Discussed This Month
|advice from the preemie-l discussion board http://home.vicnet.net.au/~garyh/preemie_forum|
|Nancy needs advice,
"Just a question for all of you who have been
through the NICU experience and have your babies home
now. I need a little advice and some tips on how to
handle this situation. First of all Bryan was born at
24.5 weeks gest.on9/20/97 weighing 1lb 13oz.He spent 16
weeks in the NICU going through the usual crap
(vent,CPAP, cannula ect.ect.) Now he has been home for
2weeks and he is so fussy and cranky. At first we thought
it maybe his new surroundings at it would take some
getting used to but now its been a while and it's not
getting any better. I keep saying to myself that he has
been through alot and that is the reason but somtimes I
feel unsure. It doesn't matter what I do with him he only
stays calm for a few minutes and then he flips out. When
I feed him I hold him close and try to interact with him
without overstimulating but he just looks away. This is
very frustrating for me because I've waited so long to
have him home to bond and it's just not happening,or
maybe it is and I just don't know it. "
Robin shares, "Bringing a baby home from the NICU, especially after such a long hospital stay (my son Sawyer did 12 weeks) is such a stressful time for the very reason you referred to--there are such high expectations for what it will be like when the baby FINALLY comes home. But it rarely lives up to expectations. Our little ones frequently have a lot they still have to deal with even after they come home. Sawyer wasn't fussy the way Bryan is, but he did have his difficulties. He was very difficult to feed, and every three hours all the tension and frustration of trying to get him to eat enough engulfed me. I shared your same concerns about not being able to bond with my son (even though, like you, I had thought that now that he was home, I would be able to bond with him right away.) The anxiety and fear I felt inturupted those loving, warm and motherly feeling I craved. But my mother told me something which was very important to me and I want to pass it along to you. My mother was a fantastic mom and I have never doubted how deeply she loves me and my brother, yet it was she who reminded me that loving and bonding with your child is a process. It doesn't happen quickly for many mothers, especially when there is other stress. The process of bonding with your child can take months of getting to know him. I was frightened that because I hadn't had the warm delivery room experience of holding my new born, because I hadn't been able to hold him at all for a week, because he had lived apart from me in a hospital for 3 months, because I couldn't breastfeed him, and because when he finally did come home, it was stressful and scary: I wouldn't develop a loving bond with him. Well, I was wrong!!! He's been home for almost 4 months now, he's FINALLY eating well, and we've FINALLY relaxed with him. And I don't believe that I could feel any closer to him than I do now (even if I had breast fed him right after a perfect full term delivery :-) ). "
Jamie adds, "My Nicholas, born at 27.5 weeks, also had an extreme amount of fussiness. At first, I decided it was because we weren't comfortable enough with him, then I though maybe he didn't like us. Then...our early intervention specialist (who had already been providing services for Nick) suggested that she thought he might have Sensory Integration Disorder. I did a huge amount of research, and decided that she was probably right, then took him to his developmentalist for the final diagnosis. Well, he did have Sensory stuff, and it has been quite a challenge. But I have to admit that just putting aname to the disorder made us feel better. By learning more about how this affects Nick, we are now able to be more aware of what will affect him and how."
Rose relates, "Interestingly enough I went through this very thing with my 29 weeker and the 25 weeker could not have been farther the opposite of this. I really believe it has a lot to do with the sensory integration thing. My daughter cried incessantly and at times I just cried along with her. This sort of thing carried right on into toddlerhood when she would refuse to walk barefoot in grass or on rough surfaces. I have pictures of her slipping down into one of those ball vats like at Chuck E Cheese, screaming and acting like she was in a pool of worms and brains. Everything just set her off. Walking in a crowded mall was out of the question, her behavior would be horrible. After she could talk she would just tell me "mom, let's go, there's too many kids here". I have to say that she has pretty much gotten over all of that behavior now at 10 years of age although still will plug her ears if she knows there will be a noise. As far as what you're going through, I would first talk to the doctor because excessive fussiness can be a sign that the baby doesn't feel well or is coming down with something, but mostly the only thing you can do is try to make his environment calm and quiet and wait for it to pass."
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