Prematurity does not end after the baby leaves the NICU to go home.
Babies born prematurely are more likely to have developmental struggles than babies born on time. However, getting them therapy early drastically improves their struggles.
World Prematurity Day is a day to help make people aware of some of the facts related to prematurity. It’s also a day to remember where my babies started and how far they have come! We had triplets that were born at 26 weeks, 6 days. They weighed 2 lbs 10 oz, 2lbs 8oz, and 2lbs 3oz at birth.
Today, they are 3 years old, and they are doing amazing. We could not be prouder!
An Emotional Process
When I first learned that my babies were premature, I was scared. I didn’t know if my babies would make it; yet, I was proud of them. So, do you share the news of their birth or not? It was this weird time of contradictions. Celebration and fear were the worst.
I also thought it was my fault in some way. Maybe I was on my feet too much? Maybe I should have had less ice cream? Maybe I should have exercised more? What did I do to cause this? The guilt was overwhelming. And if I am being honest – I was jealous.
How could all of these other people have full term babies and I could not? Why me?
It took some time for me to overcome these thoughts and feelings, but I was able to get there by talking about it with other moms of preemies.
A NICU Care Team Like No Other
The WakeMed NICU care team helped educate me on what changes I would see each week, developmentally. They asked for my input prior to making big decisions, and they made sure to update me on the condition of each baby. The thing I’m most thankful for, however, was the ability to learn how to parent my children while inside the NICU.
A Message to Other Parents of NICU Babies
If there was one thing I could say to other parents of premature babies it would be this: Ask questions until you are comfortable! Make sure you understand what is going on with your baby.
As for the NICU staff at WakeMed – these are awesome clinicians with hearts to match. One of the biggest blessings of my early delivery was that we delivered at WakeMed.
LaToshia Rouse | 2013 NICU Parent
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