Friday, November 11, 2011

Do you feel guilty that you didn't go full term?

As I was reading some of the postings in the parents of preemies group on Facebook, someone posed the question, do you feel guilty that you didn't go full term? To my surprise, their were some who answered that they did feel guilty. I was confused by their comments.

Why do you feel guilty?

24 weeks pregnant
Guilty was never a feeling that I had when I delivered my girls eight weeks early. I knew that it was not in my control. In fact, when I found out I was having twins, I always already prepared for them to come early and would not be able for them to come home with me right away. My cervix was one cm dilated at 24 weeks, from which I was placed on bedrest and then two months later, my girls arrived. What is there to feel guilty about? I carried them as long as my body could handle and as long as God wanted them to stay in the womb. Here are the facts; in my case:

  • I am 5"2. I am petite.
  • I was carrying twins. Majority of twins do not reach full term. Most are born around 35 weeks, it is very rare that a mother carries full term.
  • My cervix was already opened. 
I miscarried a year prior to getting pregnant again with the girls. Why would I feel guilty? They were my miracles.
    Maybe I am just Lucky

    I read a plethora of posts from mothers who share stories of the obstacles that they have faced with their preemie(s) in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) such as surgeries, blood transfusions, extensive hospital stays and I can't help but to feel truly bless thus far. My girls were in the NICU less than a week after they were delivered emergency c-section and were the favorite of the nurses. One of the nurses told my fiance that they loved the Simmons twins because they do not need special attention; just feed them and that is it. I do not mean to brag because I know that many parents of preemies have gone through a lot of hardship but I am please with the development and health of my twins so far. When my cervix opened, I thought my girls were going to be delivered that day. Nothing is scarier than a doctor coming into your hospital room and saying that their is a 90% change that if your baby is born at 24 weeks, chances are, they will not make it.  Being placed on bedrest and prescribed Procardia for two months, helped the girls stay in the womb until 32 weeks and one day. Maybe, I am just lucky that I haven't had to endure some of the hardships that many have faced. Maybe, I just haven't had my share and it is soon to come. I don't wish that on myself, but I am thankful everyday that my girls open their eyes and are healthy.

    Appreciating your Preemie
    I appreciate my girls more because they were born premature. I was able to watch them develop physically outside of the womb, which I found amazing. I do not take for granted every milestone and every development. Preemies, in my opinion are better than full term babies because they have so much strength. They are fighters. I admire them because they have to make up for certain skills that they would have developed if they were in the womb longer such as Suck, Swallow and Breathe while feeding.

    They WERE preemies, they are not anymore

    What parents of preemies have to remember is that their baby WAS a preemie and are not anymore. I do not treat my girls any differently and I do not look at them any differently. This can also be because I did not have to go through an extensive stay at the hospital or any surgeries, but if I did, it would be the same way. I don't place emphasis on the gestational age either. In my eyes, they are three months not one month and a half their gestational age.

    For those who feel guilty that they did not make it full term; don't. It is not a competition, it is what God planned. If you do not believe in God, then the length of your pregnancy was what your body could handle. It does not make you failure because you did not make it full term. Preemies are special. Not because some of the challenges that we will or have faced as parents but because of the determination they have.

    If I could do it again, I would not change a thing. I'm truly blessed because I received two wonderful girls who are so smart and such a joy that you would not have known that they were born premature; they are so chunky.


    For those parents, do you feel guilty? Why or why not?


    1. I will have to admit...I did feel guilty about having my soon early,I kept telling my doctor that I thought I was in labor.I even went to the on call OB the night before I had him and told him I was in labor,He said it was just a UTI. I feel guilty I didnt some how make him believe me that my son was coming early.

      Your girls are so cute!Congrats