Today is the "Preemie Awareness Day" and even though it brings back sour memories, it makes me smile the fact that my girls are mostly healthy and growing into beautiful ladies.

There are three types of premature babies: 'micro preemies', 'preemies' and 'preterm babies'. My girls are considered preterm babies because they were born between 34-37 weeks of gestation. Mia developed Fetal growth restriction at 33 weeks, so she was the only one considered 'preemie' even though she was born after 34 weeks.

I can only imagine how horrible it is to have a baby born earlier than 33 weeks, and my experience is nothing compared to what those moms and babies went through. Still I'm only human, and I had dreams of holding my babies on my chest as soon as they were born, and I couldn't. All my babies were taken away from me as soon as they were born, and it was heartbreaking how I was not able to be in control over them, and to give them the love they needed... They received the medical care... that part is true... but not the emotional comfort they were used to while being on my belly.

Only a person that have been in this situation can understand what it is to see your baby crying and crying, and not being able to hold her because she needed to be inside of a plastic box! My head knew they needed to be there, but my heart only wanted to hold them close and sing in their ears and make them feel comforted and loved. They were sooo loved and I wasn't able to show them that.

I will be posting individually about the experience of each girl, but this first post will be about me. Why? Because it's easy to find information online about health related issues for the child, however, there is ONE thing that you hardly ever read about... The emotional scar that every mom of a baby born early can't run away from.

That doesn't seem important, and at the end of the day, it is not.  Still, I want to post about those little things I missed out... those little things that made me feel like a bad mom... those little things that made me think it was my fault... those little things that makes me want to hug hard every preemie mom I meet...

This may not be the situation for every preemie mom, but here are some of my own facts... Things I missed out and things I felt... and some other things that I would never know how they feel like...
1- I would never know how it feels to have a normal pregnancy without complications, or to be pregnant full term, or have a birth plan...
2- I would never go through the nesting stage during a pregnancy
3- I would never know what it feels to have everything ready waiting for the baby to be born.  In all three pregnancies they were born before I was even close to be ready.
4- I wasn't able to do skin-to-skin when my girls were born because they needed medical attention right away.
5- I wasn't able to hold my babies during their first day of life, because they were not allowed to be with room temperature.
6- They were not able to room in with me in the hospital, because they were in the NICU.
7- I had to ask permission to strangers to see and even touch MY babies, because the nurses and doctors were the ones in control.
8- I was not allowed to breastfeed them for the first few days, because they needed controlled IV feedings only.
9- After months of having my babies in my belly, after they discharged me, I had to go home baby-less.... No baby in my belly and no baby in my arms...
10- In Gaby's case, I couldn't even see her for 2 entire days, because she was transferred to a different hospital. This happens when there is not enough space in the NICU. Then, I needed to wait to be discharged myself to be able to see her.
11- I had to see them crying without being able to do ANYTHING about it. Then, after they were discharged, and I only wanted to hold my babies 24/7, I had to hear people telling me how it was not good for the babies to be held that much. I seriously wanted to punch every person that said that to me.
12- I wasn't able to have a good night sleep in forever... Not because my babies were crying, but because even though they were asleep, I was afraid something was going to happen in their sleep. I took me years to be able to sleep in peace, because by the time I was starting to feel comfortable that nothing was going to happen in their sleep, I already had a new preemie to worry about the same thing.

I'm sure there are more things but those were all that came to my mind. Now I will post about the experience with each one of the girls.... (post updated to add the links)
Posted by Anelys Perez On 1:33 PM No comments

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