Tips/Advice on how to cope please.

(361 Posts)
MultipleMama Sun 29-Sep-13 13:43:59

I'm having a ELC on 4th October, I'll be 31+3. This pregnancy has been high risk from the start due to being twins but due to more complications; me and one baby, it's been stressful and heartbreaking. I won't go into too much detail and ramble on.

Here's the facts:
T1's has Oligohydramnios, started at 9 weeks. Always up and down.
T1's has SUA and severe IUGR diagnosed at 20 weeks.
T2 is healthy and estimated at 3lbs.
T1 is estimated at 1lb 5oz.
I had an Iron IV at 24 weeks.
Went into preterm labor on Monday. Had magnesium until Friday afternoon and steriods.
I have 4 other DC who are thankfully in school/nursery all week.

I'm struggling to deal with it all and have no idea what I should pack in my bag seeing as I won't be bringing them home. We've had a tour of the wards but it's not really helped.

What should I expect involvement wise. I want to use cloth diapers but no idea where to start for babies that small or even if they're allowed. I plan on calling the NICU but was hoping you lovelies with experience could lend me some tips and advice.

Sorry for the long post! Stuck in a hospital bed has left me nothing to do but think.

plentyofsoap Sun 29-Sep-13 13:54:09

Sorry to hear you are going through this. My ds came at 33 weeks and I was not prepared at all. Practical clothes for yourself, snacks and washing essentials. The babies will need cotton wool and nappies. Maybe vests but maybe hang fire on buying lots until they are here and you know their size for certain. If you have a c section and you have to go home maybe arrange some lifts for when you need to get to hospital?
I am at 31 weeks now and this one may come early too so I have packed alot already and have bought a few preemie bottles and prepared myself that I may have to leave hospital without baby which will be hard. Everything at home is in order and friends are on standby to help.
Make sure you take care of yourself though you will need the strength.

plentyofsoap Sun 29-Sep-13 13:58:08

Forgot to add that nappy wise I have just got a pack of mirco ones but I'm not sure on cloth ones maybe give them a call? I expressed last time as he was tube fed. I did not produce alot of milk due to the early labour and there was a lack of support so may take my own breast pump this time.

NoForkNKnife Sun 29-Sep-13 14:10:47

[Sad] sorry to hear this mama.
My dd was delivered at 29+4 with severe IUGR. She was bigger than expected at 2lbs 2.

You will be expected to provide nappies. But they gave us some for first 24+ hours (I had no idea etc). You will also need cotton wool and the first hospital wanted us to bring in cotton buds (but not the second unit). You may be allowed to dress twin 2, but I wouldn't worry with packing stuff straight away. They'll let you know what to bring in. Mainly just vests at first.

Be expected to be asked to pump and express. You may find it more comfortable to have clothes and bras which allow this easier. Our unit had a room where other nicu nuns were expressing or nursing too. It was obvious that some mothers were a bit uncomfortable with an audience grin.

For you, some baggy joggers (I used maternity stuff) that will sit above your scar. Also big pants (I had some 3 sizes bigger) and lots of pads etc.
I was only in 2 days which I was surprised about. I was lucky to have my own room. But I know if I was at my normal hospital I would have been with the other new mums on the ward which I think would have been really tough.

you'll be allowed to go into the nicu 24 hours a day. Go down as much as possible while your at the hospital especially, to help with your milk etc.

My dd is 6 months now and doing well. We were in for 7 weeks.
I have lots of success stories if it helps smile.
Good luck, and take each day at a time. It seems such a long time ago now, you will get through it.

Oh, one thing I still find really tough, is that she was whisked away straight after delivery. I didnt see her at all. She needed resuscitation and a transfusion. When I see c-sections on tv, even if preemies, they all seem quite calm and the parents see the baby etc. It didnt happen like that for us. But this was the last intervention she needed and was off the ventilator hours later.

have you had a tour of the nicu?

