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Been advised to prepare for poss premature birth... Any tips?

(169 Posts)
10storeylovesong Wed 16-Jan-13 10:28:52

Hi, I'm currently 24 weeks and due to various issues have been advised that I'm at high risk of going into premature labour. I've been put on bed rest and going for steroid injections tomorrow, but just wondering if there's any advice anyone can give me?

I've bought a few bits for the baby - I have a Moses basket and a starter set with bottles and a steriliser. Not even started with the nursery or anything yet. I'm going to get a hospital bag together but wondering what other essentials I should get just in case?

Thanks

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 10:34:04

Sorry to hear that 10 get some prem baby grows and vests if you can my dp really struggled to find these when ds was prem and also some very small nappies. The newborn ones were too big for ds so kept leaking etc.

Maybe prepare for a section as well? Not sure of your circumstances but I ended up with an emcs and had nothing practical like a nighty at all.

Start saving change etc for parking. Our ds was in nicu and scbu for a week so needed lots.

Hand holding if you need it but most importantly try I relax as stress is not helpful. < bitter voice of experience >

10storeylovesong Wed 16-Jan-13 10:39:46

Thanks - dh and I are at a bit of loggerheads about it. I feel that being as prepared as poss will help my stress levels as I am a control freak but he's in a bit of denial and thinks we should just carry on and hope it doesn't happen and deal with it as and when it does.

I'll def look into the tiny baby grows and nappies - nothing to lose by getting them in. And the change suggestion is a great one - it's already costing us a fortune being in and out! And being prepared for a section - was never part of my plans but as long as baby gets here healthily I don't mind how!

How's your ds now?

No experience of a prem but ds2 was in scbu for a few days.

A nice blanket for the baby... I got all irrational asd and hormonal that all the other babies had nice blankets and poor ds2 only had a hospital one so when I was discharged I bought him the softest blanket I could find.... Not that he needed I ft under lights and incubator but it made me feel more like he had something of his own iyswim?

Find out the scbu policy on expressing, mine was great and supplied everything going but some aren't so you might need to buy as decent pump and freezer bags/containers

Buy a few books. Once the initial panic dies down theres a lot of sitting around while baby sleeps 23.5 hours per day.

Have healthy snacks packed, the ward called me when food was served but I couldn't take ot into scbu and was often feeding/expressing/talking to consultants and couldn't leave to eat. They didn't mind me having snacks in scbu though (and the wonderful nurses made me gallons of tea)

Good luck with the birth, hope baby stays put for as while!

munchkinmaster Wed 16-Jan-13 10:48:53

Try not to get to stressed about being organised. If baby comes and is in scbu you can send people out, Internet shop, go out yourself for a break. At the moment concentrate on your health and taking the bed rest.

harrygracejessica Wed 16-Jan-13 10:49:21

Our scbu unit had a form you took to the car park people to get a weeks permit alot cheaper.

Can you knit? If you can why don't you get a prem hat pattern and knot some hats or cardis?

Pampers do a prem baby nappy which was super.

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 10:50:01

He is fine now thanks. Do you know if your having a boy or girl? If being prepared keeps you calm then go for it! smile

Ds3 was 4lb born, tesco have clothes up to 5lb that are good. For smaller things it's a good idea to look on line, also little hats and cardigans if you know anyone who knits although the hospital I was at did provide things until we could buy some. The hospital sold the micro nappies but they were expensive so it's a good idea to check out local super markets. Not all sell them.

Make sure you pack enough things for you. I was in for 3 weeks.

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 10:52:03

Yes check hospital policy where ds was born we had to pay for parking but when he wa moved to a different hospital they gave us a parking pass so it's worth checking that maybe.

10storeylovesong Wed 16-Jan-13 10:56:03

Having a troublesome little boy! Even the nurses and midwifes keep joking he's going to be a handful when he arrives!

I'm lay up in bed looking at all this - dh won't let me get up and after lots of Internet searching keeps announcing I need 'pelvic rest'! I'm very much a list person though so he's said if I do lists he will pick the stuff up - just doesn't want to do it yet.

Blankets have been added to my list!

