Mara Stein, Psy.D.
Deborah L. Davis, Phd
Your Thoughts Here
Mara Stein, Psy.D.
Welcomes and Angels
In the topics discussed this issue, the question is asked if everyone feels this
way? Has having a premature (or chronically ill) baby changed the way you parent?
My answer is a resounding yes. I am not the parent I envisioned myself being.
I am more paranoid, more protective, more neurotic, and in many ways more
lenient. I no longer take a healthy, *normal* child for granted. And yes, even
5 years later.. I check my children's breathing. I still assess their coloring and
worry if their lips or face appear *dusky*. And I constantly look for things
that may signal that something is wrong. I have a tendency to jump to the
worst conclusions first, and think of the more reasonable possibilities later.
For example: there came a time in my pregnancy with Travis that I began to
occasionally feel these little *jumps*. The jumps were too quick to be normal
fetal movement. They would repeat over and over, every few seconds, for a duration
of 10 minutes or so. I was panicked. After Taylor had his brain bleed, we were
well drilled in the symptoms of a possible seizure ... rhythmic, repetitive
movements... I was completely convinced for about two weeks that Travis was having
seizures in utero. I was sure of this even though his was a *normal* healthy
pregnancy. I really had no idea what *normal* was, or how to react to it. It
wasn't until I had gotten a good case of hiccups myself, that I realized what was
really making Travis jump.
After Travis was born, at 37 weeks and a huge 8 lbs, I was even more of a wreck. I
had no idea how to care for a healthy infant. What do you mean he could room in with
me??? What if something happens? Where were the monitors? Do his lips look blue?
Is he breathing to fast? How is his temperature? How am I supposed to know if
he is keeping his oxygen level up if there is no pulse ox? Shouldn't there be covers for
his eyes? It took a very very long time for me to relax, and trust that Travis was
not going to *crash* at any moment.
And I can say that even though I still jump to the worst conclusions first.. I can now
step back, gain a bit of perspective... and look for the more reasonable explanations.
I now can realize that my boys lips look a little pale because they have simply
spent way too long in the bathtub, and are getting too cold, not because they can't
control their oxygen levels.
Tammy, Mom to:
Taylor (born at 28 wks, now 5),
Taylor's id twin, and guardian angel - Alex,
and Travis (full term, now 3).
Wife to Gary (mostly out to sea).
If you are reading this newsletter on paper.. it is because someone has
taken the time to download it off the internet, print it out and share it with
you... If you have internet access, maybe you can do the same for others. Please
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