NoForkNKnife Sun 29-Sep-13 14:14:08

I dont think you'll be allowed cloth nqppies. Tbh, I don't think you'll want to. The nicu wont be able to store the dirties etc. It's all very sterile etc. The nurses wont have time to deal wuth ut too.
Of course, as soon as you are home you can.

I think everyone has mentioned all I can think of only that I was told I could use donor milk if I couldn't express, which I did. Human fortifier was also added to build up ds's weight as he had IUGR and was only 2lb odd. Bring a photo and something with their smell home when you are expressing. It really helps.

Good luck. Six years on you honestly wouldn't think ds had such a shakey start in life x

plentyofsoap Sun 29-Sep-13 14:48:29

Take some very good hand cream. You have to wash your hands so much mine became sore which took a long while to heal.

MultipleMama Sun 29-Sep-13 15:08:16

Thanks everyone. I'll still breastfeeding my previous twins (down to morning/night due to the soon to be new arrivals) so I'm expressing milk throughout the day for them. I've got great supply so hoping I can continue as I don't want them and newborns having formula.

Would you suggest I just take vests/diapers and scratch mitts and leave the rest? Just really overwhelmed with trying to sort things out at home and here. You guys must be superheroes. x

I didn't need diapers, vests or scratchmits. NICU provided nappies and ds was in a heated incubator so no need for clothes until he moved to the open cot in SCBU.

Have you had a tour of the nicu? I never had the time as ds had to come out sharpish but wish I had of as it can be pretty overwhelming. Think you're the superhero with twins already and more on the way smile

MultipleMama Sun 29-Sep-13 16:24:16

I've had a tour but only a quick one as I'm limited to best rest in hospital. I think the amount of machines overwhelmed me and made me panic and feel totally unprepared.

With nothing better to do, I rang the ward and they said I can bring nappy wraps and hats but have to be approved?? But to avoid bringing vests etc until we know how much handling/care is needed. I'll need to provide the nappies. Where do I buy such small nappies?

All these tips are great! I have my laptop and I'm listing them all down to take to DH so he can pack smile

plentyofsoap Sun 29-Sep-13 17:04:34

My dh just got some from Tesco they are 2-5 ib size. I have a couple of hats but everything had to be washed at a very high temp so try not too worry too much about clothes. I found cardigans were good when he got older as he struggled to keep his temp.

MultipleMama Sun 29-Sep-13 17:21:13

Thank you plenty. Just knowing that I can do something even if it's buy nappy is easing some of the chaos in my head.

plentyofsoap Sun 29-Sep-13 19:34:09

Its a worry when you know they are coming early. I guess by organising as much as possible its having some control over a difficult situation.

MultipleMama Sun 29-Sep-13 20:37:00

Happy. Well Just a little. I talked to the staff nurse in charge of the NICU and she says cloth diapers are allowed; she has to make sure they're suitable and practical though (i.e not bulky, fussy to fasten), though little use them because as someone mentioned above they're concerned of hygiene and no little about them etc. She informed me that whereas they put disposable in the correctly coloured bag, they simply put the cloth diapers in a laundry bag with the parent's surname on for them to take home and wash. She told me she preferred them as they're much softer on a preemie's fragile skin.

She asked for one to be brought in, so she could look at it once the babies are born, as for obvious reasons they'll be put in disposable ones when taken up.

MiaowTheCat Mon 30-Sep-13 07:44:54

I'd hold off on the cloth, you have all the remainder of the nappy years to use them and I can't see any of the ones fitting a good size range going from that small into anywhere near a decently normal size so you'd be making one hell of a financial outlay to cover the teeny tiny size range (especially considering you'd probably need to buy more to cover taking them home to wash and bringing back in).
Likelihood is you're going to have at least a week or so to sort out clothes before they're wearing them so might be worth keeping it minimal till you find out exactly what size they are when born (dd1 came out right on the border of tiny and early baby but her legs were so bloody long early baby stuff didn't fit at all).

