Thanks everyone for the supportive messages. I think I've just about got over the shock of DS3's arrival now! I've come home and am managing to get into a bit of a routine with the visiits etc. Luckily DS1 is in maternelle (Belgian kindergarten), so during the week I can see DS3 while he's at school. Weekends are a bit more tricky, but we're coping OK and have lots of offers for Ds1 playdates to keep him occupied. DS3 has put on weight, is almost off the CPAP and is starting to digest more milk. They hope to have hm off the CPAP and the IV food by the end of the week. Can't wait! Still looks like he'll be in till at least the start of April though :-(
Congratulations! I remember that overwhelming feeling, but ut will get better, in time. DS2 was born at 28wks, I too could not stay with him all the time, we ahd a 3 yr old at home and after the first few very poorly weeks dh had to go back to work. I arranged childcare for ds1 and spent the days at the hospital with ds2 which meant I was able to see doctors and spend time with him, mostly just sitting or standing watching him & the monitors, I was home in time to pick up ds1, cook dinner & bath & put him to bed. 10 yrs later neither of them have any recollection and there is no difference in my relationship with them. It will only be you that remembers it for ever. Dont forget to do all the usual new baby things, take photos, videos, get as many cuddles as he will allow. Its easy to forget to try to enjoy his first few days and weeks with all the hospital worry & stuff, but it is good to look back on photos, after all they are still his new baby photos even if its not what you imagined. I wish we took more. Dont forget to try to get some rest and sleep yourself, accept help if offered, people do want to feel like they are doing something.
My DS was born at 31+5 and was a similar weight, that's really good for his gestation and great that he has managed some time off C-pap, is digesting well and expressing is going well for you.
DS is now 10m (8m corrected) and you wouldn't know it, he has caught up amazingly - the only thing is he looks slim compared to most boys his age as his height has always overtaken his weight.
I know it must be very hard to not be able to spend so much time with him, but he will be home before you know it, and you need to take care of yourself (especially following a c-section) and your older boy - DS3 is lucky enough to have lovely doctors and nurses to take care of him when you are not there.
It might take a couple of weeks to establish breastfeeding, as his suckle reflex may not have quite developed yet, but I agree with others above about trying to get as much kangaroo care/skin-to-skin as possible, and try latching him on from time to time. However be aware that while he is still tiny, it takes a lot of energy to breastfeed, so don't push it - we overdid it at first and he had to go back on a heated mattress for a few days.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, find someone you can talk to - our neonatal unit had a psychologist who was really helpful when I had a bit of a breakdown at the end of the first week. Don't forget Bliss has a helpline you can call for support. It can be hard when everyone is focussing on their own baby (naturally), but if you are able to talk to any of the other parents (maybe in the expressing room if there is one?), it can be a wonderful help to have other people to talk to who are in the same situation, and that can carry on for months after you get home.
And keep talking to us here, of course Wishing you all the best, please keep us updated
Congratulations! My DS was born at 31+2 and we have just celebrated his 2nd birthday. He's your (smaller than) average two year old with no lasting issues from being prem.
We were in hospital for about six and a half weeks when he was born. I was still in hospital for a couple of weeks and after that I visited twice a day. Do what you can manage, there are no rules about how much time you should be there so don't add to your stress by feeling guilty.
The times people spend in hospital vary wildly, and if you have other children to look after it makes things much harder. Just enjoy the time you are there. It is a very emotional and stressful time but it gets easier and before long you will begin to forget what it was like and just focus on your new baby.
Do Kangaroo care when you can, it's lovely and really helps with feeling close to your new baby.
Try to get as much rest as you can to recover before you get to take DS3 home.
I tried to talk to a doctor as often as possible and if you are worried about anything make sure you ask questions. The most common issues I think are with feeding, as their little systems are so immature. Lots of prem babies suffer with reflux so if you think you can spot signs of that ask questions - it's much easier to get the proper medication when you're still in hopsital.
I hope that helps. Lots of luck and home you're all home together before too long.
Oh congratulations... My dd1 was born at 31 and 5 days. I was quite ill so I only managed a few hours a day, but I can't see any ill effects, she's 15 now and taller than me.
Look after yourself so you can continue expressing, which is great. I didn't have any milk in at all at that stage. I'm not sure what the system is like in Belgium but see if you can have skin to skin contact cuddles. I wish I'd been able to do more of those.
Take some photos (although at the time I was very anti taking pictures, as I felt it intrusive). We have the most epic picture of dd with her hand through my dh wedding ring, holding it like a hoop, which really shows her how small she was...
We were out at 35 weeks, so only about 24 days in there. I had nothing ready at all, as it was my first..
Don't worry about not being there all the time.. There's plenty of time left when you can enjoy your little one in a more relaxed way...
DS3 was born last week at just 31+2 by emcs. I started having contractions in the middle of the night, went into hospital and he was born 2 hours kater. All very quick and quite a shock. While DH and I are glad he's arrived safely, we're finding it quite overwhelming and emotional.
He is our 3rd DS - DS1 is nearly 3 and DS2 sadly died in utero at 35.5 weeks in April 2012. DS3 was a good size - just over 2kg and 44cm - which everyone tells us is great. He's on a CPAP but isn't having oxygen and nanaged about 5 hours off the machine yesterday. He's being treated for jaundice and is being tube fed in addition to the iv. Apparently he's managing to digest between 3ml and 6ml every 3 hours, and I'm expressing pretty well.
I guess I just wondered if anyone else has been through this and has any advice? We're in Belgium, so although my Mum is here now, we don't have famiky to help out, and obviousky we have DS1 to look after too. I'm being discharged today and once I'm home I'm only really going to be abke to come for a few hours a day during the week. So I guess I'm a bit worried that it won't be enough or that I'm abandoning DS3. It's so hard though as DH has to go back to.work today and DS1 is still so young. Sigh.
I know we're in for a long ride - I guess DS3 will be here for at least 6 weeks.