November is Preemie Awareness Month - seeing that I have a sweet little boy, now 5 yrs old, that was born 4 weeks early - I thought I would join in on the topic at hand.
First off - I thought I would touch on what is a preemie? A lot of people don't consider Mr. J to be a preemie because of his original calculated due date (putting him 36w6days at birth) - but technically, ANY baby born prior to 37 weeks gestation IS considered a preemie - so even without adjusting his gestation due to my ovulation date (which was CD21, not the "standard" CD14, which would have made him 35w6days at birth) he is a preemie no matter how you look at it.
Mr. J's story is a bit of a complicated one; when I got pregnant, I did not follow the typical 28 day cycle - I ovulated on CD21. I mentioned to both my GP and my OB - but they both said they would go by CD1 to calculate the due date. I didn't really think about it much, until Mr. J was born.
Around 24 weeks, I developed pregnancy induced hypertension; at 32 weeks I was told I was developing pre-eclampsia, I was taken off work and put on bed rest - with weekly NST appointments to monitor the baby. At approx 36 weeks, I was at one of these NST appointments and the on call doctor told me I needed to be induced. My urine protein was high, BP was high and my blood work was not coming back favorable. She was worried the situation would turn quickly, and wanted to be pro-active with mine and babies health.
We went home, packed our things and headed in for baby day! The induction took approx 36 hours, and my sweet little boy was born. They knew he was early and expected that he may have some breathing difficulties - he was taken to the special care nursery immediately. For being almost a month early, he was a great weight 6 lbs 3 oz!
The pediatrician on call, and the nurses in the special care nursery were adamant that he was NOT 36w6 days like my chart says....after a few questions and me telling them that my O day was at CD21, they had their answers - he was only 35w6 days - which explained most of their suspicions.
When he was transferred to CHEO at 22 hours old, we were pretty much told the same thing - he was NOT more than 36 weeks gestation.
His right lung had collapsed and a chest tube was inserted; he was intubated to help him get the proper oxygen and he was attached to all sorts of machines. I was still in hospital, and when I got my day pass to go visit him I was shocked when I walked in. Even KNOWING that I would see wires and what not, it doesn't really prepare you (and my niece and nephew were born at 32 weeks....I had visited them in the NICU and knew what it would be like, but when it is YOUR baby, it is different)
Having a child in the NICU (well, in hospital at all I imagine) is extremely emotional. Add in your post-pregnancy hormones and you have a very complicated situation even worse. Stress levels are high, family members are on edge and it was just not a good time. My hubby and I fought - he was annoyed with my mom, I was annoyed with his parents and it was just a mess. Everything worked out - but it was definitely rough. Adding in to the mix I had delivery complications (I couldn't pee - I had 7 catheters while I was in hospital - over a 3 day period) and was sent home with one....they removed it at 7 days PP and I ended up having to go to emerg to have a new one inserted because I still couldn't go....it was not a fun experience and made for a much more difficult recovery.
At 10 days old, Mr J was released home to us - with a clean bill of health. We were so incredibly lucky to have our little boy with us - healthy and happy. There have been no lasting effects - he does have asthma, and the doctor mentioned that it COULD be related, but there really haven't been studies done. From speaking to respirologists and other doctors - apparently it is VERY rare for spontaneous pneumothorax to occur in a newborn.
Even though Mr. J was technically a preemie (born before 36 weeks) we really didn't have a lot of the obstacles that many do. He met all of his milestones on time (or early) and other than asthma the only thing really was a speech delay (and there is no way of knowing whether or not that was because of his premature birth)
That was our experience - a great friend of mine is also a Preemie mom - her son was born at 31 weeks - and she is guest posting on here for me. You can find that post HERE
I am participating in the Preemie Awareness Blog hop - check out the links below to read more preemie stories.
Blog Hop Participants
Frugal Mom Eh - Keira's Story
Journeys of the Zoo - Born at 30 weeks, the ZOO's NICU story
Number Crunching Momma - Being a Parent of a Preemie
Ask Mama Moe - What It's Like to Have Preemies
Life on Manitoulin - What It's Really Like to have a Preemie
No Holding Back - Tiny and Kathryn's story
Simply Suppa - (Some) Things You Need to Know About Preemies