Poppet45 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:49:36

I'm afraid I think i'd hold off on cloth too... nappy changes are terrifying enough when they're tiny, covered in wires and trigger a gazillion alarms with each change. I dont know if you got to see the size of the babies in nicu but to give u an idea of scale dd was 1lb 15 at her lightest and when the paed ran out of theatre with her in cupped hands to resus and ventillate her Dd was so small I couldnt see her in peaking out from the docs hands. Her legs were like my ring finger and her hands were the size of my top thumb joint. My mind was boggled by her weeness. I also washed each of my outfits after each nicu trip for infection control purposes so had tonnes of laundry. Amazon sells pampers micro. And get an amazing handcream my hands took a year to properly heal. Sorry if my post isnt sounding v positive but iugr babies are amazing. Unlike prems like dd who was a 27 weeker they are often tiny but ready to go. I was amazed by this wee boy in dds room who seemed just as small but had hardly any of the hardware or warbling alarms just a few days in. He really was small but perfectly formed and just needed to grow, learn to feed and maintain his temp. He was a little belter! Really hoping things go well for you all and agree that you're the supermum with four kids already. Dd is my second and last!

MultipleMama Mon 30-Sep-13 20:14:56

I'm holding off but the nurse said I can still bring one in for her to check so when they'll be able to wear them they can. Trying to get most of the facts to feel a little in control. DH packed for me today and brought it in today. He packed a large suitcase! I daren't empty it haha.

I second poppet IUGR babies, like ds simply thrive out of the womb. He was born only 6 weeks early but a tiny 2lb 10 thanks to pre-eclampsia and dodgy placenta. Was off oxygen within 12 hours and just put on the pounds like nobodys business.

Out of NICU in three days and spent three weeks in SCBU so out about about two weeks before his due date. Still small at 4lb something but regulating his own temperature and feeding himself and no major desats of oxygen. His alarm did set off quite a bit but we've found in later years he has asthma and still ends up in hospitals with alarms ringing because if low oxygen so it's just one of those things

I second poppet, IUGR babies like ds simply thrive out of the womb. To hopefully make you feel a bit positive, he was born only 6 weeks early but a tiny 2lb 10 thanks to pre-eclampsia and dodgy placenta. Was off oxygen within 12 hours and just put on the pounds like nobodys business.

Out of NICU in three days and spent three weeks in SCBU so out about about two weeks before his due date. Still small at 4lb something but regulating his own temperature and feeding himself and no major desats of oxygen. His alarm did set off quite a bit but we've found in later years he has asthma and still ends up in hospitals with alarms ringing because if low oxygen so it's just one of those things

So good it posted twice smile Have you checked the bag out yet?

RedorBlack Mon 30-Sep-13 21:03:37

Hi mama

My dd was a preemie with IUGR & a whole host of other complications 5 weeks ago. I know NICU looks terrifying with all the machines & I was completely overwhelmed & intimidated when I first saw her in there. But the staff in the units are just amazing. They are incredibly well trained to look after your LO and support you as well.

The one thing i really struggled with was being in the ward. Some of the staff up there were not overly understanding of mums with NICU babies & kept telling me off for not staying on the ward & 'wandering off' confused I ended up discharging myself early. Be prepared to stand your ground & be where you need to be, and trust the NiCU team

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 30-Sep-13 21:14:52

Lots of good suggestions here - nothing to add except I'd suggest you bring/buy a few tops that unbutton at the front for easy kangaroo care. (DD arrived unexpectedly at 33 weeks and I had to send DH out for some as all my maternity tops were t shirt style .) Very best of luck with it all, I can imagine how stressful it all is right now. Hope all goes well for you all.

MiaowTheCat Tue 01-Oct-13 09:55:37

Dd1 was almost 5lb so a real heffalump in prem terms (dd2 was a very late preemie too but 7lb which I think makes her Godzilla or something). I found the cloth nappies we had which were meant to be from birth were a distinct no go for a good couple of months size wise if that helps?

MultipleMama Tue 01-Oct-13 10:24:28

Just a little update while I have 10 minutes to myself; I gave birth to two beautiful babies early this morning.

NoForkNKnife Tue 01-Oct-13 13:16:19

Congratulations smile. How are they?

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