Every month, High Risk Hope would like to highlight ongoing topics, frustrations, or curiosities in your very unique journey with high-risk pregnancy and/or premature birth. Mothers, fathers, family, and friends will touch on their personal tools, tips, and techniques to many of the ongoing concerns you face after having a high-risk pregnancy or a premature infant. Above all, remember that there are no right or wrong answers, only other parents and families figuring it out along the way, just like you. Here is what they have to say this month.
Angie Lemont-Bresnahan, Addie (3) born at 28 weeks after 3 weeks of bed rest
“I will always be honest with her and answer any questions she has. I want her to know that it’s not a bad thing that she came early at 28 weeks when she was “supposed” to come at 40 weeks. She was so excited to meet us that she was born early. Even though we were scared we were very excited as well. There were a lot of people there to make sure she was taken care of and felt very loved. She was the most beautiful little girl I had ever seen and she still is.”
Jennifer Schultz, Leah (4) born at 34 weeks and Stephen (1) born at 33 weeks after 10 weeks of bed rest
“When Leah asks why her brother had so many cords and stickers, I tell her it was because he was special and a miracle. Just like she was. I tell her exactly what the machines are (example: CPAP) and what it does, we don’t give nicknames or baby talk. Having gone through this twice, we want her to become educated about her and Stephen’s scary but very common journey. Nothing was their fault and nothing was Mommy’s fault, we were chosen to go through that journey together, so we never take our time together for granted.”
Bailey Nicholas, Henry (5) and Nora (5) born at 34 weeks after 7 weeks of bed rest
“Henry and Nora are now old enough to understand that a hospital is a place for specialized care. I look at photos with them of their time in the NICU and they ask questions like ‘What is on my face?’ (referring to oxygen and feeding tubes). I explain to them that they were born early so they had to learn how to eat and breathe and that the amazing doctors and nurses at the hospital helped them. When they see photos of other babies or kids with oxygen or monitor leads, they say, ‘Hey, I had those when I was born!’, proclaiming it as a badge of honor.”
Jenn Millman, Madalyn (9) born after 12 weeks of bed rest
“When Madalyn asked why HRH is so special to me, I tell her about my pregnancy complications. She has seen numerous photos of me and a blood pressure cuff. At 28 weeks I went in for a standard checkup and my blood pressure was very high. The end result was she had IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and would not grow until delivered. She was born at 4 lbs. 15 oz. and to this day she is still on the low end for weight, however, she follows her own curve and is a happy and healthy 9-year-old.”
Heather Barrow, Hill (10) born at 32 weeks after 8 weeks of bed rest
“Hill has always known that he was a preemie although the details that I’ve given him about our time in the hospital have evolved throughout the years. Now at 10 years old he knows know pretty much everything that went on during our three-month hospital stay. That knowledge helps Hill to be empathetic towards other families of preemies and tackle challenges in his life now knowing he has already overcome one of the best and biggest challenges when he was born.”
Do you have a question you’d like addressed on The Parent Perspective? Email us today!