I'm not crafty at all - I really wanted to crochet a blanket for him as dh gran left me all her crochet stuff when she passed and I thought it would be a nice link, I'm absolutely useless. Might give it another go.,

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 10:59:04

If you like pm me your address. I have a 7 pack of mamas and papas vests for a boy which are brand new ( by the time we got them- they were a gift ds was too big). They are suitable up to 5lbs but weight doesn't always count as ds was 4lbs but quite long iyswim. They are just sitting in the packet in a drawer. < lazy > if you would like them I'm happy to send them to you. smile

I'm currently knitting hats for my local hospital SCBU. PM me your address and I'll pop one in the post to you.

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 11:00:06

And while your in bed I found chocolate helped pass the time! wink

I was at risk this time but I'm 36 weeks today so have managed to go further this time than the others luckily! I'm going to have to think about repacking my bag soon.

Another thing to be aware of is sometimes with prem babies the placenta doesn't want to come away on it's on. With ds2 it was removed in theatre but it's a quick op usually done with a spinal injection.

Ninjacat Wed 16-Jan-13 11:05:21

I had my prem labour stopped last week (at 33weeks so quite a bit ahead of you).
I was told that if they couldn't stop the contractions I would be transferred to a hospital that had a bed for me and a nicu bed for baby.
I think if there was any likelyhood of you not being in your local area then being well prepared is no bad thing.
Prem vests and nappies for baby are probably a good idea and maybe if you have a baby blanket sleep with it at night so that it smells of you.
I found the hospital really hot at times and was greatful for vests and light bottoms. Slippers as well because you don't want to walk barefoot to the loo.
Also a well stocked wash bag, flannel and towel - nothing worse than not being able to wash your teeth or hair when you feel yuck.
Phone and charger also essential.
Just put all in a bag and you know it's there ready to go if you need it. Just one less thing to worry about.

Best of luck and hopefully you can get a few more weeks in yet before baby makes their appearance.

Tiredtrout Wed 16-Jan-13 11:12:27

Hi storey, this must be very stressful for you. If being prepared helps then that is what you should do. When my nephew was born at 28 weeks my ds found knowing as much as possible about his care and being hands on helped rather than taking a step back. His own blanket that smells of you would be good along with some tiny vests and a hat or two. It might help if you could have a visit to scbu or nicu first so you can see what they do, they can be quite intimidating the first time you walk in. Don't forget a camera and lots of batteries for it in your bag. My ds found it helpful to document everything and I did the same for my dd when she was in picu. Sending strong baby thoughts

Absy Wed 16-Jan-13 11:14:24

This is second hand experience, so feel free to ignore. A friend of mine was warned that her DS might be prem, but he still arrived earlier than expected (he's fine now and getting HUGE).

When he arrived they hadn't finished buying everything and packing everything, so make sure you have all that sorted out (her husband ended up running to the hospital at one point with an exercise ball, thinking it might help out). He was in SCBU for a number of weeks, and she says what helped keep her sane was watching movies on an iPad, so if you have one (or an alternate) transfer TV shows etc., movies on to one, or if you have a kindle maybe download a bunch of books to keep you entertained. See if you can also make a bunch of frozen meals so you don't need to worry about that, and get as much housework/laundry etc. out of the way so you don't need to worry about clean towels, clean sheets or clothes.

morecakerequired Wed 16-Jan-13 11:14:57

Definitely check out what the SCBU/NNICU policies are at your local hospital - in ours everything was provided from nappies to clothes. You could take in your own stuff but you didn't need to. I took in my own clothes most of the time, but my DTs were very sick for the first few weeks and go through so many changes of clothes in a day they'd often end up in hospital stuff by the end of the day. Whatever you take in whether it be clothes, blankets, nappies, whatever - LABEL, LABEL, LABEL! Buy a Sharpie and use it otherwise you might just find your lovely clothes and blankets have been put in the hospital washing buckets and you'll never see them again.

As far as blankets and hats go we were told that wool was best as cotton just wasn't warm enough. I had knitted cashmere blankets for my DTs anyway so took them in (and the different colours helped the nurses to remember which one was which!) but the hospital also had good stocks of hand-knit blankets and hats donated by lovely ladies locally. It seems lots of people knit regularly for the unit and donate things.

If you are buying clothes then Boots and Mothercare do the best ranges of tiny baby clothes. They are definitely the smallest. (make sure you go for preemie/early baby - NOT tiny baby which will be too big) I found Tesco early baby too big for my girls - they didn't get into them until they were close to 6lbs which was well after they had left the hospital.

