When it comes to being a preemie parent, one thing you have to be is organized. Now, I am generally an organized person. I may not be the neatest person but I can tell you where anything is in my house. My husband likes to say I am an overly organized person. This is one thing that helped out a lot when the girls came home from the hospital.
When your child comes home from a NICU stay, more than likely they are going to have two things; a bunch of cords and a ton of medicine. The cords were always nerve wrecking because I was constantly worried about them strangling themselves. We quickly realized that we couldn’t buy “footie” pajamas they had to be two piece or button up because we had to feed the cords out the bottom somehow, otherwise the cords would have been coming out the top right around their neck. DANGER DANGER! We weren’t going to take any risk so we immediately changed to the button up pajamas for their safety.
The medicine aspect was a whole new level. I have generally been a healthy person as well as my husband and the most medicine we have ever been on at one time is one. When Brooke came home she was only on lasix and oxygen. This was minor and it was easily controlled with how often she had to take medicine and keeping one cord away from her neck. When Kendall came home, however, our lives were overwhelmed with cords and medicine. Kendall came home with oxygen, a gastrostomy tube (g-tube) (with a cord for feeding), and a pulse ox meter. That was not one but three cords that could easily wrap around her neck and suffocate her. We immediately again went to the button pajamas and usually taped the cords to her body in some fashion, however, this was dangerous as well because she had a g-tube so we had to make sure we weren’t going to be in danger of her ripping that out as well. She also came home with six medicines, that’s right I said 6. I was so overwhelmed and had no idea where to start or how I was going to keep track of this. Going into organized mom mode I quickly made a chart that sat on our fridge. At the top of the chart I had which medicine it was, how much she was to be given, how it was to be given, and how often it was to be given. On the left column I had the date and in the right I had the time. This was something that was fast and easy to follow and if anyone saw it they knew when her next dose should be.
With all of that being said I think one of the most important aspects of being a preemie parent is staying organized and on top of things. As a preemie parent you can’t slack with medicine or cords you have to be aware of what is going on at all times and make sure that you aren’t skipping doses of medicine and that those cords aren’t around their neck or near their face. It is crucial and necessary for the survival of your preemie.