Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Preemies and ADHD. Medication or not?

When we were in the NICU one of the first things we heard were the things our son would be at risk for.  One of them was ADHD.

I was told that there are three types of ADHD. However, I  recently read that there are six types of ADHD. You can learn about them and some common treatments here.

Our son has been diagnosed with ADHD - inattentive type.

There are many articles that on research about prematurity and risks of ADHD.

This article on Preemies at Increased Risk of ADHD explains it best.

Another good read is ADHD in Children Born Premature  this gives you excerpts from chapters and studies on preemie behavior.

So what do you do if your preemie has ADHD? Do you put your child on medication or not? Well...this of course is a personal decision...you have to do what is best for your child.

I can tell you my own personal opinion. As a mom of a former preemie with an ADHD child, I am not a fan of medication at this time.  I just can't find enough information or get solid answers on the long term side effects of stimulant or non-stimulant medications used on children, especially while the brain is still growing.

For right now we have chosen not to use ADHD medication because of the reasons listed above and because our son hasn't been eating orally for that long and I don't want to mess with his appetite, thankfully the specialists we consult with all agree.

This information on  Alternative ADHD Treatments is enough  for us to try alternative methods for my sons ADHD. From sensory diets, vitamins to nutrition, even herbal supplements, before we consider going on prescription medication . Neurofeedback is also another althernative method to ADHD that I hear helps alot of kids.

In the future when my son is older I may consider medication for him but for now its not for us.  That being said, I do know many children on medication that do very well, so some kids just DO need medication and they work great for them.  Its truly all trial and error.

Do whats it best for your child, talk to your neurologist, psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician and as always use your mummy tummy (gut instinct).

update: 10/15:  I'm now exploring medication for my son's attention now that he is 14 altho I am told its more the autism then ADHD.... he seems to need something to take the edge off.

update: 1/17:  We never tried the ADHD meds because we felt if we could get his anxiety in control he's just a different kid. So we went on Celexa, for a while. with not much improvement.  Then tried Zoloft both just caused more agitation for him and aggression.  I was recently told that many kids with Autism don't respond well to SSRI's some do opposite effects for Autism B.  Prozac seems to be the med our NEW doctor has had some luck with.  We have decided to wean off all meds give him a month or two rest and start with something new.  Maybe another SSRI like Prozac or Respiradol.  Still same issue. Taking the edge off seems to be key.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

High Calorie food and Nutritional Drink Ideas

I struggle daily with trying to find high calorie food so my son so that he can gain weight and get some height. Its frustrating and I can even exhausting!

At the age of 9 he had been diagnosed with Failure to Thrive (FTT) . Isn’t that the scariest word you have ever heard? Apparently all it means is “not gaining weight as quickly as s/he should”.

I want to share with you some things I used through the years that have helped my son. Some of the ideas were give by nutritionists some by his feeding therapist, some by other parents and I even came up with some myself. You eventually become very creative when you're doing this every day.

Calorie boosters like Duocal Powder, Polycose and Benecalorie - ReSource etc...
These products are not suppose alter the taste of the food or drink and I know of children who have done well with calorie boosters. Somehow my son always knew the difference!! The only thing I have been able to get away with was sprinkling Duocal Powder - on pancakes and telling him it was powdered sugar!

The following ideas are things I use to add to food to make them high calorie:
  • Olive oil, canola oil, Coconut Oil, flaxseed oil
  • Butter, margarines
  • Peanut Butter, Nutella, Almond Butter, Cashew butter, sunflower butter, etc…
  • Avocado
  • Gravies, (mushroom gravy, turkey gravy etc…) & Sauces (alfredo)
  • Syrups (maple, blueberry, caro, chocolate/strawberry syrup etc…)
  • Whole milk, heavy cream, half and half
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Creamy Salad Dressing for dipping
  • Powdered milk can be added to things like mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and casseroles.
Nutrtional Drinks can also be helpful to get calories. For years my son was tube fed and for a while on Simply Right - Gentle Infant Formula - 48 oz. - Baby Formula with adding some Polycose and canola oil (note: this did make his reflux increase at times).
When he out grew infant formula he was put on PediaSure , he dropped in weight on this and that's when a friend told me about Boost Kid Essentials 1.5 He did well on this for quite a while.

Once we entered the ‘journey toward oral feeding’ we tried to get him to drink the Kid Essentials . He wanted nothing to do with it.

I even tried to mix it into smoothies. Nope wouldn't drink it.

We had some luck with Carnation Instant Breakfast for a little while but that wasn’t giving him enough calories.

At one of our nutrition appointments the nutritionist noticed the my son was drinking juice quite a bit and recommended Ensure Enlive! A Juice nutritional drink. She gave us some samples and it was a big hit. Its truly been a life saver for us. It comes in Apple and Berry flavors.

He will drink up to four a day if I let him. He has even gotten to the point where he won’t drink a typical juice box he specifically says “I don’t want juice I want Enlive! ” Great.

This can get expensive! So, I try to limit him to two a day.

Resource also has a verision of the nutritional juice called Resource Breeze,This comes in peach, berry and orange flavor.
Below is a recipe for high calorie pudding. My son loves this Recipe:

High Calorie Chocolate Pudding
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup milk powder
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (or flaxseed oil)
  • 1pkg chocolate instant pudding mix
Combine all ingredients and stir well. Makes 4.5 cups300cals per serving. 9grams protein

High Calorie Hot Cocoa
  • 1 cup HOT whole milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cold milk
  • 2 tbsp puree banana (I sometimes would buy a jar of Gerber baby bananas)
  • Cinnamon
Combine cold milk, cocoa, sugar and banana. Mix well and add hot milk sprinkle with cinnamon.300cals per servings. 10g of protein.
For more information on high calorie foods check out Feeding Underweight Children.




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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The iPad and Special Needs

I was excited when my son got home from school and in his backpack there was a letter indicating that the school will be starting the use of iPads.

