Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

A Hospital Transfer Disrupted My Preemie’s Care

This comment was submitted by Patricia Ray on the “Book Giveaway!” post.  I thought it brought up many important concerns that we all face as parents of preemie babies, and I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to read it and respond.  Patricia graciously gave me permission to republish her comment.

Hi there. My preemie baby was born at 28 weeks gestation & is now 10weeks old. We had to deal with two totally different hospitals and atmospheres of a NICU. I was transferred to a much larger hospital than our County Hospital to deliver. This hospitals staff had great hospitality and were easy to communicate with. I never really needed to ask any questions because I was always told first hand every detail as to what my son was going through. We then got talked into a transfer to our “much closer to home” County Hospital.

Things went down hill from here for some time. I didn’t understand the ways of the new hospitals NICU. It was as if my son was just born all over again. I had to spend time re-learning all this new equipment and the new ways of the staff at this much smaller NICU. Things here weren’t as up to date as the newer hospital we were at. The staff didn’t seem as well educated either on the conditions of my son. When I was told he had a problem their excuse was always it’s normal he’s a preemie; nothing more. No answers given as to why or how certain problems arose and what will happen when they do. I found myself having to spend what seemed to be more time on the internet researching PREEMIES than spending the time with my son that he needed. I wasn’t encouraged to be there for my son as I was at the much larger/modern NICU we were at. When I was there at his bedside all hours of the night I received awkward stares from many of the NICU nurses; as if I was in their way.

I felt so helpless and didn’t know where or who to turn to for help. I found that communication with other NICU families helped alot. Some were going through the same things I was. Sometimes even worse things which helped me prepare for things that could happen to my son. Finding a Pediatrician was and still is complicating. I was told to call and find one that specializes in preemies. Well what does that exactly mean? Most specialty doctors for us are 90miles away. So does this mean I drag my premature baby who is hooked up to a monitor that far away for a 10 minute check-up? The things your told to do are so hard to understand sometimes. I feel like in this world of new technology and advances there should be more education about preemie babies. Not just the information that I and other fellow NICU parents put out there; I’m talking more real professional education. I was also told that I would most likely have another premature birth if I were to ever get pregnant again. Is this true? or is this that doctors way of trying to scare me into not bringing more children into the world we live?

I feel there needs to be more awareness and ready in hand information put out there regarding premature birth. It’s someting that is sudden. We moms and families of preemies don’t have the opportunity to sit and read up on all this information before our child is born. We’re hit right in the face with things most of us have never heard of before when we give birth to premature babies.

Have you felt this same way or been through something similar?  Please share your advice, experiences, and knowledge to help address Patricia’s concerns.

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.

Comments

  1. Pamela Manner says:

    Hi there, I am a mother of a preemie and a suriving micro preemie. My first dughter was born at 36 weeks, and my twins were born at 25 weeks. So yes I have had two preterm labors. I am sorry to hear about your negative experince in th NICU mine was not like that. The nurses were great and encourged me and my husband to do as much care as possible. They all ways answered all of the questions that we asked and if they didnt know the answer they would go get the doctor. All of the 5 doctors and PA’s were so caring and informative.

    • Aw. Congratulations. Im glad you didn’t have such a bad experience. My experience in the NICU was great at the larger hospital. They did as you had said got the doctor right away if they didn’t know the answers and such. When we got transfered to our much smaller County Hospital NICU we didn’t have such a great experience. There were only 2 NICU nurses staffed with 10 sometimes more babies in what they called an overflow nursery down they hall with 1 nurse on call if needed. Questions got asked over and over but we rarely got much of a response from the nurses or the doctor; who was busy with the whole delivery floor and NICU. I heard more conversations about what they were going to eat for lunch than I did about my son or even other babies for that matter.

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