Meet Jasmine, Preemie Parent Mentor
My preemie(s) was born at: 29 weeks 1 Day
Days spent in the NICU: 11 weeks NICU, 7 Weeks Inpatient Feeding Program
Current age of preemie(s): 20 months
Parent of Multiples: No
Languages spoken: Aranian / Farsi
Our NICU Journey included: NICU and rehab hospital stays during covid, feeding difficulties, ng tube, bottle aversion, GI issues including reflux and constipation
I remember wonderful moments, like the first time we saw our baby’s face without the cpap, the first time I was able to hold him and do kangaroo care, my husband doing kangaroo care and when he moved into the grower feeder room, but my heart also breaks all over again as I think about how many times I watched other babies being discharged and wondered when that would happen for us.
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have the support of my spouse, family, friends and therapist throughout this process, but regardless of how amazing your circle is, the NICU and post-NICU life can be lonely, particularly during Covid. Connecting with other preemie parents has been so freeing – we’ve experienced so many of the same feelings, there’s no need to explain whys (why isn’t he out of the nicu yet, why doesn’t he just drink his milk like other babies) and there are tons of practical tips that other NICU parents have learned through experience. I hope to offer support and share what we’ve learned in our journey in the hopes that I can make another family’s experience a little bit easier.
Preemies are so much stronger than their little bodies lead you to believe.
The book “Your Baby’s Bottle Feeding Aversion: Reasons and Solutions” will help a preemie parent understand everything about how to feed your baby when you come home from the NICU. It’s an incredible resource that I wish I had discovered before our baby had an eating aversion.
Connect with your NICU social worker to work through insurance questions (including eligibility for Medicaid) and get connected to postnatal mental health resources, support groups.