My son has significant fine motor delays, he doesn't have alot of motor control and forming letters and holding a pencil to write difficult for him (painful as a mom to watch).

I thank god for this time and age when things are so much easier for a special needs child than it was may have been say 10-20 years ago.

He does have access to augmentative communication devices at school. He uses a type to learn program in and a device alpha smart to type his spelling words and sentences. He types all his answers verses having to write it.

His neuropsychologist told us he will always have difficulty with writing and as the moves up and grade levels and more writing is involved he may need to use a dragon speaks program.

But the iPad? Well that just opens up so many possibilities for him.

For just a few applications out there for special needs children. Check out momswithapps. You can find anything from communication applications to behavior applications.

Two of my very favorite applications are I write words and learn to write with these programs my son can trace how to make a letter with his finger verses having to hold a pencil and get frustrated.

For a fun time check out sparklefish!

Now as I write this post, I now can't help but wonder if Steve Jobs realized how much he would help the special needs world with the creation of the iPad.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Many Sleepless Nights...

My son has never been the best sleeper and lately he seems to be having more difficulty falling and staying asleep.

Bed time has always a challenge for us but it seems to be getting worse! (or I'm just sleep deprived). My son's sleeplessness seems to stem from mostly from anxiety. He just doesn't want to stay in his room alone. I suppose the dogs sleep in the same room, mommy and daddy are in the same room so why can't he have someone in his room?


This anxiety could also stem traumatic infancy and the fact that he had someone in his bedroom (nursing) until the age of 4.

It could his ADHD? Although, many of the ADHD medications suppress the appetite and since my son had a g-tube for 9 years and the fact that he still has feeding issues.  This medication isn't an option for him at the moment. I can treat the anxiety part of this, but without prescription medication. The ideal would be to treat organically.
 
While doing poking around on the internet I found a few items are all natural that I am willing to try. I was actually overwhelmed with my choices and not only did I find items that would treat his anxiety but his ADHD as well.

Here are my findings that may help:
  • Chamomile Tea - Can be purchased here or at any grocery or drug store. This is one of my favorite teas and it certainly calms me.  According to Web MD; studies have found that chamomile is a mild sedative that seems to be safe for children of all ages. Although, use caution if  your child allergic to rag weed. If not allergic to ragweed or other similar plants, then I say enjoy it iced and with honey!
  • Calms Forte 4 Kids -formulated for kids 2+  homeopathic, I'm pretty sure I saw this at wholefoods and at Target. Hylands has great information on their site about this product and it has gotten raving reviews.
  • K-OK Kiddie Calmer /> relieves nervousness, worry, shyness and separation anxiety in children.
  • FOCUS FORMULA-This is product that has gotten some great reviews when used for ADHD. It supports concentration and attention while promoting normal energy levels in children (and adults). Would a calmer more focused child help with sleep? Makes sense to me!
  • Melatonin (comes in tablets or liquid)- Can be found in most drug stores or vitamin shoppes. Research has shown it helps children with autism, psychiatric and neurological problems (such as seizures). To read more about melatonin click here.
So, now that I found these products and did some reading about it. Tonight my plan is to see if he will drink iced camomile tea with honey.  Tomorrow I will contact our pediatrician and see if any of the other products might be an option for my son.

Sweet dreams.

5/12/12 Update:  Melatonin was a life saver for us.  It didn't keep him asleep but it got him to sleep which was his battle.  Once he got into a routine of going down, he now has no issues and we no longer need to use the Melatonin unless his anxiety if heightened and he can't get to sleep.


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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dental Problems and Preemies

Did your preemie have get their teeth late, where they discolored, lacking enamel (white coating)? Did they have a high arched/grooved palate from the ET tube?

As with everything else preemies have risk in developing dental problems.

My son was almost 10 months before he got his first tooth. Delayed teeth is common in premature babies especially if they are very sick and have poor nutrition.

His front teeth were discolored. This is usually less common on permanent teeth, although not for us!! He also has some discoloration on his permanent teeth.  I was told that the cause was from mechanical ventilation and poor nutrition.

His back teeth are worn down a bit, from reflux and he developed a horrible overbite (or overjet) when his front teeth came in. and he needed four braces in his front teeth for about 6 month when he was 7.  "Phase One Ortho".  When he's 13-14 he will need a full set of braces and then possibly a headgear. REALLY?

It hasn't been confirmed for me but I can't help but wonder if his overbite had to do with the ET tube? He never sucked a pacifier he always sucked his ET tube!!

If your premature child has oral aversions its important to work with your OT or Speech Therapist to desenatize your child before a trip to the dentist or find a pediatric dentist that specialized in children with oral aversions. Some kids do have to be sedated for dental work. We haven't been there yet.

A great tool for brushing and to desensitize is an electric tooth brush. What has been our savior is  the Philips Sonicare for Kids. When brushing my sons teeth, he won't allow me in the back of his mouth without gagging and the Sonicare helps without having to fight him.

Always remember to:
  • Bring your baby for a dentist's appointment around her first birthday (or around the time s/he gets the first tooth. This is a recommendation from The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
  • Develop good toothbrushing habits as soon as the teeth break through the gums. The teeth should be cleaned two times a day — first thing in the morning and before bedtime.
Happy Brushing...

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taking Back Some Control

Why is this happening?  This is a concept many of us can relate to for so many situations.

During our NICU journey I remember praying and talking to God daily and again and again when we were home (and still do).

Was there a reason for this happening to MY baby? Was it just bad Kharma (destiny or fate, following as effect from cause)? As time went on I realized its "just life".  Could it be that simple? It is.

