What mothers said when asked about their best feeling when their baby was in hospital
· Love and pride
· Achievement of milestones
· Being in the right place
· Joy of being a mum, pride, feeling connected
· Elated joy
· Baby is in safe hands, specialists, knew she would pull through
What mothers said was their best feeling now
· Love and pride
· Current development on track
· Getting bub out by myself each day, going about
· “Name” being here and all he has achieved
· Very healthy, well adjusted
· Love and contentment, amazement
What mothers said was their worst feeling when their baby was in hospital
· Fear (emptiness)
· Uncertainty of loss, not being there in a critical moment, robbed of defining moments
· (father) hardly any family support, not speaking
· Helplessness and isolation
· Fear of something really bad happening
· Guilt, fear, longing
· Unable to do anything at the start
What mothers said was their worst feeling or fear now
· Disattachment (from baby)
· Am I doing the right thing?
· that he will always fall behind, bullying
· future development
· concern for future
· (baby) catching a virus and going back to hospital
What would you say to that mother (you) with a baby still in hospital?
There are always adjustment issues when becoming a parent for the first time – changing from being a self-sufficient person to one who is totally responsible for the very life of a child. Premmie parents have these issues, perhaps even more strongly than others because the health of their baby may be precarious.
However, nobody really expects that the early adjustment to being a parent could be so traumatic as often happens for parents of premmies. The “best” feelings are so often swamped by the “worst” ones when a newborn baby is very ill. The “best” feelings that were so expected beforehand may be hard to find while you fear every phone call.
Parents of premmies are very special people. They work so hard at their parenting. They are so grateful for what others often take for granted. They are resilient and brave and positive. They treasure their miracle babies and strive to keep the miracle going through their own efforts. They are sometimes vulnerable and even very vulnerable. But still they keep going for their child and their family. Yes, parents of premmies are very, very special people.