daughter doesn't walk or talk? Does she not walk or talk at all? Or does she walk and talk a bit but not as well as other kids her "same age"?

There are a lot of programs out there.... each state is different. But I know in Texas there is a program called Head Start. Your daughter is the perfect age for this... Basically its a program for kids who have developmental delays or speech problems (my cousins little boy was in it due to a speech impediment) and the goal is to provide therapy/education so that the kids are at the same level as other children without these issues when they enter kindergarten. Think of it as a prep course. Whats great about this type of program is that they are generally free of charge to the parent and the kids actually attend "school" at the elemetary schools... so you wouldn't have to pay child care except for before/after care. And they prepare kids and get them caught up so they are less likely to be behind when they do get to kindergarten. Like I said, all states are different and you mentioned she already has therapy so maybe she is already a part of something like that.

All you can do as a parent is make sure your child has every resource they need to become their personal best. If you ensure your daughter has every resource available to her, there is nothing more you can do... and you should feel good about that! Be patient.... children born early take a little more time to catch on.... Think of it this way... Don't go by her "birth date" go by her "due date"/"Coming home date" when you are looking at where she "should" be developmentally.

Dawn - posted on 08/13/2012

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Your family members should be ashamed of themselves! Ignore them. Just give your little girl all the love and attention you can. Feeling guilty is not going to help you help her. Let it go. What's done is done. Just be there for her now. Her life is a miracle and you helped create that miracle, mama!

Amanda - posted on 08/13/2012

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Sherita,
It is very possible that you did nothing to make your child premature. Additionally, what does her doctor say about these delays? It sounds like these other people are rude and inappropriate! They need to mind their own businesses!

Katherine - posted on 08/13/2012

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You should NOT feel like a failure. It's not your fault! How rude of people to ask what's wrong with her! She's been through a lot. I would say just that too. Don't worry about her not meeting her milestones, you have to think of her adjusted age since she was a preemie. You are doing a great job as a mother and should not beat yourself up.

Have you considered an occupational therapist for her? That may help.

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