My advice, try to take care of the things you do have control over. In the preemie situation (these can also be applied to any current events);

Ask yourself what are the things that I do have control of? Well...in the NICU world it doesn't seem like much but here are some things your can do.  Here are the things I tried;
  1. Take care of your baby the best you know how.
  2. You have control over you NICU, the people who take care of your child! If somethings not right let it be known.
  3. Join chat forums such as inspire.comtracheostomy.com or Parent-2-Parent. Take advantage of the wonderful world of the internet I can't tell you how many great long term friends I now know who I can turn to who still "get it.
  4. Most important take care of YOU (I failed to do this,  took me years and I'm still learning and struggling with doing things for myself)
So what else can you do when your in crisis?  Well...as Oprah once said "when you have done all you could do, been all you can be it's time to give it up to a higher power".  Today I'm a firm believer of that. I'm not saying give up! I'm saying one day at a time and do the best you can.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Keeping your baby healthy...

When we were coming home from the nicu one of the things that was drilled into our head was "if your baby gets sick he could end up right back her or worse die".  nice huh!! Maybe that comment was a bit harsh but  sadly it WAS the truth.

Having a newborn with no complications who gets sick is risky add the fact that that baby is preemie and with complicated health issues an entirely different story.

How did I keep my baby healthy? Well it wasn't easy after all baby's sick no matter how hard your try too keep them healthy and it is good for them to get cold's and build immunity but with my son anything like RSV and Pneumonia's could be fatal.

Now, I may have gone overboard with some of these techniques but it kept us out of the hospital and thats all that mattered to me at the time.
  1. Hand washing and Instant Hand Sanitizer in every room of the house.
  2. Frequent changing of clothes particularly if we had a lot of company and a lot of cuddling was being done.
  3. Keeping children away especially school aged children and children with colds.
  4. When we could travel, trips to Target or Grocery stores, even restaurants always required a Cart Seat Cover When we returned from outing it was bath time for everyone!
  5. I even went as far as putting a sign on my door "If you have a cold, even if you think its allergies please do not come in" ...ok sounds little crazy to most but end result was I didn't want to end back in the hospital
RSV as we all know how  is dangerous tfor any infant  and is 10x worse for premature babies.  Here is a little tid bit about RSV from the March of Dimes .

I recently came across THIS sign by My Tiny Hands  I thought was a GREAT. Wish it were around when by son was a baby.


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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Will my preemie catch up in growth?

Well my former preemies certainly hasn't yet caught up. He started falling off the growth chart at age 7.

There are many factors associated with why my preemie hasn't had much catch up growth.
  1. IUGR, small for gestational age he was less than 1000grams. 10% of Children born small for gestational age have issues with catching up.
  2. BPD, difficulty in breathing leading to the baby no getting adequate nutrition. Our son burned more calories trying to breath than he was taking in.
  3. Long term steroid use. I'm not sure if this is a factor of not. Some doctors tell me it is, some (who are no longer our doctor) seem not to believe it is a factor. But it certainly makes sense. Steroids such as prendisolone affects children's growth and my child was on it for over two years!
  4. Genetics, simply put I'm not a giant and neither is my husband.
  5. Growth and Feeding issues even after my son started showing improvement from his BPD he struggledx with feeding issues for years and continue to do so.
I have read that 85% of premature infants have catch-up growth  and end up on the growth charts by age of two, however there  have been studies done on prematurity and growth that indicate that there are two times when a preemie can catch up in growth, by age of two or during adolescence.

So knowing all these facts sometimes we are faced with the decision (as I am now), your child DID NOT catch up at age two, his bone age is still 3 years behind so there is a possibility that he could catch up at adolescence. So, do hope and pray he catches up or start him former preemie growth hormones ?





Friday, September 23, 2011

The Beginning of our Growth Hormone Journey

I recall being told back in the NICU that there are two times a preemie has a chance to catch up in growth.  Before the age of three and at puberty and that about 10% of preemies may need growth hormones.

Well here we are, no where near puberty but well past age of three. My son is off the charts. He is 10 years old and his bone age around 3 years behind, and size of a six or seven year old.

So, we are now entering an entirely different journey, the human growth hormone journey.

 I'm told that bone age behind is good, it he has more catchup growth time. 

We have had blood work to check hormone levels,thyroid etc.. had an MRI of pituitary gland, even saw genetics for any metabolic disorders. All normal. We have even seen genetics.  Their finding was a partial chromosome 18 where there aren't much studies done on that so inconclusive.

At this point it looks like my sons growth delays have more to do with his prematurity, the fact that he was IUGR, he had respiratory problems, he was on prednisolone (systemic steroid) for two years and of course I'm no giant so a genetics play a part in all this. This all leads to " Small for Gestational Age".

What have I learned so far about Growth Hormones so far?  Its a daily injection. There are several different injection type injection Options. I believe we will start on the Miniquick.

Our endocrinologist told us that Preemies were IUGR at birth apparently respond well in the first year.

The side effects we were told about consist of; severe headaches that will require hospitalization, bone slips (where the bone dislocated from joint requiring surgery) are rare about 1 in 700 for both, scoliosis (curving of the spine), and two new studies that haven't been confirmed cancer risks and cardiovascular risk.

We were also told, since my son had severe respiratory issues that we needed clearance his pulmonologist, apparently some children who have had previous breathing problems can have a set back. Nice.

Well....doesn't sound inviting does it? We are still in the "deciding" part of this process....stay tuned for updates...

Update: 2/13/17...We had 3 endocrinology doctor changes since this post.  We came off growth hormones over a year ago.  At 4"10 he was we were told he was at the end of his growth.  He went through puberty very quick.  His bone age which was one behind was advance two years.  We are told he probably won't grow much bigger then he is now.  I'm hoping thats not true.  Docs have been wrong before.  Time will tell..see updated post here...


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Article: Premature baby brains can't tell pain from touch

I don't know about your former preemie but mine has a high tolerance level to pain.

He can fall scratch up his entire leg pretty good and keep on running as if nothing has happened.  He can come home from school with a big bruise and/or bump on his head and it won't phase him.

