Have you ever been in a Special Care Unit for babies? There’s the smell of disinfectant, the glow of lamps, babies in sunglasses. The babies. Tiny, tiny babies. The parents. Hopeful, tired. The beeps of machines. Beeps that mean machines are working, beeps that a tube has gotten loose, beeps that something might be very wrong.
Jeremy spent some time in Special Care. He was not tiny. He did not wear sunglasses. He was classed as a premmie because he was born at 36 weeks gestation. It doesn’t seem like a big deal…anymore. We were lucky.
You know how every pregnancy isn’t the same, but you think every pregnancy is going to be the same? I knew anything could happen, yet I expected Jeremy to come just before his due date and be a giant. That’s what Tom did, coming in at a vagina-stopping 9 pound 4.
Jeremy decided he might come to the party early and gave me the warning signs while I was cleaning the toilet (as you do). With a 1 and a half hour drive to the hospital, I was there to stay.
What’s having a premmie like?
When you’ve never considered having a premmie, you have no idea about being injected with steroids in the thigh to help your baby’s lungs when it is born. You have no idea that you’ll be taking antibiotics straight away, and your baby will be all hooked up when they are born, just in case. You have no idea that your baby could be 5.5 pounds and you immediately realise you have no clothes for this baby that will fit.
Are all premmies tiny?
When Jeremy came into the world, I was grateful for his 7 pound 3 body. He also had the will to breastfeed, and breathe without assistance. I felt so LUCKY, because I was. My heart broke every time I went into that unit to feed my baby, and see all the other babies and their parents. When I returned a week later I saw a mother who had been there last week, and the realities and length of hospital stay of families with those tiny, tiny babies set it in on me. I wondered how I would have handled it. They looked like they were doing a brilliant job. Tired, but pushing through. Just getting the job done.
What’s he like now?
He doesn’t show premmie traits that I know of. He is happy, healthy and reached most of his milestones on time. He has always hated loud noises and the sun is his eyes. REALLY hates it. But I can live with that! The problems for premmies, particularly those born small, can be massive. You can read about some of them here.
What’s the walk for Prems?
I’m pretty excited to be walking with Team Medela for Life’s Little Treasure Foundation in the Walk for Prems. Medela was my GOD SEND with both my babies. I cried when I finally sold mine a few months ago. It held so many memories of being able to give my babies exactly what they needed and I was so thankful for the support of the nurses and midwives that assisted me in doing so.
The Walk for Prems is happening on the 25th of October all over the country and has already raised over half a million dollars over the last 3 years. Life’s Little Treasure Foundation aims to provide more support to those with Sick or Premature Babies and those who have lost angels. The walk will begin with a moment’s silence to remember babies who have passed.
In Melbourne, you have a choice of 5km run, 10km run or 5km social walk which I’ll be doing with my boys.
You can find out more about the event and how you can donate by visiting the website.
Are you going? Have you ever done a charity walk or run? This is my first! Will I become hooked?
Disclosure: Team Medela is sponsoring my registration to walk with them and spread the word. However, I have made a personal donation to Life’s Little Treasures to compensate.