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Feelings around premature birth

(8 Posts)
Nutcaserugby Mon 05-Feb-18 21:14:15

I had my daughter 10 weeks early, the placenta failed and her growth stopped. She was 2lb 9. After 6 weeks in hospital we came home.
Things have been very difficult. She has severe reflux with many chocking episodes. She never slept only on me for the first 20 weeks we were home. Even now she only naps on me in the day she won't go down. She's very needy and demanding but we have adjusted to her and we love her to bits.
The feelings and guilt around what happened, no one knows why it happened are huge.
The loss I feel for the pregnancy I didn't have, the baby I couldn't take home straight away, I felt robbed but always very grafetful as things could be so much worse.
I look at others and I don't resent them but I still think even now she's nearly 8 months old what we missed out on.
Things are very stressful, I feel like I worry constantly about milestones and development and what appointments we have.
I'm wondering if anyone had counselling or something to deal with how they felt and if they felt like this.
I love being a mum, she has made our lives so complete but I guess I'm mourning the "perfect ending" we didn't get if that makes sense, I'm not really sure what I feel or how I feel.

Gwlondon Mon 05-Feb-18 21:16:31

Big hug!
I know that feeling like you missed out on a better start but not connected to a premature baby.

Bryzoan Mon 05-Feb-18 21:21:10

I had similar issues, all though in time the experiences we were having day to day became more important than what I felt we'd missed out on. When my second was born (at home, 2 weeks late) it resurfaced a bit - I felt guilty my daughter hadn't had the same experience. I understand about feeling you have missed something perfect, but really life isn't like that for many people for lots of reasons. It doesn't mean you can't mourn it, but my advice (my daughter is now 7 so time has gone on) would be not to let mourning it make you miss out on what is happening now, which also has the potential to be hugely magical. And don't be scared to ask for help / counselling if you need it.

OlennasWimple Mon 05-Feb-18 21:23:31

"mourning the perfect ending we didn't get" makes absolute sense.


AshGirl Mon 05-Feb-18 21:31:41

My DS was very late, but we spent his first 8 weeks in hospital due to a previously undetected heart defect.

The feelings of grief and guilt are totally normal. I am not grieving the baby I wanted (I think DS is just awesome smile) but I did grieve for the newborn experience we wanted. Having a very medicalised experience, then bringing home a baby who may still be on meds and needing slots of support, is very difficult. I also feel that people in the 'real world' just don't understand.

I have seen a counsellor, and it was very helpful. PTSD in parents who have had these sorts of experiences is very common.

Do get some support for you. It's easy to forget to do this when your baby needs so much thanks

user1493413286 Tue 13-Feb-18 10:19:07

I could have written your post a few weeks ago. After my DD arrived at 32 weeks I felt so much guilt and it took a lot of reassurance from those around me and health professionals to help me realise it wasn’t my fault although at low points I still feel disappointed in my body that I couldn’t carry her to full term.
I also felt a lot of feelings of loss around not experiencing a full pregnancy, not giving birth naturally and missing out on the new baby things of having people visit at hospital, taking baby home straight away and having visitors. Instead I had a c action under general anaesthetic due to the need to get her out so quickly, had to leave her in hospital and go home and had to be very controlled with visitors when she did eventually come home.
I also had a tough time with her in the early days with reflux, an extra 8 weeks of newborn phase and all the worries that come with having a premature baby.
I found it very helpful to have a debrief with a midwife counsellor and consultant as that really helped with my feelings of guilt and I’ve wondered several times about counselling as I’ve read a lot about developing ptsd from these experiences.
In a way though because she was early and her development is quite mixed it’s made me a bit more relaxed about her meeting her developmental milestones as I’m confident she’ll get there when she’s ready. Having said that I’m tempted to avoid her 9-12 month developmental review until she reaches her corrected age for it as I’m not interested in having a health visitor, who doesn’t take her premature birth into account, tell me she’s not meeting her milestones.

toopeoply Sat 17-Feb-18 20:46:24

I could have typed your post completely. The feeling that the happy, exciting but if pregnancy towards the end was taken away, not being able to give my partner the perfect birth experience, the time spent away from my other children. My ds was born at 32 weeks and my dd at 27. I've officially been diagnosed with ptsd now. It's not something you can forget or get over easily. Try and get help. Even just to process things.

GrumpyOldBagFace Sat 17-Feb-18 20:52:46

This was me 2 years ago. The feelings of grief and guilt do fade.

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