I remember his second day of kindergarten. I got a call from the teacher that my son tripped over a carpet and got a cut on his forehead. He needed stitches.

As I drove to go pick him up I thought he would be so traumatized. Nope...not one bit. When I got there I think the teacher was more distraught than he was! He was just sitting looking at books ever so calmly as the nurse held the cloth to his head to stop the bleeding.

Here is an article I wanted to share about Premature baby brains can't tell pain from touch.

I can't help but wonder if this study would also apply to our older preemies.  Seems like it with my son.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Article: Comments And The Impact on Preemie Mothers

I came across a report today from a forum called Inspire.com.  They have a preemie forum that I follow every from time to time.

The Report is about "Comments and the Impact on Preemie Mothers".

It brought back memories of the comments I used to get over and over again. I'm sure you have heard this one... "I don't know how you do it".

The most recent comment I got was... "Do have anyone to talk to because it must get lonely?"  hmmm...

I used to get so frustrated. However,  it didn't take me long to realize that you simply can't "get it" until you live it.  People are NOT trying to be mean or inconsiderate. They really are trying to be sincere and trying to understand.  

So, for those of you who have never experienced having a preemie or special needs child, thank you for trying to understand.

What can say or do? Well, simple...sometimes mom or dad just needs you to sit with them and sometimes a simple "this really sucks" will make a huge impact.

I hope you enjoy this report as much as I did.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)

What is Retionpathy of Prematurity?

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), affects approximately 14,000 to 16,000 premature infants in the United States annually.

ROP primarily affects infant weighing less than two pounds twelve ounces, who are born at or before thirty-one weeks into the pregnancy. The lower the birth weight of the baby, the higher the chances are that he or she will suffer from retinopathy of prematurity.

Approximately ninety percent of infants born with ROP suffer from the milder version which improves in time and normally requires no treatment. ROP causes about four hundred to six hundred infants each year in the United States to become diagnosed as legally blind.

What causes retinopathy of prematurity?

At approximately sixteen weeks of pregnancy, the baby's eyes begin to develop. Blood vessels grow from the back of the eye toward the retina, and bring oxygen and nourishment to the eye. The process remains gradual until approximately the last twelve weeks of pregnancy, when everything develops more rapidly.In a full term pregnancy, development of the eye is nearly complete. When a baby is born prematurely, however, many times the blood vessels have not have sufficient time to reach the retina. If this happens, and the blood vessels stop growing, the edges of the retina do not receive adequate oxygen. New, more fragile blood vessels often begin to grow in that area to make up for the deficiency. Since they are more fragile, these blood vessels frequently leak, which causes scarring in the eye. As the scars heal, they actually pull the retina, causing it to detach, resulting in visual impairment.

How is retinopathy of prematurity treated?

There are numerous treatments for ROP, but the most common treatments are laser surgery and cryotherapy. Laser surgery is an invasive surgery that is performed by using a special instrument that actually targets the periphery of the eye where there are no normal blood vessels, burning it away. With this procedure, the peripheral area is destroyed.

Cryotherapy works in much the same manner as laser therapy, except that the tool used actually generates freezing temperatures, and freezes the surface that overlies the peripheral area. Again, with cryotherapy, the peripheral area of the eye is destroyed. Both of these treatments are performed on children suffering from the more severe stages of ROP.

Other forms of treatment include the use of a sclera buckle, and the performance of e vitrectomy. The sclera buckle procedure involves the placement of a silicone band around the eye, which prevents the scar tissue from being pulled, and allows the retina to relax.The band is required to be removed later, as the eye continues to grow. A vitrectomy removes the vitreous and replaces it with a saline solution which enables the scar tissues to be removed. The procedure also enables the retina ti relax.

While these treatments have been very successful in preventing blindness and improving the vision of babies with retinopathy of prematurity, not all babies respond to treatment. In some cases, the babies will suffer from retinal detachment. A careful evaluation performed by your child's physician can determine whether further treatments are recommended.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cerebral Palsy; The Basics

Premature babies are at risk for Cerebral Palsy (CP). It is caused by damage to one or more areas of the brain.

"Cerebral" refers to the brain and "palsy" refers to a physical disorder.

CP falls into one of three main types:

Ataxic CP: (loss of depth perception and balance)caused by damage to the cerebellum, which controls balance; this is the rarest of the three types. Children with this type of CP have difficulty coordinating movements and balance.

Athetoid/Dyskinetic CP: (uncontrolled or involuntary movement)caused by damage to the basal ganglion and causes uncoordinated, involuntary, and uncontrolled muscle movement. Children with this type of CP may be able to walk but often stumble. It is also characterized by twisting of the fingers and wrists.

Spastic CP: (difficult or stiff movement)caused by damage to the cortex which controls movement and sensation. It is the most common type of CP and results in tight muscles in the arms and legs. Children with this type of CP can avoid being placed in a wheelchair if their muscles are exercised properly.

Mixed CP: a combination of two or more of the above,or all three.
 
Aside from Premature birth other risk factors associated with Cerebral Palsy include, but are not limited to, improper oxygen while the infant was developing, bacterial infection in the mother while pregnant, and prolonged oxygen loss during birth. Severe jaundice after birth. Another possible factor can be by the mother being infected with German measles during the beginning of her pregnancy.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for CP due to the fact that brain damage cannot be reversed. However, with training and therapy, muscle function and co-ordination can greatly improve.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Interuterine Growth Retardation (IUGR)

One of the more common conditions of premature birth is Intrauterine Growth Retardation (IUGR).

Intrauterine growth retardation is a condition that is often recognized in babies that are born at or below the tenth percentile for their gestational age. Although approximately 350,000 infants are born weighing below the tenth percentile in the United Stated each year, only about 100,000 are actually diagnosed with IUGR. Many times, low birth weight in infants can be attributed to a low maternal weight or other factors. In these instances, babies normally "catch up" as their age progresses.

