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Have you experienced a premature birth or do you know someone who has?

You won’t want to miss the helpful information in this week’s show!

 

Thanks to medical advances, more premature babies (and smaller babies) survive today than ever before. What does the future hold and how is that influenced by the services and resources available to these babies and their families? Join Marti, Erin and Early Childhood Family Educator Jolene Pearson for an informative discussion of this important topic.

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Comments

  1. cess on September 23, 2011

    I am just listening to this podcast for the first time, and I’m very moved by it.

    I was in very good health before my pregnancy. So to my utter surprise, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at the beginning of my third trimester (I had read about it but thought, I’ve never had high blood pressure in my life, I’ll never get that! ) While most people know preeclampsia as high blood pressure, there are other things physically that can also happen as a result of the condition. Preeclampsia, for me, most affected my kidney function. So because of decline in my kidney function, my midwife sent me to be induced on the first day of my 37th week – the first day she thought it was safe. Three days later I gave birth to our gorgeous daughter. There were a lot of minor complications that the doctors were surprised to see her have. I kept hearing that these complications, while very mild, were extremely mild forms of what some pre-term babies have. Yet, according to her due date, she was born full-term.

    Later in our 2 week stay at the hospital, we learned that, based on a number of things, they believed her due date to be at least one week too early, meaning that she was actually born earlier than 37 weeks. So she was a late pre-term baby. We worked with a home health nurse and a number of specialists to work through her health and development issues during the first year of her life. Luckily, she seems to have worked through most of her issues, and is, today, a very healthy 2 year old.

    All during this process, I would tell some of the specialists that we were referred to that she was a late pre-term baby. I was basically told by many doctors that it really didn’t matter. Her official chart said 37 weeks, so they didn’t consider her to be pre-term, and even if she was a few days pre-term, it wasn’t a big enough gap in pre-term to full-term to make a material difference. Essentially, even if it was a few days before her 37th week, it really didn’t matter. It felt like they were saying “quit being an overprotective mother and get over it”.

    I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it was to hear someone tell you that even though your baby was considered pre-term, even if just by a few days, it really wasn’t a big deal (what’s a few days?). Yet she had all of these health issues that were apparently a result of it!

    To hear the specialist on this podcast talk about the difference between a full-term baby and a late pre-term baby was like hearing validation of all of the feelings and thoughts I had about my own daughter’s journey through those early months. To hear that these children don’t get the special attention that they might need because they don’t look small enough resonates with me deeply.

    I navigated through many things during that time, one of them being the concept of parent’s rights. What right did I have to tell a doctor that I thought they were wrong? I’m a fist time mother – they’re a professional – what do I know? Ultimately, although it took time and courage, I went with my gut. I never understood “mother’s intuition” when my mother would explain it to me, but one day it just “clicked”. I’ll never forget that moment.

    My biggest regret as a mother is that I didn’t fight hard enough for my daughter those first few months – I didn’t know that I could! I certainly won’t consciously make that mistake again.. Thank you so much for this discussion. I greatly appreciate it.