Saturday 29 May 2010

I'm a freak, I'm a weirdo

As mentioned before I am on a forum for mummies, mostly English, who are having babies, or have had babies. Sometimes I feel like a total freak! One of the mummies had posted about what to take to hospital for her baby, and had listed 5 nappies. Straightaway everyone was saying "oh that's not enough, baby might have 3 changes before she leaves delivery to go to post natal".

Well I thought 5 nappies was ample, in special care, especially in the early days, they change nappies at 6 hourly intervals. Nappy time is called "cares". So 5 nappies is a day and a bit!!!!

And hats! This mummy was advised to take at least 2. Joseph was born in a hat I think! His first weight was 1lb 10z but this was with a trachea tube and a hat, corrected weight (sounds like a racehorse) was 1lb 7oz. You can't buy a hat for a 1lb 7oz baby at Tesco or Boots or even Mothercare! Lovely old ladies lovingly make tiny hats and helmets for our precious bundles, and donate them to special care.

Joseph wore only a nappy and a hat for 6 weeks, so no need to go out and buy loads of vests and babygrows. I did have to go and buy stacks of nappies once he'd grown out of the teeniest ones. It used to really annoy me (and still does) that the micro nappies never ever go on offer, You can get newbaby on 3 for 2 quite regularly. Now I know micro nappies are pretty specialist (though they are a Pampers product) but really, the only people buying these are those whose babies are small or sick or both. Tesco apparently do own brand premature baby nappies, but none of our stores stocked them, and refused to get them in for me. I had no time for internet shopping.

One of the mummies to be on our forum who is training to be a midwife, said she feels its up to the parents to provide for the baby from the word go. Which is totally right and correct.

But when your baby is born 13 weeks, or 10 weeks, or 8 weeks early, that's a lot of extra expenditure, at a time when you may be in a financial bind. Maternity pay starts at the day of birth. I thought I'd work (or be on paid sick) until the middle of July and then go on maternity leave for the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy. But no, because Joseph came so early my pay abruptly stopped.

My husband had to go back to work, so I had to catch buses to and fro. There was absolutely no financial assistance available and my expenditure was sky rocketing. I had to pay £50 a month for my bus fare, I have no idea how much nappies cost me, I had to pay for lunch and coffees and water. On special care there was no access to drinks, although if a nurse had time, she would fetch some water for me.

And we were incredibly lucky really, because I had private health cover I got a rebate for being a public patient, and so did Joseph, so we knew we would get a cushion to help us, once it was all over, but so many families do not have this.

Which bring me to a question, should there be more financial support for families who have a baby in special care?


  1. I think there should. We didnt have to by a thing for Alex whilst in neonatal. Not a nappy, not nothing.

    It cheeses me off too to see prem,size1 and size 2 nappies never ever on sale? Is it in the same manner as formula? Do they want to encourage cloth nappies?!!

    It is little known but after a stint in neonatal you can apply for a grant from the Family Fund, as help for expenses from prematurity.

    Now what forum are you talking about missus? xxx

  2. Asda had the micor nappies on sale occasionally. Of course, I only discovered this once Llewellyn had grown out of them.

    I also agree on needing some sort of financial assistance. I also lost three months of pay that I had been counting on.

    Apparently mums of 23, 24 and 25 week babies are even worse off as there are some government benefits they can't claim as they never made it to 26 weeks.