IUGR should be evaluated and treated as early as possible, as this condition can raise the risk for more significant health problems. For most babies who suffer from IUGR, however, the prognosis is very good.

What causes intrauterine growth retardation ?

There are various factors that should be considered when evaluating the causes of, and diagnosing and infant suspected of suffering from IUGR. Such factors as the size and weight of the mother, the phenotype of the father, and even higher altitude residency can affect the birth weight of an infant. When these factors are taken into consideration, many children are referred to as "constitutionally small". This term describes children who are of a lower birth weight, but otherwise healthy.

When these factors do not apply, or seem less relevant, or the low birth weight is severe, the child is often said to suffer from Intrauterine growth retardation.

The most common cause of IUGR is poor maternal-fetal circulation resulting in failure to thrive. Other causes include congenital abnormalities and intrauterine infections during pregnancy.

Medical factors that influence IUGR include:
  • Diabetes
  • Early preeclampsia- Preeclampsia causes significant damage to the placenta, resulting in poor blood flow to the infant.
  • Hypertension- Perinatal mortality is three times more likely in infants with hypertensive mothers.
  • Lupus
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Severe lung disease
  • Infections account for approximately ten percent of all cases of Intrauterine growth retardation.
Infections that influence the development of IUGR include:
  • Hepatitis B
  • Syphilis
  • HIV
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Herpes
Maternal behaviors and characteristics that influence the risk of IUGR include:
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Cocaine use
  • Use of Warfarin or Phenytoin
  • Malnutrition
  • Prior pregnancies resulting in infants with IUGR
Prevention techniques include:

While prevention is not always possible, expectant mothers should remove as many risk factors as possible to help prevent their infants from suffering from IUGR. Stopping smoking, alcohol use, and drug use can be an important step in reducing the risk. In addition, expectant mothers should focus on consuming a nutritional diet. Any medications taken during pregnancy should be approved by the attending physician.

Treatments Available:

When IUGR is suspected, many times physicians will recommend an early or preterm delivery of the baby to prevent further development of IUGR. This can be done by inducing preterm labor, or by cesarean delivery.
While most children suffering from IUGR will eventually catch up on their own, much of the prognosis is dependent upon the cause of the growth retardation.

There are many reasons a child won't have catch up growth. About 10% of children born IUGR do not catch up (my son being one of them), however there are also medical conditions such at growth hormones deficiency's, Celiac disease and many more or genetic conditions such as metabolic disorders that will prevent the child from ever fully developing normally.

In some instances, Growth Hormones are recommended to assist the child in reaching average size, and developing properly.

Consult with your endocrinologist for proper testing to determine the cause of inadequate growth.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) / Chronic Lung Disease

I remember the first time I heard “your son has severe bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)". Time seemed to stop for a moment...

Of course I listened to what the doctors had to say, but it seemed like every time they talked I didn't quite hear WHAT they were saying...not sure why that happens.

Soon, thereafter, I did my own research (its just easier to read it sometimes than actually hear it).
So, in laymans terms here is what I have learned about BPD from my experience with it.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia is also known as Chronic Lung disease and it affects babies.

It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and it can range from mild to severe (as in my son’s case).

BPD can start with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) and RDS occurs in babies whose lungs have not developed completely. It is mainly caused by a lack of a substance called surfactant (a natural lubricant that improves lung function).

Symptoms:
  • Blue Color of Skin (Cyanosis)
  • Apnea (a brief stop in breathing)
  • Nasal flaring
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Shortness of breath and grunting sounds
  • Retractions (pulling at rib cage) while breathing
If symptoms of RDS continue after a about month or so, then the condition will be considered to be BPD.
BPD is defined by inflammation and scarring in the lungs, most commonly found in premature and low birth weight infants.

It can also be caused by other conditions other than premature birth such as pneumonia's or RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). So, BPD can even happen in a healthy full-term baby and sometimes (but rare) in older children.

White (Caucasian), boy babies seem to be at greater risk for developing Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, for reasons that are unknown, and most babies will outgrow the more severe symptoms of BPD.


How is BPD Diagnosed and Treated?

In my son’s case he was; premature, had RDS, became septic (infection), exposed to high oxygen, and of course he was ventilator dependent (so, he required a tracheostomy). His Chest X-ray’s and CT scans showed scarring of lung tissue. All indicating factors of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia.

There is no cure BPD. Just time. Babies diagnosed receive intensive support in the hospital, until they are stable enough to be transferred to a rehab hospital or (as in our case) home.


Medications

If the baby is born and has RDS, doctors may be give, a dose of surfactant (in my sons case two doses), this may decrease the chance for BPD to develop.

The medications used to treat my son's BPD were; Albuterol,a bronchodilator, (helps keep small airway sacs open). Lasix (furosemide), a diuretic that helps decrease fluid build up in the lungs. Flovent, (an inhaled steroid). He remains on this even today for maintenance of his asthma. He was also on course of prednisolone (a strong anti-inflammatory) for an extended period of time,, spironolactone (a.k.a., Aldactone),which also removes excess fluid from body, and a K supplement(potassium).
BPD babies are also at high risk of developing infections so antibiotics are sometimes needed.


Nutrition

Nutrition is also extremely important. BPD babies may need high-calorie formulas through a nasal gastric tube (NG tube) or a gastrointestinal tube (G-tube), which is surgically placed.

Why an NG tube or G-tube? BPD babies have a difficult time eating by mouth, they tend to burn alot of calories just trying to breath, when they eat they burn even more calories, resulting in poor weight gain. The tubes are a way to get the calories into the baby without effort on the babies part.

Result? More growth. Which means? More new and healthy lung tissue.

New lung tissue that forms may ultimately take over much of the work of breathing for diseased lung tissue. Babies continue to grow new lung tissue for 5-7 years.

