When your baby is born premature, it’s easy to blame yourself. After all, it is your body where that baby was supposed to keep growing.
I couldn’t understand why my twins had developed TTTS/SIUGR and why my placenta wasn’t enough to feed them both. I tried to do everything right during my pregnancy, yet it turned out that being outside of my body was better for them than in.
It’s a pretty difficult thing to deal with, in addition to the worry and heartache that comes from watching your baby suffer and fight just to breathe an eat. That guilt can be overwhelming for a preemie mom.
But, it wasn’t my fault. It’s not your fault either.
As mothers, we do everything in our power to bring our babies into this world the healthiest way possible. Sometimes, it’s just out of our control. Conditions like preeclampsia, IUGR, and placental abruption can happen to anyone, and there’s not always a reason.
Even though our bodies may fail us and our babies, it’s not our fault. We didn’t do anything to cause the condition, and we can’t blame ourselves.
It may be easier said than done, and it may take time to realize it, but the sooner you get to that place and let go of the blame, the healthier mother you will be.
Today’s mother felt that same burden and blamed herself. But, she’s gotten to a place where she feels stronger from her experience and came to share it today.
I’m so happy to introduce you to Liam, as told by his mom, Jessica.
1. Tell us about your baby
My son’s name is Liam. He was born on 12-07-17 at 30w & 2d and weighed 3lb 11oz. He loves to smile & laugh. Currently he is a little over 12lb!
2. How long was your NICU stay? What was the hardest part?
Our NICU stay was 67 days. Liam got to come home the day before his due date.
Honestly. the hardest part wasn’t just one thing. I attempted pumping for 4 weeks, and I got discouraged because I wasn’t producing enough. I ended up quitting.
I battled PPD pretty badly and blamed myself for first couple months. For a few days, I had no desire to go see my son. It was very difficult to look at him laying in a plastic box for a whole week before I was able to hold him. Then when I finally did hold him, i had to sit perfectly still so the tube didn’t scratch his throat. I didn’t hear him cry or anything for the longest time. The tube prevented him from making noise.
My son ended up getting a bacterial infection in his bloodstream somehow, and for a while he got pretty weak. His breathing was labored more, and he was tired.
But he made it! The day he was finally able to come home was the happiest day.
3.Do you know what caused your premature birth?
This was my first pregnancy. I developed severe preeclampsia. I was admitted into the hospital 2.5weeks before having him.
4.How are you and your baby/babies doing now?
Liam is still a tad behind with his weight, but he’s definitely catching up on the growth chart. We plan to start some therapy soon to help build his upper body/neck strength. I definitely hold him a little tighter than I thought I would because I honestly never thought something like that would happen to me. I feel like my experience definitely made me stronger as a mother and woman in general.
5. What advice would you give to a new preemie or NICU family?
Just know that this isn’t the end of your baby’s story. The cords will one day be gone, and there won’t be monitors or feeding tubes. You’ll be able to hold your baby freely, whenever you want. Just stay strong. There will be rough days, but don’t let those outweigh the good ones. Just love on them as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask the nurses questions. You have a right to be informed. That’s your baby.
Thank you so much to Jessica for sharing her struggles and sweet Liam with us. Please leave any supportive comments or questions below.
Oh my he is a cutie!! I really feel ya, my son was born at 31w6d and it was the hardest 45 days I went through. I tried pumping as well and never made enough so I quit and I always blamed myself for him coming early. I am so glad he is doing well and your home. My son is 2 now and while still not weighing much he is walking and just started talking
I’m glad to hear your son is doing well too! Thank you!
Aw, he’s too cute! I’ve never had a baby, but I imagine that you do feel a lot of guilt when you have a preemie, but it’s definitely NOT the mom’s fault. All sorts of things happen in pregnancy that you can’t plan for – and it’s heartbreaking! A friend of mine had her baby early last month and she was in the NICU for a bit, but thankfully she’s home now and doing well.
So glad to hear that Lauren! Thank you!
I know Jessica very well. She is the sweetest, most caring young woman, and I know she struggled with depression and blame through this trial, but she depended on God, faith, family and friends and got through all that she and Lonnie faced with their darling Liam. Every mom, whether to a preemie or full term baby should remember, God is the ONLY one in control, we just have to lean on Him through the good and the tough times! Praising God for Liams great progress, and continued good health. Love y’all!