If you can - ask for a tour of the NNU and have someone explain to you how it all works - the different rooms (ICU/HDU/SCBU) and what the visiting policies are. If you are someone who likes to be organised it'll be easier to take all that in now than when you have a tiny baby to think about. It can also be a shock going into the unit for the first time so having a nice reassuring nurse and some smiling parents to see before you encounter it properly might help. We weren't offered a tour, but apparently we should have been and I really wish we had - I would definitely have taken it)

For nappies - our hospital provided tiny nappies but they were horrible hard, rough things and my girls kept leaking out of them - Pampers Prem nappies were far better. Not always easy to find (our Tesco sold them, but Morrisons and Boots didn't)

Buy a book, or if you're crafty start knitting/crocheting - you'll have a lot of sitting around to do. Make sure you have your camera battery charged up - you'll want to take lots of pics and some hospitals don't let you use your phone camera.

Most of all DON'T PANIC! I was fortunate and my girls got to 35weeks which was great for twins, but they lost a lot of weight in the first 5 days (25% of their birth weight) and so at their smallest were only 3.5lbs. Looking back it probably was quite scary, but if your baby needs the NNU rest assured that he is in the best place possible and he will be taken such good care of.

If I think of anything else I'll post again later.

NewYearNewBoo Wed 16-Jan-13 11:15:30

I have just seen this thread, I will pop back later when I have had a think but for now I want to send you a brew and {{{{{hugs}}}}} I am also 24 weeks and you sound so calm and organised I would be a picture of panic!!

thereonthestair Wed 16-Jan-13 11:15:33

I would say

1. Try to rest and not to worry. My Ds came on 2 hours notice at 29 weeks. Suffice to say we had nothing. I bought it all 5 weeks later - without difficulty. Yes it is nice to have something prepared but there is no need. I went into hospital with keys, money and a phone!

I assume your hospital has a level one unit who can take 24 -28 weekers? If not might you be transferred. Find out ask questions

2. Do you have other children? I assume not but if so get contact/pick ups etc sorted for the forseeable in case your DH can't get there.

3. What's the policy on seeing scbu/nicu. It does help to know what to expect. have you been offered the chance to talk to a neonatologist about what a prem baby means (ventilation/cpap infecttions etc)

4. Do find out the hospitals parking policy. Also policy on visitors in nicu and scbu so you dh can tell visitors.

5. Make sure you have a camera charged and a phone charged. It does help to have loads of photos later and be able to talk or not if you do go into labour. It may also help to get one friend/relative lined up to tell other people if and when the time comes as you may prefer that you didn't have to tell everyone what was goign on each time

6. Try and get a decent shop in the house, get your dh to get food and snacks, as well as stock up on washing powder etc

7. Get some sweets/choclate snacks etc. If you end up expressing you'll need the calories and hospital food is rubbish for this (partly because you can't get it at the right time.

Good luck. I hoep your baby stays put and fingers crossed.

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 11:18:23

I should say at the scbu ( second hospital ) ds was given his own hat and matching blanket which we were allowed to keep. They had also take. Photos of him that we're waiting for me in my room. They were fab and the pictures really helped particularly in the night when I could hear other babies and mine was several floors away!

Ashoething Wed 16-Jan-13 11:19:22

At 24 weeks I wouldnt bother buying anything as if your dcs survives then he will still be in hospital for a long time. Just concentrate on yourself at the moment. Lots of rest and try and minimise stress. All the best.

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 11:21:05

ashoe not that helpful

babamummy Wed 16-Jan-13 11:22:18

I wouldn't get too much perm stuff yet. DS1 wasn't prem but had to be in hospital for his first 4 months. The hospital provided nappies right up until the week or two before he came home when care became much more parent led. I'd agree that getting a nice blanket or two makes you feel nicer than relying on hospital supplies. I had a couple of soft toys in my son's cot- not so important to him but somehow made me feel like I was caring for him(but for a prem it may be important that toy can be machine washed). Can you ask one of the midwives about the nnu? Might be worth asking what the hospital provides for the babies in nnu and also what provisions there are for expressing. There's lots of great info on the Bliss website.

Ashoething Wed 16-Jan-13 11:26:29

Sorry perhaps I sounded too harsh? but I have had a few prem labours and I lost a ds at 24 weeks so sadly it does happen and I think the op should be prepared for that. Good luck op-I hope your wee boy will hang on in there.

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