Babies with BPD are slow to improve(mine sure was). After coming through the more severe stages of BPD, some may have longer-term complications (my son has asthma).

How to care for your Child who has BPD once s/he comes home?

We, as parents have a critical role in the care of our children when they leave the hospital.

One essential safety measure for us was to reduce Collin’s exposure to infections.

I limited visits from people who were sick, even eliminated them. When he got a little stronger I limited play dates to 1-2 children and also delayed him from starting school for a year. (some may tell you I was a little over the top, but I don’t think so!)

Also, it is very important that babies receive all the recommended vaccinations to prevent further illness.
Continue the high-calorie formula if you were asked to do so. Children with BPD sometimes can grow slower and are slower gain weight due to breathing problems.

Try to remember, each case of Broncopulmonary Dysplasia is different and every child is different.
Thankfully, new studies are always being done and new treatments become available.


So, as always please consult with your NICU team for further information on the treatments available for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia.

For more information on  how infant massage reduces stress in preemies check out this article: click here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Premature Birth

What Causes premature birth?

There are various factors that can influence the amount of time your baby spends in the womb. From hereditary factors, genetic conditions, medical complications, and physical characteristics to outside influences including such things as physical injury or emotional trauma, drug and alcohol use, and poor diet.

Although modern medical technology has made an amazing number of advances that have greatly improved the survival rate of premature babies, it is extremely important for expectant mothers to understand the many risk factors which influence premature birth.

It is also important to remember, that sometimes, although an expectant mother does everything right and is without common risk factors, prematurity often happens for unexplainable reasons.

Between eight and ten percent of all pregnancies in the United States result in an early delivery. A full term human pregnancy lasts approximately forty weeks and a baby is considered to have been born prematurely if he or she was born before completing the thirty-seventh week in the womb.

Typically, the severity of the prematurity has a great impact on the medical and developmental complications premature babies face. While some early births result in perfectly developed infants with few or no complications, many premature babies are challenged with numerous health concerns due to the lack of time in the womb.

Common risk factors include:
  • LMultiple babies- carrying more than one baby (twins, triplets, etc) can significantly increase the chances of a pregnancy resulting in premature delivery.
  • Personal history- having a personal history of pregnancy that ended prematurely increases the chances that additional pregnancies will not continue to full term.
  • Uterine or cervical complications- Cervical cancer, uterine separation, and other conditions can impact the amount of time a pregnancy continues.
  • Health conditions- Diabetes, high blood pressure, and various other chronic heath conditions can influence the term of a pregnancy.
  • Tobacco use- It is more common for women who smoke cigarettes to have a pregnancy that results in low birth weight of the infant and premature delivery.
  • Alcohol use- The use of alcohol during pregnancy increases the chances of premature birth, and can have a major effect of the development of the fetus during pregnancy as well.
  • Drug use Drug use is associated with an increased risk of pregnancy that results in premature birth.
  • Certain types of infections- some types of infections experienced during pregnancy can increase the risk of the baby being born prematurely.
In addition to recognizing the risk factors involved with premature delivery, it is a good idea for expectant mothers to be familiar with the warning signs of premature labor as well.
Warning signs of premature labor often include:
  • Contractions of the uterus (tightening similar to cramping) that occurs every ten minutes or more often and continues regularly regardless of a change in position.
  • Increases or changes in vaginal discharge including bleeding or "spotting", or discolored discharge.
  • Pressure in the mother's pelvic area- often feeling like the baby is pressing against the pelvic area.
  • Cramping that resembles menstrual cramping, with or without diarrhea.
  • Persistent back ache, usually described as a dull ache in the lower back.
What can be done to help prevent preterm birth?
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and drug use during your pregnancy.
  • Attend medical check-ups regularly during your pregnancy.
  • Actively seek medical treatment and advice for any warning signs or concerns you might have.
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Observe restrictions that coincide with any health conditions you might have, and continue to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Although experiencing a pregnancy that results in premature birth can not always be prevented, educating yourself about the causes, warning signs, and prevention methods can greatly reduce the chances of premature birth.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Start your own Blog


Ever think about how to start your own blog?

One of the things I wish I had done was start my blog when my son was first born. I did journal but not as often as I should have..

In 2001 blogs were just beginning to get popular, and there wasn't easy access to wireless internet, especially in the hospitals, which meant I had to leave my babies side (who wants to do that!). The cell phones were flip phone, smartphones didn't do as much as they do now.

Being in the NICU day in and day out can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally (there is just something about those hospitals that just drain you emotionally and physically!).

The last thing you want to do when you get home is return phone calls/emailS Besides, how many times can you tell the same story?....

Today you can add a post and update your friends and family as you sit by the isolette!

So…where can you start your blog. Some of the sites I am familiar and like alot are sites like; Blogger it is free and user friendly.

If you’re interested in starting your own website check out Go Daddy.

So...where do you begin to start your own blog?

Just be yourself. Talk about your day in the NICU. Write about the ups...the downs, the frustrations! The milestones!! “hey, he gained an ounce today!” or “she tolerated 4 tablespoons of formula today” (huge accomplishment).

You also don’t have to use a blog as just a journal. Be as creative as you can, add pictures and videos of your baby. Show how s/he is growing. Are your creative? Write Poems.

Keep it up once you get home, follow your child as s/he grows.

Another reason to blog? When you have a medically fragile child, blogging could benefit you a great deal. For example, I know someone who looked back at what she wrote when her child started develop alot pneumonia’s she used the blog track how often he was sick, and what may have triggered his illness, what treatments worked.

I found by journaling (and now blogging) its not only therapeutic but it is a very good way to document medical information with out even knowing it!

There have been many times I had to refer back to when he was on medication, how he reacted, when he came off the medication, how often he got sick, how long it lasted etc... It helped doctors tremendously especially once we got home.

To get more viewers to you blog, join social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus....and attach them to your blog.

