My Preemie Baby Boy

So many things happened for the last one month. One major milestone was I have safely delivered a baby boy 2 months early! Alhamdulillah syukur to Allah. The estimated due date was on 3 Jan 2016 but my baby decided to show up on 11 Nov 2015. I'll post the details in a different entry because his arrival deserves a special post :) We called him baby Zafeer.

I was discharged the next day after bersalin but I went home empty handed because baby Zafeer born as premature baby need to stay at the Special Care Nursery (SCN) for monitoring. I started ulang alik to hospital and then after 1 week plus i stayed in the hospital trus because ada katil kosong for ibu2 yang nak jaga anak. Staying at the hospital was totally stressful, mood ke laut, asik 'banjir', depress etc.

After seems like forever, on the 28th days, baby Zafeer graduated (discharged) from the hospital. Biler dah dapat confirmation that we can go home, i have a mixure feeling of joy and worry plak. I have waited  days and weeks to take my baby home. But when the day finally arrives it was kinda frightening to walk away from the security of the hospital nursery. But i reminded myself that the doctors won't send preemie baby home until he is ready. I read some articles on preemie and found some similarities with HTAR's requirement before they release the baby.
  • Can the baby maintain body temperature in an open crib for at least 24-48 hours?
    At first baby Zafeer had a weight loss sampai kene masuk incubator balik. After cecah 1.62kg, kluar incubator baru lepas tuh stabil. 
  • Can the baby take all feedings by bottle or breast without supplemental tube feedings? Doctors insisted on fully breastfeeding. Even nak top up with our own ebm pon not encouraged because they will evaluate from different perspective plak. Alhamdulillah after a while baby Zafeer dah pandai sucking and i'm able to breastfeed him on demand.
  • Can the baby gain weight steadily? At HTAR, baby yang born more than 1kg can go home once achieved 1.8kg weight. For babies yang born less than 1kg have to wait until 2kg baru boleh balik. Since baby Zafeer was born at 1.7kg, when he reached 1.82kg the doc said we can go home. Every time timbang berat baby, debaran nyer ya Allah macam tunggu result SPM. 
  • Spend time with baby
    Biler room-in dengan baby, i get to know him better without any other distraction. Cuma focus kat dia only. Check his diapers, update nurse dia shishi and yak ke tak, Kalo yak color aper. Bagi ubat & vitamins pakai syringe. Learn his feeding patterns. Burp kan dia after each feeding, it's important because preemie baby very sensitive and ada yang bleh turn to blue kalo tersedak. Cuddle and talk to him. And also pump susu for stock, cuci breastpump. Rasa cam takde lah banyak sangat kejer nyer kan but still rasa tak cukup time. I sleep with my phone yang dah set timer every 1 hour. Tahap nervous sampai cenggitu, every minute is precious, even pegi makan and mandi pon terkejar2. 
  • Lab Test If all test sumer ok especially blood test to check organs, mmg lega lah. Kalo ada problem sket, dorang akan tahan for few more days to monitor. If nothing serious they can treat it as out patient and prescribe some ubat. Ada yang kene buat test mata and telinga. 
Family and friends banyak advised to take a good care of myself. Sometimes i can't help but to feel annoyed but sometimes it does help. Nih laa namanyer emotionally tak stabil. Yes it is important to stay healthy because kalo saket saper nak jaga and breastfeed the baby? So mintak maap when I replied whatsapp generally to anyone yang tanya kabar berita, it's just that i get the same questions a lot. Penat jugak nak type benda yang sama kan. 
  • Allow plenty of time to heal. You might need more time to recover from the rigors of childbirth than you imagined. Eat a healthy diet, and get as much rest as you can. Not exactly kind of confinement i had in mind. But one has to adapt the situation and redha. Makanan kat hospital mana de ikot pantang sangat. Lauk pon sama jer...ayam for lunch and ikan sardin for dinner. After one week bersalin tuh baru dapat chance to berurut twice. Later2 lah biler dah settle down baru arrange for another session of urut.
