Premature Elation

Unless you or a close family member or friend have ever had a baby decide to come into this world really, really early, you probably have no idea what the preemie world is like.

That was me a few months ago. My first son was born full-term without incident. This one, not so much. Go ahead and read what sounds like a redneck reality show but is exactly what happened. I’ll wait.

The best way I can describe the process of getting a preemie ready for the world is 2 steps forward, 1 3/4 steps back. One day, you step into the NICU to see he’s made some sort of progress, like, say, he’s taken his bottle just fine, coordinating his suck, swallow, breathe reflex perfectly. This goes on for 2 or 3 days, and then for no discernible reason, he no longer knows how to do it and goes back to forgetting to breathe – which is a pretty important part of the living process.

This is just one small example of the roller-coaster preemie world. You honestly never know what you’re gonna get when you arrive in the NICU – unless you’ve called a few minutes before getting there and asked.

It’s up. It’s down. It’s forward. Then back.

Last week, Meyer had 4 or 5 days of mind-blowing progress, and since he’s getting close to “full term,” I thought we were days away from the elimination of all problems and baby coming home.

I was elated. But I am a slow-learner, it seems.

Somehow I had not gleaned from all of our previous episodes of progress then steps back that the same thing could happen again. And it did. Nevertheless, the doctor says he is almost ready to come home.

We will probably bring him home with some of the equipment he seems to have become permanently attached to, like his heart monitor and maybe his feeding tube, but at least he’ll be home. And all of that stuff will be temporary.

It’s been quite a ride, and we’re physically and emotionally exhausted. But honestly, we’re lucky. When you spend every day at a children’s hospital, where you can overhear the problems other people are having, it will rearrange your perspective really fast.

Trust me. Someone always has it worse than you. Some of them much, much worse.

So today, I count my blessings. Meyer’s road may not be short but my baby’s gonna be okay.

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Comments

  1. Kendal Jempson says:

    I am so thrilled! I can’t wait for him to be at home where you can cuddle him all day, every day…..Asher may not be so thrilled. Wish we lived closer to each other.

    K

  2. Pam Dawkins Maurin says:

    I also experienced the NICU and you are so right. But what great nurses and doctors at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital…….awesome care for all premature babies. My twin girls were 9 weeks early and also came home with heart monitors. They are 7 years old now and the best daughters ever. The anxiety escalated the day they told us……..’they are going home today’!

    • We’re at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta and they are doing a fantastic job.
      Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It really does help to look down the road and see normalcy!

  3. My first was early, in the mildest sense. She was breathing, and after a short stint on a feeding tube, eating just fine.

    I’m lucky and I know it. I will never forget how I loathed walking into the NICU because the nurse would loudly announce, “Oh, we don’t worry about her! She’s fine.” I was relieved, of course, but horrified that that same response didn’t ring out for the other families to enjoy.

    So I would spend my energy praying for the other less fine babies in that room.

    That said, until I had my second, I didn’t know how preemie my first was, after all. Not in the medically unstable sense, but in the sense that she was very sensitive, difficult to feed, and generally just not quite ready for the demands of the world.

    And, like you suggest your Meyer will be, at 7 she’s more than fine. As are many of our preemie friends who have grown to lead healthy lives with happy outcomes.

    Until then I’ll pray for your happy outcome. Elation will come soon for you, I hope.

    • Something about your description of your daughter as being sensitive and just generally unready for the world really struck a chord with me. Thanks. I think keeping that in mind might help keep me sane.

  4. I can’t wait to meet him and have him meet Doodle!!! She was three and half months early (as you know) and this morning, three months shy of her second birthday, she was playing a gig ont he drums in her bedroom!!

    XOXOXO

  5. I hate the NICU roller coaster, but I’m very happy to read that you are seeing the road home clearly. Thinking of you all and hoping for only steps forward from now on.

    • It is the most UNFUN roller-coaster on the planet. This is no amusement park.
      But we’ll get there one day.
      Thanks for the positive vibes!

  6. Pat Harvell says:

    So happy and relieved that your sweet little son is doing so much better!

    I love you and your Asher and Myer. Would really like to see ya’ll.

  7. That’s so exciting! I’m sorry you guys have had to go through all of this! That sounds terrifying, to mix with all that progress – I would go bananas, and am very impressed that you haven’t. But it will be a drop in the bucket soon, I promise.

  8. Thinking about you! Soon he will be home, and before you know it he’ll be running around and this will all be a distant, faded memory. Hard to believe it now, I am sure.

  9. Our twins were in the NICU for 4 weeks. It is such a strange experience and yes very much a roller-coaster. You are exactly right, it is really hard to really experience it until you have lived through it. You are also right that it will get better and then the next thing you know you will be sitting beside the birthday cake with your son marveling at how far he has came. ~Sasha

  10. Yes, it is indeed quite a ride. My 7th baby (after 6 perfect births, 5 of them at home) was born at 27 weeks after my water broke several weeks previously. It’s a miracle he survived in there that long, because most women go into labor within 24 hours of their water breaking. He’ll be 2 October 22. He’s doing awesome and so far has no ongoing issues due to his prematurity.

    It really does blow up your life, leaving you to glue everything back together.

    … a fellow Atlanta mom blogger who is now subscribed to your feed. Nice to meet you. 🙂

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Premature Elation

Unless you or a close family member or friend have ever had a baby decide to come into this world really, really early, you probably have no idea what the preemie world is like.

That was me a few months ago. My first son was born full-term without incident. This one, not so much. Go ahead and read what sounds like a redneck reality show but is exactly what happened. I’ll wait.

