Thursday, August 4, 2011

Princess Preemie Primer - Bringing a #preemie home

Every Thursday is Princess Preemie Primer Thursday. I will write about premature infants (mine included!). Topics include informative pieces, personal stories (mine and others), and anything I can think of in regards to premature babies and their supporting family and friends. If you are a parent of a preemie and would like to be featured, please email me at samanthap{at}mommytoaprincess{dot}com.


November 11, 2009, after 67 days of waiting, we were finally able to bring the princess home.  It was a day that we had looked forward to for so long, but fear had also had a chance to set in. 

Let me explain the fear.

On the date of her discharge, Roxy weighed 4 pounds, 6 ounces.  Much bigger than her birth weight, but she was still so tiny.  I still felt as though I could break her in two!  In addition to that, Russ and I had only been with her for hours at a time before, never 24/7/365. 

She had only been off her monitors for days before we brought her home.  We were so used to having a machine let us know when she didn't breath for a few seconds or when her heart beat slowed down.  What now? 
That morning, we rushed to the city where the hospital was, returned several clothing items we received as gifts and purchased her car seat/stroller combo.   We installed the base to the car seat in the Babies R Us parking lot.  While we were at Babies R Us, we also purchased an Angel Care Monitor which a friend had alerted us about. 

This has to be the best product for a premature baby ever.  You put a sensor under the crib mattress.  If the baby fails to breath or move for 15 seconds, an alaram sounds.  It also has the typical monitor capabilities of providing you with sound from the nursery.  I'm sure there are probably models now that provide the video view as well, but we settled with the base model. 

When we arrived at the hospital, we met with the nurse (so happy that our favorite nurse was able to see Roxy's departure) and neonatologist and watched a video about Shaken Baby Syndrome. 

No matter how scared we were of bringing Roxy home that day, we were very fortunate that instead of bringing home monitors and oxygen tanks, we merely had vitamin and iron supplements. 

After arriving home at midday and answering a million phone calls from family and friends, Roxy napped and we took turns holding her.  I don't think we put her down for the first 12 hours. 

We had a few visitors that day and the days that followed, but because it was November and the beginning of RSV season, we asked that everyone not only washed their hands, but used hand sanitizer.  Germs were an enemy!

You have to learn not to go places.  Russ and I were able to leave to do what had to be done, but other than traveling to my aunt's for daycare, Roxy did not leave the house.  Quarantining is not fun, but with a little one so sensitive to germy conditions, its a must. 

The monitor was a life-saver.  We tried sleeping with Roxy in our room in a co-sleeper the first couple of nights, but it didn't work out.  We had a twin bed in her room for us to use, so I began sleeping in there with her with the monitor on.  There were a few times that the monitor would alert us to something being wrong, but most of the time, it was solely Roxy moving around the crib while she was asleep. 

Bringing a #preemie home is more than just the car ride home from the hospital. 
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3 comments:

  1. Great post! I had problems with certain people thinking I was taking it to the extreme, but with Molly's BPD (chronic lung disease) we took no chances! She is 3 & 1/2 and I still freak out when she gets sick. Hopefully one day my nerves will ease! Have a great weekend!

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  2. That's how much T weighed when he was born! He was in the NICU for 78 days & was up to 9 lbs when he came home. It is a very scary time. He had to come home on a heart monitor b/c he had an apnea scare the day before. That thing only beeped when I'd accidentally unplug it though!

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  3. I can't even begin to imagine what that first day must have been like for you. I don't really have any experience with premies (Mini-Me was 6lbs 6oz even at 2 weeks early), so I'm learning from reading your journey. I love that you choose to share this!

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