  • Acknowledge your emotions. Expect to feel joy, sadness, anger and frustration. You might celebrate successes one day, only to experience setbacks the next. Give yourself permission to take it one day at a time. Remember that you and your partner or spouse might react to stress and anxiety differently, but you both want what's best for your baby. Support each other during this stressful time. This is sooo true. But since i'm the one who experienced everything directly so my emotions yang slalu spiked or merundum jatuh hahaha. Luckily Jeeb always motivated and consoled me. He tried his best to cheer me up and i really appreciated that. And knowing the facts that i have family and friends yang caring and supportive keeps me going. 
  • Take a break when you need it. If you leave the hospital before your baby, use your time at home to prepare for your baby's arrival. Your baby needs you, but it's important to balance time at the hospital with time for yourself and the rest of your family. I was really exhausted time baru2 lepas bersalin hari tuh because i spent one whole day at the hospital duduk kerusi keras2 belaka and then balik rumah late at night. Wpon bukan sendiri yang drive, the trip takes about 20-30 minutes. Time kat hospital, risaukan Qeeb because he was too manja with me. Biler sampai rumah malam2, risaukan baby Zafeer pulak. At the same time I needed the rest and busy pump susu (kalo x cukup stok nanti nurse akan call soh hantar susu wpon odd hours). I was frustrated because susu siket time tuh and I feel like i'm neglecting Qeeb. When i decided to stay in the hospital lepas tuh, Alhamdulillah ada part yang Allah make it easier for us to get use with the new routine. 
  • Be honest with your baby's siblings. If you have other children, try to answer their questions about the new baby simply. You might explain that their baby sister or brother is sick and you're worried.We showed Qeeb some pictures of his baby brother. Dia ingat dah nama adek dia siap dengan spelling. We also explained to him why I had to be at the hospital and spend more time with the baby. Classic sample was when Qeeb got admitted kat hospital, mama will accompany him sampai sehat and kluar from hospital so now mama had to do the same for adek. Dia paham and once Jeeb brought him to hospital to visit the baby. Tengok dari luar jer, muka malu2 and his first remark biler tgk his baby brother was 'keciknye!' lol! 
  • Accept help from others. Allow friends and loved ones to care for older children, prepare food, clean the house or run errands. Let them know what would be helpful. I totally rely on Jeeb to pack my stuff yang nak pakai kat hospital. And once in a while if time permits, Jeeb will send over home cooked food. Baju2 kotoq plak mintak tolong helper cucikan. Also glad to know that Qeeb is accompanied by his Tok Wan and Tok Mama so takde lah dia lonely sangat.
  • Seek support. Join a local support group for parents of preemies, or check out online communities. Seek professional help if you're feeling depressed or you're struggling to cope with your new responsibilities.
    I made new friends at HTAR. All mommies kat situ sumer friendly. We also ada whatsapp group to know each other updates, progress baby, appointments with specialist etc. 
So now i can relate myself with all the articles i've been reading online. Dolu tak cukup knowledge about premature baby, i always thought it's about weight gain. But it's way more than that because they are very delicate and fragile. I totally respect my friends yang their babies dah berbulan kat NICU and yet they are still full of positivity and cheerful. They are really tough mommies because each babies yang kat NICU have their own special challenges.

I'm also unable to accept any visits at the moment. Because a cold or quick illness to your kid may be a major setback or even a hospitalization for mine. Because when you sneeze, all I see are those thousands of germ particles hurtling toward my baby's face. Doctors said it could take a month of recovery for preemie baby if infected. And, if we’re unlucky, a hospital stay. So i'm sorry and please don't judge me as overprotective if i have to turn down whenever you said 'can i come over?' or 'when i can visit?' Because i do not have the answer yet. I’m just trying to keep my preemie healthy and it's better to be safe than sorry.

Update: I've posted an entry about my experience delivering baby Zafeer here


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