The best way I can describe the process of getting a preemie ready for the world is 2 steps forward, 1 3/4 steps back. One day, you step into the NICU to see he’s made some sort of progress, like, say, he’s taken his bottle just fine, coordinating his suck, swallow, breathe reflex perfectly. This goes on for 2 or 3 days, and then for no discernible reason, he no longer knows how to do it and goes back to forgetting to breathe – which is a pretty important part of the living process.

This is just one small example of the roller-coaster preemie world. You honestly never know what you’re gonna get when you arrive in the NICU – unless you’ve called a few minutes before getting there and asked.

It’s up. It’s down. It’s forward. Then back.

Last week, Meyer had 4 or 5 days of mind-blowing progress, and since he’s getting close to “full term,” I thought we were days away from the elimination of all problems and baby coming home.

I was elated. But I am a slow-learner, it seems.

Somehow I had not gleaned from all of our previous episodes of progress then steps back that the same thing could happen again. And it did. Nevertheless, the doctor says he is almost ready to come home.

We will probably bring him home with some of the equipment he seems to have become permanently attached to, like his heart monitor and maybe his feeding tube, but at least he’ll be home. And all of that stuff will be temporary.

It’s been quite a ride, and we’re physically and emotionally exhausted. But honestly, we’re lucky. When you spend every day at a children’s hospital, where you can overhear the problems other people are having, it will rearrange your perspective really fast.

Trust me. Someone always has it worse than you. Some of them much, much worse.

So today, I count my blessings. Meyer’s road may not be short but my baby’s gonna be okay.

If you like this post, please click the Facebook like button within the post or share! And subscribe now so to stay in touch. I’ll send you an email when there’s a new post (once or twice a week) and no spam ever.

  1. Kendal Jempson says:

    I am so thrilled! I can’t wait for him to be at home where you can cuddle him all day, every day…..Asher may not be so thrilled. Wish we lived closer to each other.

    K

  2. Pam Dawkins Maurin says:

    I also experienced the NICU and you are so right. But what great nurses and doctors at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital…….awesome care for all premature babies. My twin girls were 9 weeks early and also came home with heart monitors. They are 7 years old now and the best daughters ever. The anxiety escalated the day they told us……..’they are going home today’!

    1. toulouse says:

      We’re at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta and they are doing a fantastic job.
      Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It really does help to look down the road and see normalcy!

  3. My first was early, in the mildest sense. She was breathing, and after a short stint on a feeding tube, eating just fine.

    I’m lucky and I know it. I will never forget how I loathed walking into the NICU because the nurse would loudly announce, “Oh, we don’t worry about her! She’s fine.” I was relieved, of course, but horrified that that same response didn’t ring out for the other families to enjoy.

    So I would spend my energy praying for the other less fine babies in that room.

    That said, until I had my second, I didn’t know how preemie my first was, after all. Not in the medically unstable sense, but in the sense that she was very sensitive, difficult to feed, and generally just not quite ready for the demands of the world.

    And, like you suggest your Meyer will be, at 7 she’s more than fine. As are many of our preemie friends who have grown to lead healthy lives with happy outcomes.

    Until then I’ll pray for your happy outcome. Elation will come soon for you, I hope.

    1. toulouse says:

      Something about your description of your daughter as being sensitive and just generally unready for the world really struck a chord with me. Thanks. I think keeping that in mind might help keep me sane.

  4. Travis says:

    I can’t wait to meet him and have him meet Doodle!!! She was three and half months early (as you know) and this morning, three months shy of her second birthday, she was playing a gig ont he drums in her bedroom!!

    XOXOXO

    1. toulouse says:

      Thanks for all your behind-the-scenes support, Trav!

  5. I hate the NICU roller coaster, but I’m very happy to read that you are seeing the road home clearly. Thinking of you all and hoping for only steps forward from now on.

    1. toulouse says:

      It is the most UNFUN roller-coaster on the planet. This is no amusement park.
      But we’ll get there one day.
      Thanks for the positive vibes!

  6. Pat Harvell says:

    So happy and relieved that your sweet little son is doing so much better!

    I love you and your Asher and Myer. Would really like to see ya’ll.

  7. That’s so exciting! I’m sorry you guys have had to go through all of this! That sounds terrifying, to mix with all that progress – I would go bananas, and am very impressed that you haven’t. But it will be a drop in the bucket soon, I promise.

  8. Kelly says:

    Thinking about you! Soon he will be home, and before you know it he’ll be running around and this will all be a distant, faded memory. Hard to believe it now, I am sure.

  9. Our twins were in the NICU for 4 weeks. It is such a strange experience and yes very much a roller-coaster. You are exactly right, it is really hard to really experience it until you have lived through it. You are also right that it will get better and then the next thing you know you will be sitting beside the birthday cake with your son marveling at how far he has came. ~Sasha

  10. Yes, it is indeed quite a ride. My 7th baby (after 6 perfect births, 5 of them at home) was born at 27 weeks after my water broke several weeks previously. It’s a miracle he survived in there that long, because most women go into labor within 24 hours of their water breaking. He’ll be 2 October 22. He’s doing awesome and so far has no ongoing issues due to his prematurity.

    It really does blow up your life, leaving you to glue everything back together.

    … a fellow Atlanta mom blogger who is now subscribed to your feed. Nice to meet you. 🙂

Speak Your Mind

11205514_780557175393569_3754992084373442286_n
We're parenting. And we're laughing. Because it's better than crying.

Subscribe to my newsletter. I'm handier than a box of tissue

You have Successfully Subscribed!