Sunday, July 27, 2008

You know you're a preemie parent when...

I'm hijacking this from a couple of preemie sites I visit only because they are so very true. A few at the end were added by my online preemie friends Gymrat, Mrs. Peterson, and KellyMichelle from The Nest Feel free to post in the comments your own addition to this list:

If this list looks familiar, you might be a parent of a preemie baby! We have to laugh about it to keep our sanity! :)

You know you're a preemie parent when... (not in any particular order)

  1. You measure everything in cc's
  2. Luxury = sleeping three hours in a row
  3. You can change your baby's diaper with one hand
  4. In the course of the same day, you have wanted to slap and bear hug the same NICU nurse
  5. You feel a secret pull of jealousy when one of your friends delivers full term
  6. You have gotten a rash on your hands from washing with hot water and the NICU soap... eight times in one day
  7. The statement "breastfeeding is simple and natural" makes you laugh -- or cry, depending on the day and the hour.
  8. Your baby has ever outgrown an outfit... while s/he was wearing it.
  9. You cry when you're happy, laugh when you're mad, and throw things across the room when you're sad.
  10. You could drive the route from your house to the hospital in your sleep... and maybe you have.
  11. You can't remember what you talked about before feeding schedules, diapers, and growth charts.
  12. You're more interested in your baby's diaper than the State of the Union
  13. Your idea of a vacation is walking outside to get the mail
  14. When someone offers you their hand to shake, you think twice, envisioning the germs that you might take home from them
  15. The sound of your baby crying is beautiful, not annoying.
  16. While everyone else coos, "He's so tiny!" your six-pound baby looks huge to you.
  17. Your heart almost bursts with love at least once a day
  18. You would climb to the top of Mt. Everest, barefoot, if it would help your baby to grow healthier, bigger, or stronger.
  19. You not only know what "bilirubin" is, you have had several extensive conversations about it.
  20. You never knew how grateful you could feel that your baby has gained an ounce.
  21. You know where all the vending machines are on your floor of the hospital... and which ones have the good snacks.
  22. You literally live your life one hour at a time.
  23. The security guard at the front door of the hospital just waves you in when he sees you.
  24. You are grateful for the smallest things now -- a shower, clean socks, a meal that you didn't have to cook, a friend who has a whole conversation with you without offering you any useless advice.
  25. You had to give up your shower today to make time to read this list.
  26. You either startle, or cannot hear alarms going off, anymore.
  27. Sentences consist of abbreviated words like NICU, CPAP, CC's, NG, NJ, NEC, RSV, ROP, BPD, CLD, A's&B's, Pulsox, desat, and Epo shots.
  28. Every time you stop at a store you pick-up more hand sanitizer and it is in every room of your house.
  29. Anything you drop on the floor, must be washed.
  30. Anytime you buy food, like 2 pounds of ground beef, or a bag of flour, you compare it to the size of your child.
  31. You feel like no one understands how you feel (except you preemie ladies).
  32. You constantly take your babies temperature, even when your home.
  33. You are obsessed with the show Birth Story on Discovery Health, especially if there is a story similar to yours and it makes you cry.
  34. The show Baby Story no longer seems realistic, but you secretly fantasize that your next birth and pregnancy will go like that.
  35. When someone asks how old your baby is, it takes 15 minutes to explain and usually turns into a huge story about your baby's birth.
  36. You know how many cc's equal one ounce.
  37. You are jealous of women who had a normal pregnancy and angry with women who say they want to have their baby now, when they are 28 weeks.
  38. Kangaroo care is not a show on Animal Planet, is the best time of your day.
  39. The day your baby got to come home was the happiest day of your life so far.
  40. You are your baby's advocate and you are constantly having to defend what you are doing and why, and educate others ~ all. the. time.
  41. You have a lot of "NICU souvenirs"
  42. You still use a "care time" schedule even when you are home.
  43. You and your husband fight over who gets to change the diaper and who gets to take the temperature.
  44. The NICU phone # is on speed dial.
  45. You had your baby shower after your babies were born.
  46. You no longer watch any of the baby shows for fear you'll have a breakdown.
  47. You're jealous of any pregnancy that made it into the 3rd trimester.
  48. You know how to change a diaper, bathe, and feed your baby despite the many cords and tubes in the way.
  49. You know the schedule of the nurses that take care of your baby.
  50. You feel guilty about doing the simplest things without your baby (eating, sleeping)
  51. You make friends with the other parents of NICU and watch out for the care of the other children when they are not there.
  52. You have expert knowledge of the benefits of a rented hospital grade pump.
  53. You are proud to have the largest supply of breast milk in the freezer.
  54. You had to go out and buy a deep freezer just to store all the pumped breast milk you have pumped that your preemie(s) can't eat yet ~ And it's full already!
  55. During pregnancy you worried about taking even something as simple as Tylenol and how it would effect your baby, then you start pre-term labor and are on more drugs than you've ever seen in your life!
  56. When you walk past the regular nursery you can't believe how giant all the babies are.
  57. You know that, unlike in school, A's &B's are not something you want your child to have.
  58. You get two newborn phases, the first is in the NICU and the second is when you bring them home and for another two months you are still feeding the baby every three hours.
  59. You have a team of medical staff visiting your home every week including an RN, OT, PT and EI specialist.


Laura said...

Oh, here's one that just hit me:
You lament that you don't have more baby weight to lose...