Sunday, 30 April 2017

Being a Preemie Mum

Honestly, I never expected my pregnancy to end the way it did. I had expected to go the full 9 months, go through labour and deliver my baby ''naturally''. My pregnancy wasn't the easiest, but I expected it to go the usual way.

Instead, one Wednesday morning on my way to work, I fainted. Luckily, my cousin had given me a ride to work, so I was in a safe environment. I ended up going to my gynaecologist since I knew some episodes were quite unusual. The gynaecologist was worried that it was pre-eclampsia, so she had me admitted into hospital for a number of tests.

I was cleared from pre-eclampsia, but diagnosed with gestational diabetes. When I told my husband he was worried. He was at work, 600km away from where I was in hospital. Even though I tried to reassure him, he took a week off from work and drove home so he could be with me. Which actually turned out great, because two days after my admission my gynaecologist decided to do a caesarian section on me because of ''reduced fetal movement and gestational diabetes'' (I am quoting from my son's hospital records). So on the 2nd of December 2016, sometime after 7am (not sure as I was under general anaesthesia), my son was delivered at 33 weeks gestation.

His lungs were severely immature, so he was admitted into NICU immediately after delivery. He was placed in an incubator, and was on oxygen. I wasn't allowed to see him for the first 24 hours since I was extremely groggy from all the drugs.

The first time I saw the little human who had spent 7 months living rent free in my womb was scary. Yes, I immediately fell in love but his chest was sunk in because his air sacs in his lungs hadn't inflated when he first cried because his lungs were pretty immature. He was connected onto a lot of tubes, lots of monitors where beeping and flashing. I didn't know what was wrong or if he would recover. I would go to the NICU and try to express breastmilk for his feeds. I was so stressed and worried I ended up crying. The worst part was being in a ward with mothers who had their healthy babies with them and listen to them bond. I was depressed during the first week. I remember breaking down during one visiting hour, as my family finally confirmed my worst fears. But I knew I had to stay strong for the little person lying in an incubator who was depending on me for his food and affection. His health started turning around at that point. When he started pulling out his nasal feeding tube, the NICU nurses told me he was going to be fine.

One thing about babies, they are so resilient. After a week on oxygen, his oxygen was turned off and from that point, everything happened fast. He was moved out of his incubator 3 days after that into the open cots. All the NICU moms knew that once your baby was moved to the cots you were going to go home with your baby soon. The day after he moved into a cot, I got to breastfeed him for the first time. And I took him home on the following day.

Since his discharge, my boy has been growing fast. From a birth weight 2.37kg he had tripled his weight by his 14 week vaccination. He may be a bit behind in hitting his milestones but I always remind himself he's 7 weeks younger than other babies his age in terms of development. This helps me to keep everything on perspective. I also make sure before I introduce any dietary changes I consult his paediatrician.

My son is my pride and joy. He is one of my reasons for getting up each morning. And I know I'm his favourite person as he always lights up when I see him, especially when I get home from work. I am thankful for all the people who have helped us since he was born.


  1. We thank God for his life. Congratulations Yvette!

  2. Congrats mama! May he continue to go from strength to strength!