1st time preemie mom

  • hi, I'm a first time mom to a preemie baby boy. He's in perfect health, my husband and I are extremely lucky in that respect. However, I'm having a hard time dealing with my emotions. He was born at 29 weeks weighing 2 lbs 2 oz, and he stayed in the hospital for almost 2 months. Even though he's healthy and always was ( he just needed to gain weight to come home) I cant help feeling like its my fault he was born early, I get very emotinal looking at his pictures from when he was in the NICU and when we're out and people comment on how tiny he is, I get either mad or very upset. Also, I have a hard time being away from him. i dont know if thats because I didnt have a choice in being away from him when he was born or not, but i dont like leaving him with my parents or in-laws even to take a 30 minute trip to the grocery store. Anyone else go through this? i know its normal at first but he's almost 7 months old..any tips?

  • I can relate to how you are feeling. I to am a mom to  preemie boy. He was a month early and like your little one was perfect in every way but had to go to the NICU. Although I was able to room with my little one and only left his room to eat.  I felt horrible and blamed myself and did all the research I could trying to find answers. The bottom line is nothing you or I could have done would have changed anything. I discussed my feelings  with my OB/Gyn at my 2 week appt. and she made it clear unless I was a smoker or an illegal drug abuser there is nothing I did or could have done to prevent his early arrival and needed to stop blaming myself. Yes he is tiny but rejoice in the fact he is perfectly healthy, size in only a number. This is my fourth baby but first preemie. I think many people commented on my other three on how "small" they looked and they all were "average" sized babies. People just forget how small we all start out and mean nothing negative by commenting on it. In place of blame I replaced it with reminding myself how lucky we are to have him, here and healthy. There are many couple wishing to have a baby and are unable to make that happen.  I remember looking around the general NICU he was in to start and seeing all the other sick babies who were attached to many tubes, wires and monitors and had been here for months and months kind of puts things into prespective. Not every baby in that NICU went home with their parents. As far as not wanting to leave him I think this is normal and shows you are bonded to your child. As he gets older it will get easier. Enjoy your sweet baby boy and remember how lucky you are to be his mommy. He wouldn't want you to worry about things you cannot change. Hope this helps!

  • thank you, your advice helps alot. I stayed with him all the time, we only left to eat and sleep. I was able to stay at the Ronald McDonald house across the street from the hospital so we were always close to him. You're 100% right about other babies in the NICU, and it does put things in perspective. How do you respond to people commenting on your sons size? i dont want to just say "yes, he's small" because I dont want to seem rude, but I also dont like telling people he was born early, because I dont want to seem like i'm looking for sympathy. thank you so much, your advice has really helped

  • Hi I am a first time mom to a set of twin boys.  They where born early at 26 weeks weighing 1lb 8oz and 1lb and 13oz.  They had to have a surgery.  Now they are fine.  They did not come home on any moniters or oxygen. I did not want to go anywhere away from my twins. My mom begged me to take a break and I can't. She did convince me to start school and I only feel comfortable with leaving them with my husband. Everytime I leave I feel strange. I understand you completely.

  • glad to hear your sons are  okay! My son had to have surgery too for a herneia. I dont feel so bad now knowing that other Moms feel uncomfortable leaving their little ones too !

  • My daughter came 5 weeks early and we spent 2 weeks in NICU. I am an OB/L&D nurse and thought I would handle it just fine....NOT!! I was a mess and spent many nights wondering what I did wrong. She broke her collar bone and I broke my tailbone during the delivery, her face was purple with bruises and her head looked horrible from the vacuum....I don't think I have totally gotten over it. I think we are all strong mommies and should give ourselves a pat on the back for making it through a NICU stay!


  • My son was born 1 month early.  He is just over 4 months old.  I did go through very difficult time with my in-laws and my sister-in-law.  They thought I was depressed.  I didn't want them to take care my son. Everytime they've offered to take him, I got really emotional.  Even if they wanted to help me to get some sleep or to spend quality time with my husband.  We even had few discussions on why I didn't want them to take care of my son.   I totally understand where you stand and It is normal to feel that way about your son.  You want to make sure that your son is at best care and that he is protected from any harm.  My doctor once said that it is totally natural to feel that way and other family should respect your space for awhile.  I needed some time to recover from my surgery and to get to know my son.  My son is now very healthy and I no longer worry about him being born preemie.  He gets to see his grandparents twice a week and his aunt as well.  I don't have my side of family here in the US so it's been very difficult to swallow that my parents are not being able to enjoy this wonderful experience with us. Well...a long story short,  I have gathered my husband side of family and shared my feeling with them.  It was very emotional and wasn't easy.  My son loves to spend time with his grandparents and other families around him.  He doesn't cry when someone else is holding him.  It's been wonderful to introduce him to other families so that he is used to others.  I am back to work part time and I don't have to worry about my son anymore.    Luckly...all of my babysitters are on the same page with me.  It is VERY important that everyone knows how you feel.  Ask for help.  I would like to say that YOU ARE A WONDERFUL MOTHER TO YOUR SON.  Keep up the good work! 

  • I totally understand how you feel. My son was born at 33 weeks being a first time mom and a preemie mom is alot to adjust and i was always saying what if this caused his heart rate to drop that low(was emergency csection because of dangerously low heart rate). I always blamed myself and think somewhat i still do but i am understanding now that i tried my best and did everything possible for him. Unless you wished to have a preemie then chances are it wasn't your fault. I always tell myself he was preemie so that i cherish all the small things that alot of "normal" parents consider no big deal. 

  • DavidsMommy1012-I think that the separation struggles that you are having are very, very normal. These show me that you are very nicely attached to your baby and that you are responsible/concerned parent. That being said, take a deep breath and step back. It is normal and good to have some anxiety about leaving him, but it not helpful to either of you. You might try leaving him for very short periods of time and then increasing that time slowly overtime. Thus, start with a ten minute walk or a run to the store while grammy is watching him. Then slowly increase that time. I also can understand that you feel guilty for his early birth, only bc I have heard this from a lot of tother moms. You did exactly what needed to be done for his healthy and well being-you delivered early and assured that he was safely tucked into his crib in the NICU. Your are so on the right track to be an awesome mom! Work on forgiving yourself and on letting go just a little bit. -Jess
  • Hello,  I know how you feel about him being a preemie, my son was a preemie and was in the NICU for 2 1/2 months before we were able to take him home.   He was born at 28 weeks,  dont feel like it was your fault that he came early cause I had the same feeling and when I went to see my doctor, she said that the reason why my son came early was because he knew that something was wrong and he need to get out.   I was at the NICU morning and night to see my son.   When he was born he weighed 2 pounds 11 oz and he was this tiny little thing.  I was so nerves for him and I just prayed that he would be ok.   And when he came home I never left his side.  Everytime he made a noise or moved I was right their.   But now he is 6 months old and weighs 16 pounds 12 oz and is the happest littest boy in the world.  And I thank god everyday that he is here with us.  I also had a hard time being away from him and leaving him with someone else to watch  him.  So what I did to make me feel better was I would call every hour just to see how he was and to make me feel better.

  • Giovanni - what a great and encouraging story. I know some NICUs that have mothers who have had babies in the NICU come back and encourage the mothers that are currently dealing with a premature baby. You'd be great at that!