Check out this book on how to start a blog; The NICU Rollercoaster: How to Set Up and Use an Online Blog to Help Survive the Ups, Downs, Agonies, and Joys of Your Baby's Stay.

Happy Blogging!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

My favorite Poems...

I was going through some old scrapbooks and found some baby poems on preemies and specials needs that I had saved.

These are just a few of my favorite baby poems that had touched my heart and still do in many ways.
I hope you enjoy these poems as I did (and still do).



_____________________________________________ 
The Preemie Experience
by Sandra D. Moore

The preemie experience is the shattering of all your dreams for a normal healthy delivery 
Of the ability to carry home a beautiful squirming bundle after a short stay in the hospital
It is lying there on your room listening to the happy sounds of whole families joined together by the birth of a grandchild, cousin, niece, or nephew, and knowing that your child is miles away and may not survive long enough for you to see or simply touch.
It is that first glimpse of a skinny, scrawny, not much bigger than a Barbie doll child and feeling fear, awe and joy for such a fragile soul.
It is sitting by your baby’s “bedside” day after day, week after week, month after month, alternating between the emotional high of “look, his eyes are open” or “he’s crying!” and the lows of “I’m sorry, Mrs. _________. Something has shown up in his ultrasound” or even “There is nothing we can do…”
It is hearing the alarms go off for the twentieth time in less than fifteen minutes because your child’s heart rate keeps hitting zero.
It is watching children dying around you, wondering if your child will be next.
It is hearing your child’s cry of distress as the nurses insert yet another IV or do another round of daily blood tests.
It is meeting other parents of children who are doing far better and wondering “why me?” and meeting parents of children who have just died and praising God for His mercy to your child and feeling guilty because your child is alive and someone else is grieving for theirs.
It is days of nightmares testing and coping with less than positive results to the tests.
It is days of joy at seeing the first eyelash appear, the child gain a whole ounce in one day, and two bright shiny eyes look at you, and into your soul and knowing that your child now recognizes you as 
 
Mama and Dada, or perhaps looks at you and does not see you at all…
It is that final hurdle before coming home! It is the sorry of waiting for the monitor company to show you what to do if the alarm sounds when your child is choking, gasping for breath, or simply dying. It is the joy of just being away from all those nurses and tubes and wires and beeps and walking into the nursery you hastily prepared because, after all, the child wasn’t due for another three months!
 
It is thinking that the nightmare is over…only to realize that it still continues in the from of such acronyms as BPD, CP, PVL and numerous others.
It is the realization that these developmental delays have to be dealt with, that reflux is a normal and unfortunate occurrence in most preemies, that the constant fight to gain weight is in direct proportion to a preemies inability to do so.
 
It is watching a child struggle to pick up his and her head, sit, crawl or walk. It is witnessing only silence when the child should be babbling.
It is the mental images of a child running and playing and communicating with others in a perfectly normal manner that are marred when you face years of therapy, in order to simply get the child to eat by himself or talk or walk and then run.
The preemie experience is a journey…a journey through your soul in order to find faith and strength to cope, A journey of the mind when you face the emotional weariness, a journey of the heart…to accept that no matter what, this child is yours, an you will love this child no matter what!

____________________________________________
God Chooses a Mom of a Special Needs Child
by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of special needs children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of special needs children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
"Armstrong, Beth; son; patron saint, Matthew.
"Forrest, Marjorie; daughter; patron saint, Cecelia.
"Rudledge, Carrie; twins; patron saint.... give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."
Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a special needs child."
The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy.""Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a special needs child a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."
"But has she patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence. She'll have to teach the child to live in her world and that's not going to be easy."
"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
God smiles. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."
The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, there is a woman I will bless with a child less then perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word.' She will never consider a 'step' ordinary. When her child says 'Momma' for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see --- ignorance, cruelty, prejudice --- and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in midair.
God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."
__________________________________________
Welcome to Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
 
_______________________________________________________ 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Surviving the NICU

Do we really ever survive the NICU? I’m not sure. I think we cope the best we can. We, in our own ways find a new sense of normal. It may not be the normal we planned but it our normal and it just as good if not better.

I can’t count how many times I heard “I don’t know how you do it!”.

Well...that pretty simple really. You sort of don’t have a choice. Do you? You “just do it”.

As I would sit by the isolette for 8-12 hours a day, and  as the weeks slowly went by, I slowly, came to accept what was happening.

By simply accepting I somehow felt empowered. I remember thinking “I have no control over what’s happening to my son, but I do have control over how I cope with it. I can either sit here and do nothing or I can try to make this stay tolerable. Create 'my own normal' for the time I was here.
I needed a “plan” to survive the NICU journey.

The way I survived the NICU was to fill myself with knowledge. Not only about my child’s illness and care but also on how I would cope on a day to day basis. What did all those numbers mean on the machine he was on?  What did blood results mean?  How do I know if he's in distress, color of skin/lips, breathing etc..... What was I was going to do when we got home. What was my plan?

I started talking other moms in similar situations. Mom's I met in the NICU, searching online in forums such as tracheostomy.com there are now many Facebook pages out there that are a great support. I learned the ins/outs of home nursing. I learned how to deal with homecare agencies. I learned how to set up our very own NICU in our home! My original plan just wasn’t going to work.

I started to get get to know the ‘team’, the people responsible for taking care of my baby. To my amazement I realized these people were actually human! Who’d of thought! This also helped me become more comfortable when I couldn’t be there.

Then I started to create a temporary ‘home’ right there, in the NICU. I downloaded some music and books on ipod .

I also recorded  a my voice reading books on the voicememo app  so that voice reading stories so that when we couldn’t be there the nurses could play the recorder he could hear our voices. Our personal favorite books were  were The Little Engine That Could and Oh, Baby, the Places You'll Go!

 I brought in clothes and dressed him up! (that is, as much as the nurses would allow me to).

