Read our true story in this interview with Young Parents!

No one wants their child to be born earlier than the EDD. In our case, our baby arrived 3 months before EDD and that remains as the most gruelling, challenging and enlightening personal journey. We shared our true story and experience with Young Parents – one of the leading Parenting magazine in Singapore. Read on and we will be happy if it helps moms in a similar situation, moms-to-be and moms in general.

True story: My child weighed just 850g, born prematurely at 26 weeks – and is a healthy teen now

From the initial shock of giving birth prematurely to the feeling of helpless when your tiny baby is fighting for her life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), these are memories that parents of a preterm baby are unlikely to forget.

Then, even as their baby is discharged from hospital, they continue to worry if she would be alright.

Mummy Shubhada Bhide would know this too well. Her firstborn Eeshaa weighed just 850g, born prematurely at 26 weeks of gestation.

Shub, who shares about her family life on Instagram (@shub_sg) and blogs at RainbowDiaries, tells Young Parents: “The echoes of this experience continued in our heads and minds for at least five to six years for me. Even now, sometimes I get panicky when it is clearly not needed.”

But 12 to 13 years today, Eeshaa is a healthy teen with big dreams, a student leader in her school, and a proud sister of seven-year-old Shrihaan who is a full-term baby.

Here, she assures parents who have a premature baby too that “you can breeze through the initial and most crucial part of raising a preterm baby”.

This is her story:

“Eeshaa is a preterm baby born weighing 850g at 26 weeks of gestation – simply put, she was born three months too early. After birth, just like other babies, her weight dropped further to 768g!

“Paediatricians had a super difficult job to ensure that her organs developed properly, that she gained adequate weight and performed basic tasks such as drinking milk with mouth, passing urine and getting regular stools.

“She had a ‘staycation’ in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for 2.5 months before doctors discharged her. Each day was a new experience and new lesson for parents and grandparents who used to take turns to be at the hospital.

“When she was in NICU, as parents, we faced traumatic time. Each day presented new challenges and that made us so worried.

“Being born as a very tiny preemie did have its effect on Eeshaa for first one to 1.5 years when milestones got delayed or skipped. But after that, she was more or less like any other average child. She is still quite thin, but her height, intelligence and other growth parameters are comparable to her age group.

“Looking back, I realised I need not have been overly worried about during her early childhood years. These are what I wished I knew about – and would share these pieces of advice with other parents who have a premature baby, too.

Read up when you’re pregnant

“No one really wants their kid to be a preterm baby, but it’s always advisable to read up more about this topic during pregnancy and to ask all the necessary questions to your gynae. So, in an event of preterm birth, you are mentally prepared. We were caught completely unaware and had no idea how to care for a preterm.

Don’t compare their needs with full-term babies

“When it comes to preterm kids, you need to be equipped with even more medical information. Their food and nutrition needs vary compared to the full-term babies. Also, the quantity of milk or formula milk they drink is lesser. They need to be fed on time and need to be monitored very stringently. Again, we were not at all ready for this.

Your premature baby will catch up

“Normal growth charts of weight and height are not applicable for preterm babies. In the initial period, I used to be very stressed about her weight. I wished I knew about the concept of “catch-up growth”. Preterm babies gain weight and height a bit late and remain below the average for the first few years.

“Physical milestones for preterm kids is another area we had no knowledge of. We expected Eeshaa to roll over by four months of age and she didn’t do that. We simply didn’t take into consideration her corrected age. We met the paediatrician and realised that we can’t expect too much, too early. Eeshaa caught up all milestones and became almost like an average child around one year old. Still a bit tiny and lightweight, but she was walking, talking and showing all the antics of a one-year old!

“Another thing that used to scare me a lot is mental development. Preterm kids are just like other kids when it comes to academics. It’s just that their learning curve might be a bit steep. So, this month, they appear to know nothing about the topic and next month suddenly, they seem to be an expert. So, we just have to give them more time in case needed.

Have confidence in your parenting skills

“I wished I had not been so paranoid about everything when it came to my preterm baby. One sneeze or one cough used to put me on tenterhooks and I really missed enjoying the infant years.

“The most valuable lesson we learnt: Do not compare your child with other kids. Peer pressure and their remarks about Eeshaa’s weight, food intake etc. disturbed us to a great extent. We always doubted about our parenting skills and about our ability of taking good care of the baby.

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⭕️Decoding Tweens / Teens⭕️ Wow the little human who used to be forever-clingy, one fine day becomes tween / teen and as a mom, you just get thrown out of gears. It’s quite a mind boggling change for parents actually!!! . . Suddenly your baby starts looking bigger, acting even bigger 😛 If you are happy that yes, the “terrible twos” and “tiresome threes” stage is finally over for your kids…think again because it’s gonna be back with a double force when the kids hit tween / teen age. . . ▶️▶️What to expect??◀️◀️ ⭕️Occasional tantrums, back answers and all is expected and must be understood by you as a parent.. ⭕️At the same time, you will love the way these kids start becoming more and more independent, start having their own opinions.. ⭕️You might get frustrated because these kids can’t be “yes yes kids” any more. But appreciate their viewpoints and think from their perspective. They have a point you see! . ⭕️Try to be their Friend. Yes, it makes things so much better. They will take you in confidence, they will talk everything under the Sun with you [when they are in a mood 😂]. ⭕️Ultimately, never ever forget that they are still the babies and will always be…hugs, kisses might not as frequent but when it happens, it’s still very genuine 😍😍 . . Sorry long post, but it’s my own experience and must share #originalthoughts ❤️ . . #tween #teen #kids #sgkids #loveyou #momdaughter #meandmine #meandminnieme #sgparentbloggers #sginfluencer #sgblogger #sporemombloggers #decoding #indianmomblogger #parenting101

A post shared by 🌈RainbowDiaries⭐️Shub (@shub_sg) on

“Time changes everything! Monitor your kid’s mental and physical development, take guidance from the paediatrician, follow your parental instincts and take support from your family members.

“Then you can breeze through the initial and most crucial part of raising a preterm baby. You will be amazed with the joy this tiny little being brings to your life.”

Thanks Young Parents for this interview that gave me an opportunity to share something quite personal and yet so relatable for all moms.

Read original article on Young Parents here.

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9 comments on “Read our true story in this interview with Young Parents!”

  1. Aditi Vashishtha Reply

    So nice to share your story,my son was born few weeks early ,your story motivated me so much,can totally relate

  2. Siddhi Palande aka book_gobbler Reply

    No kidding! This post kust brought back my pregnancy memories. Every pregnancy is different and mine wasn’t happy one. I had to be operated in 6th month. The baby would have fallen off had the operation not been done on time. I just have gooseflesh even thinking abt it

  3. jhilmildsaha Reply

    Lot of parents go through such experience and that becomes a cause of concern to them. Its good that you have shared your experience

  4. Khushboo Reply

    That’s a very touching story. This will surely motivate family who are going through such experience.

  5. Sandy N Vyjay Reply

    So nice of you to share your personal story. This is something that is sure to be of great value and solace to parents who have gone through or are going through a similar experience.

Your comments are always valuable. Please do comment.

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