Please don’t wish for a premature baby

I read a comment on social media from an expectant mummy. It was just a passing comment about how, at 34 weeks she was fed up and exhausted and wishing to go into labour that very day. I know that no harm was meant by this, and it was just a fleeting comment from a tired, hormonal pregnant lady. We have all been there – but it made me really, really sad.

Both my boys were born prematurely, and spent time in special care wired up to machines and tubes (you can read their birth stories here if you want to know more). I would have given anything, and I mean anything, to have kept those boys inside me for a few more weeks. To give them more time to grow, more time for those little lungs to mature, more time for them to prepare for the harsh world outside. But I had no choice, and that tears me apart. I constantly questioned myself in those early days. What did I do wrong, what caused it, what should I have done differently to give my boys a better start in life? I still question myself now.

I have never, ever had the chance to hold one of my babies straight after birth. Never had that precious first skin to skin contact, never been the first person to hold my baby, never been able to spend those very first moments drinking in every detail of your newborn. I have always had to wait until they have been wired up to the machines that would keep them alive until they were strong enough to breathe and feed themselves.  

Premature birth

I will forever feel guilty that I couldn’t carry my boys to full term. Every day. Nothing will make that go away. So yes, I know that this was a fleeting comment from an exhausted mum to be, desperate to meet her baby, but please think before you wish for these things. You hurt so many people who already carry shed loads of guilt around with them on a daily basis. Having a premature baby is no fun, it robs you of those moments you long for, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

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29 Comments

  1. Alyssa Mugford
    August 14, 2014 / 10:24 pm

    You have nothing to feel guilty about. These things are beyond our control.
    I carried both of mine full term plus but still was starved of the intial first contact with my first. There were complications in labour with my first and I missed out on all those first you spend your pregnancy looking forward to. My son was over 12 hours old before I even knew I had him, met him, got that first cuddle.
    My husband spent the time with him all the while still realing from the shock of it all and watching me recover from having had two surgeries in the space of so many hours due to problems after our son was born.
    I’m sure these things are said out of frustration and anxiety but these moments through your pregnancy are definitely ones to be enjoyed and made the most of. After all, it’s 9months, there abouts, it’s over so fast. You won’t get the same feelings,emotions again. X

  2. August 14, 2014 / 11:38 pm

    I have always gone over with all my babies but even when I was pregnant I never wished them come early just that my due date hurry up. Although by my with my 3rd and 4th I wanted them out sooner rather then later as I was in slow labour for weeks with both but that was still after 37 weeks so I knew my babies were nearly full baked by that point. #brilliantblogposts
    Nikki Fraser (@nikoteen87) recently posted…Highlights of childhoodMy Profile

  3. August 15, 2014 / 2:01 am

    My youngest was born 10/11 weeks early and it was the most overwhelming, terrifying and traumatic time of my life and the hardest time of his too. Comments like that, although I’m sure aren’t made with malice or to upset, often get to me a lot. It was a horrible time, for all of us – and it doesn’t stop once they are well enough to come home. Premature birth, the ‘aftermath’ of it and the ongoing health and development issues can follow you for years xx
    Shay Noble recently posted…Fighting Myself and the Impact on my Children #MentalHealthMy Profile

  4. August 15, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    When I was pregnant I wasn’t bothered when baby m arrived as long as it wasn’t Christmas Day as I wanted his birthday and Christmas to be separate. He arrived at 39 weeks. I have a friend who’s just had her baby who from about 30 weeks was constantly moaning on social media about wanting to have the baby. Then when one of our mutual friends was going through a hellish time with her newborn needing emergency operations she was still moaning & writing quite insensitive things. Some people are just selfish I suppose.

    You have nothing to feel guilty about, these things are out of our control xx
    Rachel Melton recently posted…Fire Brigade safety checkMy Profile

  5. Amy
    August 15, 2014 / 7:52 pm

    That’s so awful. I would never wish for anyone to have a prem baby. Luckily my twins came at 36 weeks and we only had a few problems but I sadly had to watch my sister lose one of her twins at 31 weeks.

  6. August 16, 2014 / 9:59 am

    Such a touching post. Please don’t blame yourself. My first son was born only a day prem but the worry beforehand as I had OC (pregnancy liver condition) was awful. Thanks for sharing this and linking up to #brilliantblogpost

  7. September 25, 2014 / 1:54 pm

    Hello lovely, even after the second time reading it and writing my thoughts down it still makes me sad. I actually don’t feel that this sadness will ever go. I never watch One Born Every Minute before having George as I was worried it would freak me out. Now I can’t watch it as I find myself feeling really jealous at all the mummy’s who get to meet their baby without being hooked up to a monitor and no mask covering their beautiful face. Love to you and yours x

  8. Susanne Remic (@Ghostwritermumm)
    November 17, 2014 / 8:16 pm

    I know that you feel guilty, and I so wish that you didn’t. But I do understand, to some extent. I SO wish I had been able to see this pregnancy through to the end. I know she was born at 37 weeks but I really wanted more time, and she needed it too. And I’ve been there with the lack of skin to skin and not seeing baby straight away… it hurts. And I won’t tell you it will get better or you’ll forget in time, because you probably won’t. I know you find comfort in your precious babies though and I hope you know you’re amazing. x x x

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