Premature Birth: A Family Survival Guide
Based on her own harrowing experiences and her expertise as a psychiatric social worker, Jo Clancy addresses the parents of preterm babies, discussing the heartbreak and stress involved, the impact on the whole family of the death of the dream of a healthy full-term baby. She talks about how to survive leaving your baby behind after you've given birth, how to survive the long weeks while the baby is in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). She describes the experience of the mother's pain, the father's grief, the pain of the older children and the grandparents; how to cope with others' reactions to the birth, and the unbearable anguish when the baby dies. She describes the mixture of high delight and high anxiety when at last the baby comes home from the neonatal unit.
A central motif of this hands-on survival guide is that parents must not be shy about seeking help, in fact they can't survive without it - whether from family, friends, coworkers, Social Security or the local school system. A useful reading list and resource guide will help new parents of preemies find what they need to survive.
The book ends with the very moving diary Jo Clancy kept, addressed to her son Vincent, while he hovered for weeks between life and death in the infant intensive care unit. The whole emotional roller-coaster ride of joy at small improvements, and terror at the innumerable crises that make up the experience of parenting a preterm baby is there.
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More Common Than You Think
Death of a Dream
The NICU Experience
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adult amniotic sac baby's better breast milk breast-feeding bring you home brother Albin cervix challenge chest tube child Christmas comfort contacts coping skills create crises crisis death disabilities distress doctor emotional experience eye surgery family members fear feeding feel felt fragile friends glad grandparents grief grieve guilt happen healthy hearing heart hindsight bias Hittner hold hope hospital husband infection intravenous lines keep last night learned live look loss lungs monitor months mother nasal cannula NICU normal nursery options ounces oxygen pain parents pounds pray preemie pregnancy premature babies premature birth problems professional pump reactions reflux retinal detachment risk scared Scleral buckle son's soon special needs stress struggle suck survive therapist things tiny tion tomorrow tonight trauma ultrasound ventilator Vincent Vincent's birth vision visited Womb Bear worry yesterday