Edited 06/07/2019, added notes: At the time I’ve written this post, everything seemed like it’s going to be fine. Two months have gone and I cannot believe how our life turned upside down almost the worst way possible. I’ll leave this post here with the original date, I’ll let the post out and update about the happenings later. How2Mummy will never be the same… I will never be the same.
The time has arrived.
My twins are going to be here in 5 days, born by 32+2.
With IUGR, things can turn pretty bad radically fast.
Luckily, this is not our case. The future the doctors have painted us changed upside down, and since it was the darkest a mother can imagine, I couldn’t be happier.
They’re doing great inside at the moment and putting on weight nicely.
The doctors, however, don’t want to wait until things turn bad, because a happy baby living inside has a better chance thriving outside.
Considering our complications, I feel lucky, but I cannot forget the fact that we are not out of the woods yet.
The main part is right in front of us: raising these babies… and the main part starts with an NICU stay for two.
We did everything we could in terms of buying the necessary baby items, tailored to premature babies. The bigger baby will be just slightly shy of 2 kg and the smaller baby will hopefully reach 1050 grams.
We have small preemie clothes and we’ve chosen the car seat that is suitable for their small weight.
We also bought all the other baby items that you need for twins.
It’s very important that you prepare yourself for what can be in front of you when you expect your baby will be premature.
And by preparation, I mean you do your best to read up information.
I can’t imagine that you can fully prepare for what’s coming, but there are some things you can do that can make it easier, and you definitely want to do that, otherwise, it’ll bump you out even more.
Follow Other Preemie Stories
Seeing what’s going on with another baby that is premature can help.
And there were times I couldn’t even look at the updates. I had to turn my head away, and avoid the Facebook group his mum was sharing his story at because it was way too overwhelming.
However, it helped me, seeing his pictures and videos. Seeing a baby hooked up to so many monitors and machines is shocking and I expect I will never be able to erase this picture from my head once they will be my babies there at the NICU.
Watching this small miracle grow and fight gives me hope every day that my babies will do the same, and they are already doing the same, inside. For one, my smaller twin keeps growing and growing, not listening to the specialist doctors saying anything, he keeps doing his thing, in his pace.
Put Yourselves First
It’s only natural for your friends and family wanting to know everything about your precious little one.
And it is only natural for you to deny this request or answer no questions.
Keep it in mind that your baby will only have you, the parents as primary support, therefore you need to be as strong as possible.
If answering the thousands question about how your baby is doing and what’s new not what you want to do at times, keep quiet, or post a general note about it on your social media account – telling an update for everyone OR telling them you won’t be answering, or just do nothing and pick up the conversation later.
Whoever has some empathy will understand that you can’t be repeating yourself over and over again, you can’t be giving your energy you need to keep going to them by explaining over and over again what’s going on, especially because they likely won’t even understand.
My mum doesn’t know our IUGR story in full length and possibly will never know. I tried explaining it to her once and she started panicking, and just wanted to be reassured that everything will be fine.
At that moment I realised she won’t be able to emotionally support me, and I had no energy of carrying someone else on my shoulders other than my two babies wellbeing so I just gave her what she wanted – told her the empty words of “everything will be fine, don’t worry” and kept details to myself from then on.
Later, I realised they weren’t empty words as they were full of hope.
Ban Visitors Who Are Sick
You need to be very specific and straight forward with this – no ill visitors.
If you don’t trust someone would know this by themselves, or follow your request, don’t be afraid to ask specific questions, like do they have a cold or had they have an upset tummy in the past three days.
Don’t forget that there are other premature babies in the NICU next to your little one, so you’re protecting them too. Some babies can be even sicker than yours, so it’s really important to keep to this rule.
If you feel like, ask everyone not to visit your baby while being there.
You’ll rather be put up with some people calling you overly protective than a fallback because someone gave a cold to your baby.
Ask For Help
Don’t wait until you break, ask for help before that would happen!
Whatever makes your life easier, don’t be afraid to mention it to someone who’s offering help – they often won’t know what to say or what to do, and will feel grateful if you give them specifics how they can support you.
Cleaning your house, cooking food, decorating for coming home, giving you a ride to the hospital or getting something for the baby from the shop you need but don’t want to look around for are all things they can do for you.
Seek Professional Help
The rule goes here too – don’t wait until you break down, ask for help!
You’ll definitely need someone who won’t ask you a thousand times a day for updates, but can sit with you and comfort you while you cry, or offer you help that eases the pain on deeper levels.
Don’t be afraid to throw everything at these people you need to give out, they are really there to help you, and you will feel better, lighter, and see more light at the end of this bumpy ride.
If you know someone facing a NICU stay with their baby or babies, share this with them as a sign of your support!