Topics Discussed This Month
|wisdom from the Preemie-l e-mail group|
|Jennifer wonders, "It is just me, or is
one of the long term effects of going through the NICU roller-coaster,
yes-he'll-make-it, maybe-he-won't, a sort of scar that leaves us a little
unsure of whether something is still going to happen to our children? James is now three,
and I still guard him closely. I do not do this nearly as much with Loran who was
not nearly so critical. I still check him when he's down for a nap to make sure he is
breathing. Check him in the night too. There is always this underlying fear
that something is going to happen, that is my fault that will cost him serious injury or
worse. I don't want to be an overprotective parent, so this is something I really try to
set aside, but I'm wondering if I'm paddling this canoe alone or is this boat loaded and I
just didn't know it?"
Jennifer P replies, "It's not just you. My DH and I were talking just last night about this (our first "date" since the baby came home from the hospital) last night. We certainly enjoy Michael, but we're always worried that something is going to happen to him. We went through so much to have him just live, and we're paranoid that something else could happen that is NOT preemie related. Our life was pretty darned good before all this happened. It still is, but this was a rude awakening to many things we took for granted. The positive side is that it has made us thankful for everything we used to take for granted. We always checked our toddler (ft'er), and still do, but know pretty much that she's okay. With a preemie, you know that some problems can surface much later. So, we feel somewhat "robbed" by the preemie experience because you can never fully "relax.""
Jane responds, "You know...I'd think having lost two babies and going through the nicu experience would make me a VERY paranoid parent...but I really am not. I guess because I've been around so many children. When Amber died we had her name engraved on the urn plate -- when Cheyenne died we wanted them together in the same urn so they had to take off the original plate and put a second one on -- when they did this we asked them to leave room in case we also had to add Mario to it. At that point it was very realistic that we'd lose him too...and even when he first came home I was very paranoid that I was going to "kill" him somehow...but now that we've come to know each other and we've been through a few colds and such together. I'm not nearly as paranoid."
Wendy advises, "Don't those feelings just drive you nuts!! Kylees been doing so well and we feel very fortunate for that blessing. But still I have lingering feelings now and she's almost 2. I wonder if she will be kidnapped (after watching the news of a kidnapped child), or stop breathing, catch something from another child and be very sick, fall out of her crib and the list goes on. I wondered last year, if I was going crazy because I kept having thoughts of death about her and it frightened me so much. The more I'd try to stop the thoughts the stronger they became. I kept thinking, how could I be thinking these things when everything is alright now? I even saw a psychiatrist. He reassured me that I wasn't crazy. The more I talk to moms, the more validated I feel about these feelings. I'm not alone and that helps to. Its disheartening to think that your the only one that feels like this."
Charlene adds, "I know how you feel. For the first 6 months after Sammy came home I would fear he would stop breathing in his car seat when I went out. I can't count how many times I stopped half way to the store <2 miles from my home> to pull over and check on him. He slept in the same room right next to my bed till he was a year old. Something I didn't do for that long for my first 2. I don't think I slept throughout the night until he was 18 months old. Sammy on the other hand was sleeping thru the night at 3 months. LOL. But the fear slowly goes away."
BJ says, "As a parent of an older preemie, (8 yrs old now), I can say that for *me* the fear never completely goes away, however, it does get easier to handle as the years pass and as the "critical" issues subside. Just yesterday my preemie was the last child to get up in the morning. I was in the kitchen and made my DH go check on him, I was too afraid to. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that maybe he didn't wake up for some reason because he is usually the first one up. That feeling of "was he taken away from me during the night" arose. My DH came down to report that Zac was up, just playing in his room. I guess, though, that my fear for my preemie has been over-shadowed in recent years due to the issues revolving around my youngest who is now a cancer survivor. As a parent of a cancer patient, I know that it only takes one cell to cause a problem. I live with the fear each day that his tumor will return, and we have been told that the prognosis would not be good if this happens. The chances of this are far greater than my concerns for my preemie's health issues at this point in his life. I feel "double" fear at times. Nothing in life is guaranteed, a lesson I have learned well. So if I have all of my children just one more day, I am very thankful to have that time with them. So I guess an answer to your question, IMO, is that "no, it never goes away, just possibly gets easier to deal with as time passes".
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