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Some moms spent the last weeks or months of pregnancy on bedrest, and some preemies or newborns spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit for days or weeks afterwards.

I wonder how many of us go through a version of post traumatic stress syndrome when we are thrown into unexpected and close to impossible situations like these?

If you have stories to tell, suggestions for friends and family, or resources for parents, please share them here.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Babies Born Early - Prematurity and Childbirth
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The story of Cole my 8 mth old son begins with just over one mth in my first pregnancy to go...

One night, like most others, I headed upstairs to clean out my rabbit cages. Only this night as I hit the top step my water broke. I ran to the washroom in disbelief, only to confirm my worst fear. My unborn baby was comming early, and I couldn't do anything to stop it...

We went straight to the hospital, and they admitted me right away trying to calm a very scared mum to be. Hooked me upt to all kinds of monitors, and the wait began.

After about 12 hrs of labour and only dialating 3cm, they decided I should have an epidural, and some well needed rest for the big moment. They gave me my eppidural, and told my husband to leave so I could rest.

About 2 mins. after he left, the fetal heart monitor started showing severe distress signs, and then no heart beat at all. All of a sudden I went from having 2 nurses, and 1 doctor, to so many nurses and doctors I couldn't see the walls of my room.
They rocked me from side to side, and I got an 02 mask, all the routine things to bring baby's heart rate up with no luck. There still was nothing...
The doctor decided she wasn't waiting any longer, and they wheeled me in for an emergency c-section.

Now earlier I told you I had recieved an eppidural right? Well I couldn't feel my feet to my knees, and the middle of my stomach, but I was VERY aware of everything else...

I'm quickly being prepped for surgery, and they start slopping on the aniceptic, orange stuff to clean you off before they cut. I look up at my anestegiologist, and let him know that I can feel this happening. He looked white as a ghost knowing that in less than a minuet they will be cutting into my belly. He loads me up again with some drugs.
Needless to say it just wasn't working, there wasn't enough time, and the baby had to come out...
They began to cut, and I tell you it was the most horrifying experience i've ever had to know.
My husband at this point was brought into the room just long enough to see what looked like a horror movie with the lead charaters being his wife, and unborn child, and then wisked out in the hall with the rest of the family.

Close to the end they gassed me.I earleir had made attempts to get off the bed, and they taped my head, and arms down to the bed. I remember hearing all sorts of aweful things, like "he's coding" "code pink" monitors beeping, the doctor yelling at nurses to help or get out. Saying the baby was stuck, and the vacuume was needed, that it was life or death now, and then all kinds of aweful pulling and tugging, ripping, and pressure. I heard no cries. There was nothing but chaos, and the sound of my heart pounding... and then I remember it was the most awesome sound I had EVER heard, he cried, and so did I.
I tried justifying these aweful things while lying on the table by telling myself it was the gas...
Later all these things were confirmed in the washroom with an attending nurse whose response to my "vivid dreams" was, "you remember all those things"?

My son spent close to a month in the NICU, was fed through a tube for 3 wks, had jaundice, apnea, bradacardia, CPAP, acid reflux, and head ultrasounds, and xrays to confirm that there was no brain dammage due to his extremely traumatic birth.

Cole is now 8 mths old. He is a happy, bright, big boy. He was diagnosed with SPD recenlty, and has had an OT since 1mnth of age. He has self regulating problems, vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile, and so on.

All in all he's an awesome little guy, and we all love him deeply. He and I still have alot of healing, but time heals all things... <img src="/images/graemlins/heart.gif" alt="" />

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Lyndsy,

What a traumatic story!

And how wonderful when you heard his first cry.

It certainly brought tears to my eyes.

You must be a wonderful resource for other moms at Cole's early intervention center.

Thank you for sharing the story of his birth at BellaOnline.com. You are a gem.

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Babies Born Early - Prematurity and Childbirth
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My son was born full term but could not breathe on his own and spent 3 weeks in NICU before coming home. I stayed at the Ronald McDonald house during this time and it made my life easier. Some nights one of the local churches would bring an entire meal. There were also volunteers on staff that were available to talk if you needed someone to listen. They also provided transportation for you. What a wonderful service. They were a God-send to me.


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Both of my kids were 2 weeks early. My son was in the hospital for 7 days in the NICU. My daughter was in there for 5 days. My hospital provided a room on the floor for me as long as they were there and the hospital had room. They released my son to my room on 9-11-2001. We stayed 2 more days. I watch cartoons and held him because I could not watch the news coverage. Bedrest is horrible. I was on bedrest for blood pressure with my son. With my daughter, they finally figured out too late I have something wrong with my cervix and I had to be on bedrest.

