Having a premature baby can be extremely stressful on both the newborn child and of course the new parents. There is nothing worse than planning and getting very excited for a new child, only to have the child born too early and in need of serious medical attention.
The good news is doctors and other health professionals have several ways to keep premature babies alive and thriving.
The first thing that will happen if you give birth to a baby who is too early and not quite ready to breathe well on it’s own, is it will be taken away and in what will seem like a whirl of activity. The baby is whisked off by doctors and nurses to be put in an incubator and monitored in a sterile environment. This can be a scary thing for new parents to have to go through. If your baby needs help breathing, they will have a ventilator. They will often be born jaundice (a yellow color due to bile from their liver backed up in their little bodies), so they will be under a florescent light. It might be scary looking at your baby stuck to tubes and other machines, but you should put your trust in the doctors and nurses – they know what they are doing and they deal with this all the time.
My son was born two months early and he didn’t have enough oxygen at birth and he looked like he was in a space suit for 4 weeks in the ICU. I was only able to visit him for small periods throughout the day, but I watched him get stronger and stronger. The day I took him home was terrifying, but now he’s 19 and he plays football for University of Colorado, and is 6’4 and 270 lbs!
Trust in your doctors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Premature babies are often absolutely fine once their lungs and bodies mature.