Coping with Prematurity
An Interview with Jeff and Jill Simpson. Jeff Simpson is the author of Alex.
What would you say was the hardest change during the transition home from the hospital?
Finding ourselves overwhelmed with a demanding medical schedule: visits,
medications, handling oxygen (and later the feeding pump). Jill wishes
we had demanded 24-hour nursing the first week he was home. We didn't
understand all the medications. We found ourselves not knowing as much
as we needed to about oxygen. Our first hospital just cut us loose in
December of 1998. Our second hospital, six months later, didn't send us
home until they'd lined up all his medications on a table and made us
go over the daily dosages, one by one. And THAT hospital was operating
in the middle of the blackout!
Our families weren't much help. Jill's mother was very ill and tired; Jeff's family lives far away. When Alex was about 3, we found a support group for parents of medically fragile (and often delayed) children and that was a help. We wish we'd found it, and others like it, earlier.
What advice would you have for parents of preemies?
Find a helpful community - support group of other parents, helpful therapists
and special educators, sympathetic family members, when possible - and
use them. We wish we'd thanked our helpful therapists earlier and more
generously. Jill recalls being "so out of it" that it didn't
occur to her to give Barnes & Noble gift certificates at Christmas
for a couple of years, but then we tried to make up for it (especially
to the special ed. guy, who remains very special to us).
Jeff Simpson is the author of Alex.
Birth & Delivery | Surviving
the NICU | Preemie
Parenting | Advocacy
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Information and Encouragement for your Preemie Baby and Preemie Child
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