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Quote:
My son was born full term but could not breathe on his own and spent 3 weeks in NICU before coming home. I stayed at the Ronald McDonald house during this time and it made my life easier. Some nights one of the local churches would bring an entire meal. There were also volunteers on staff that were available to talk if you needed someone to listen. They also provided transportation for you. What a wonderful service. They were a God-send to me.


Those church and hospital volunteers can't possibly know how much their thoughtfulness and dedication mean to us. I hope that they and everyone who has contributed toward Ronald McDonald houses or other hospital lodging for families has showers of blessings in their lives, too.

What I remember most is the ache and longing to be with my baby, and of course the fear at what I would find the next time I could see him. Any kindness seemed so otherworldly. Whole weeks were strung together into one long day.

The dread and downright tiredness made me feel like I was slogging through water at the bottom of the ocean. When I slept there was no easing into it or out of it, more like a rock falling off a cliff and thudding into hard ground, and a few hours later suddenly awake.

The first day I had my son at home, and sat propped up in bed with him sleeping in the crook of one arm and his sister cuddled against my other shoulder, I felt completely happy, satisfied and content.

That restful moment sure didn't last for long! But I still feel that joy and peace when I look back at it.

Pam W
SE of Seattle


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Quote:
Both of my kids were 2 weeks early. My son was in the hospital for 7 days in the NICU. My daughter was in there for 5 days. My hospital provided a room on the floor for me as long as they were there and the hospital had room. They released my son to my room on 9-11-2001. We stayed 2 more days. I watch cartoons and held him because I could not watch the news coverage.


My daughter's half birthday is 9/11, and I had been talking with her about her baby days before I turned on the television and saw those terrible scenes.

One of my first thoughts was for moms of new babies who deserve peace and joy so much, but had those terrible days crowding out everything else. I was mostly thinking of myself, because I wanted a lovely day to celebrate ~ half birthdays don't have the event planning complications of actual birthdays so I do especially enjoy them.

Now that five years have passed I have a different perspective, I appreciate that new babies being born or coming home, and half birthdays, and anything good and wonderful that also happened on that day, redeems it. I won't give up that day to the bad guys.

I was surprised that people seemed untroubled by my son's early arrival a month before his due date. I don't think most folks realize that babies coming two weeks early can need special care, since a little over a month seemed unremarkable.

Of course full term newborns and their moms are vulnerable and fragile creatures and that doesn't stop folks with colds dropping by to cough and sneeze while spreading compliments and gifts. Even XL newborns need protection from people who can't stay away.

Well, now I wish we had a new baby in the family for Christmas, just for those sweet cuddles and tiny fingers wrapping around our big ones.

Happy Holidays!

Pam W
SE of Seattle


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I'm collecting stories for an article I am writing on how friends can help out and be the best support when expectant moms are on bedrest, preemies are in the hospital or newly home.

What did your family, friends or neighbors do that helped?

Thanks!

Pam W
SE of Seattle

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I spent my last trimester on bed rest, I was allowed to be up for 4 hours each 24 hours. I was the Mother who had to have it ALL set up just so by the time the baby was born. Even though she was going to sleep in my room with me for a few months in her basinet, her room was perfect.

I was a single Woman, my parents were the only ones around to help me. They drove me when I needed to go somewhere, if I was not able to drive. I remember painting my daughters nursery, I was so sick of painting I couldn't stand it.

My doctor was concerned that I would develop pre eclampsia but I never did thank goodness. My daughter was born near her due date with no problems at all.

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Thanks Lisa! It's good to be reminded that *bed rest works* for many pregnant women.

My son was born a month early, but was healthy aside from developing jaundice that kept him in the hospital after I went home. I stayed a couple of extra days because he came along via C-Section, and missed his older sister terribly, then missed him terribly when I came home. I remember how happy I was the first day he was home, and I was tucked up into bed, sitting with him nestled in one arm and my daughter cuddled into the other, enjoying both of them and not missing either.

I still feel that way if we are sitting together on a park bench or couch, a picnic blanket, or even adjoining rocks at the beach. It's hard leaving a baby in the hospital and leaving a child at home while visiting the other, and all combinations that follow.

One mom I met told me that she appreciated the good medical care, the sensitivity of the staff, and all the amenities the hospital offered, but after the first couple of days she found herself wondering why they did not offer helicopter rides to and from the hospital - because the commute time was cruel and unusual punishment and also she was sure it was impossible to drive safely with her mind stretched between home and the NICU.

I just loved her for saying that. "For heaven sakes, get this mom a helicopter" should have been something we heard all up and down those hallways.

;-).

Pam W
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Babies Born Early - Prematurity and Childbirth
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