November is World Prematurity Month. To honour and support the moms of preemies, we are sharing stories of moms who’ve been there and who can offer support from the other side of a long road. This is Karen’s story.
Tell us about the day your baby was born.
I had been told the day before that I would be having my twins at 33 weeks via C-section as my one twin hadn’t shown any growth for 3 weeks. So I was calm but nervous of the operation and for my babies. The birth was a good experience and I’m thankful it wasn’t scary or traumatic. They were born at 1.2 and 1.6kg. I got to see them just long enough for a photo and then they were taken to the NICU. The worst was being back in my room without my babies. It was so surreal: I wasn’t pregnant anymore and didn’t have them moving around in me but I didn’t even feel like a mom. It takes a while to grieve not being able to snuggle your babies straight away, or even for a few days after giving birth.
Can you describe some of the emotions you experienced during the early days and weeks with your baby?
Such a mix: love and happiness, but also sadness, fear, longing and exhaustion. The worst was waiting for the call from the doctor every morning to hear how they were doing, and it was always two steps forwards, one step backwards. It was a long 5 weeks!
Do you have any words of encouragement for a mom who is currently waiting for her baby to come home?
Just take it day by day, your baby/babies are in the best hands. Go home and get some rests in between visits. I didn’t visit at night so I could go to bed early to keep up with my pumping schedule. Eat well and drink lots of water, it really helps your supply if you are breastfeeding and just helps you recover and feel better either way. There WILL be days with bad news, cry if you need to and then just know that tomorrow is another day and progress and good news will come. Preemies are the best fighters in the world!