We bought the Tiny Love Classic Mobile (This was his favorite, he went through 3 of them! To this day plays with little monkey and frog).

A boppy pillow, so that he could sit up and look around.

A portable baby swing. For days when he could get some soothing movement other than having to just lie there.

NICU crib art is something new and fun.  Check it out!


Keep a Journal  download My Preemie App!  this is a great way to vent, reflect and keep track of how far your baby has come.

I was also in touch with the child-life specialist within the hospital. They have toys and will take the time to play with your baby when you aren't unable to be there.

Spend as much time in the NICU as you can.  Be with your baby, know your baby.  When you can't be there call and check in.  No matter how long or short your stay in the NICU is.  It's still quite the journey.

Aside from this, how did I survive the NICU? Well,I just took one day at a time. Prayed for patience, strength and peace of mind. Then I just let the rest be as it was meant to be.



 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Medical Disclaimer

Medical Disclaimer

The purpose of this website is to provide general information only.

I am not a physician or any type of medical professional. I am just a mom who has learned a lot through the years and wanted to share my experiences. The accuracy on this website is not guaranteed.

The information should not be used in place of the advice of a physician or other health care professional.
You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Should you have any health related questions, speak your physician, NICU team or other qualified health care provider.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

About Me

Hi! My name is Linda, I am married and I am a stay at home mom.

Our NICU journey began a little over ten years ago....

On September 28, 2001, at 30 weeks gestation, our son Collin was born. He weighed 2lbs 1oz, and was 14 1/2 inches long.

He was delivered via emergency c-section. I had developed severe pre-eclampia and HELLP syndrome during my pregnancy. He was IUGR (small for gestational age) and had RDS (respiratory distress syndrome).

He was immediately intubated and sent to our local Children’s Hospital (20 miles away). I wouldn’t see him again for seven days.

As most preemies do, he did very well his first three weeks of life (I believe they call this the “honeymoon phase”).

During week three, he was 3.5lbs. Doctors felt he was doing well enough to be transferred back to the hospital he was born in, to feed and grow.

Little did we know that our nightmares were only just beginning?

Collin contracted a staph infection (staph epi). He was re-intubated and transferred back to the Children’s Hospital NICU.

He eventually recovered from the infection, however he now had Severe Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) and the NICU team was unable to be wean him from ventilator.

On December 18th 2001, Collin received a tracheostomy and g-tube.

Once at home and away from the hospital environment, Collin made tremendous strides. He started to reach some milestones such as sitting up and crawling.

He was off the ventilator by June 2003.

In August 2003 Collin was decannulated. He just loved the sound of his voice (and so did we) and talked in sentences rather quickly!

He started walking in January 2004 he was 2yrs 4mos (ironically the same day he came off Oxygen).
In August 2004 we no longer required home nursing.

Collin started eating 100% orally (yes, the feeding journey was long) by June 2010, no longer requiring the use of his g-tube. His g-tube stoma was surgically closed in September 2011.

As a result of his BPD, he developed exercise and cold induced Asthma and still Collin does require his flu shot yearly.

How is he doing today?
 
He has had many specialists that follow hi through the years.

He  is now a teenager, who is quirky funny teenager, w, and oh how I cherish the sound of his voice.  He also continues to be OH SO strong willed child! (just so you know that preemie "strong will" does NOT go away).

Of course this is just a short summary of the past 17 years.

I couldn't  begin to tell you in just one page all the ups and downs and emotions of our journey as it continues.

What I can tell you, is would I have change anything, probably, however,  I have learned so much about myself and about this unique world they call special needs, My son teaches me more about life on a daily basis than anyone could in a life time.



Contact Me

I would love to hear from you! If you have any questions, would like to comment on this blog or even share your story, contact me. Fill out the form below or email me at nicumama2@gmail.com

Please remember that I am not a physician or any other type of healthcare professional. I cannot offer you medical advice or tell you what treatments should be used in the care of your child.

I am just a mom and I can offer you support and help you to learn as much as you can about your child's condition and get you through the toughest days.

For medical advice please talk to your NICU team.

Welcome

Welcome to my page and congratulations on your new miracle! s/he is truly a miracle.

Chances are if you’re finding the Nicumama website you have a preemie or a baby in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) or a special needs childs.

So...your pregnancy and/or delivery wasn’t as “perfect” as you imagined or as everyone said it was going to be. I know. I get it.

Collin 2 days old
Over 17 year ago our journey started in the NICU. I remember feeling so lost in every way imaginable. Overwhelmed with the noises of all the machines and monitors that my baby was hooked up to. My eyes were constantly glued to those monitors NOT my baby.

Aside from my husband I felt as though the only people I could talk to were the doctors and the nurses in the NICU, (which isn’t a bad thing because you may find that some of these special people eventually become good friends) It happened to me!

Outside of the NICU, talking to family and friends was a bit tough. Most of the time I felt as though I was speaking a foreign language.

I remember thinking. "ugh...no one will ever 'get' it".

The NICU can certainly be a scary and lonely place. Especially when you had imagined and had different plans for the birth of your child.

This is why I created Nicumama.com

This blog was created all of you moms and dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc...who have or have had the NICU experience and beyond it.

If you are seeking some information, guidance or and reassurance then you have come to the right place.

Use Nicumama.com as a tool, a source for information. Remember that knowledge is power! The more you know, the more in control you will feel (especially when you have no other control over what is happening to your baby boy or girl).

There will also be information on "the former preemie". After all your preemie WILL grow up and sometimes your NICU experience may not end after leaving the NICU.

Now, I know that there may be a lot of information that may not be covered this website. If you see something that you think should be covered and it's not on this blog contact me, If you would like to do a guest post, also contact me. 

All the best on your NICU journey and beyond,



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nicumama Store

Welcome to the Nicumama Store.

This Page is under construction...









                           shop here: www.purehaven.com/lindac





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