Monday 13 August 2012

The Premmie Parenting Pentathlon

There's a silly funny Britmums blog prompt today which I thought might be fun to join in on and would love to hear some other ideas too.

So the Modern Pentathlon - Fencing, 200 metre swim, Showjumping, 3 kilometre run whilst stopping 3 times to shoot a target. Pah! Easy!

The challenge the lovely Karin who blogs at Cafe Bebe suggests we design our own parenting pentathlon! I think to truly reflect the Herculean effort in being the parent of a premature baby we would need more than one round.

Premmie Parenting Pentathlon round 1 - Intensive Care Unit

Express a pot of breastmilk, whilst checking Facebook and phoning the unit to see how your baby did the night before.
Run into the unit, dodging doctors, nurses and any other obstacles to see your baby.
Wash your hands, 3 times, with antibacterial soap, whilst catching up on the latest update, taking note of billirubin levels, CRP results and agreed action plan.
Change nappy, through the incubator portholes, with foot probe, umbilical line and long line in situ. Points will be deducted for allowing wee or poo to escape into the incubator.
Find a spare breastpump and pump a pot of milk, without being seen by any said doctors, nurses or other passers by, leaving it for your baby before preparing for round 2.

Premmie Parenting Pentathlon round 2 - Nursery/SCBU 

This is day 50 so bear in mind you are already fatigued, worse than Mo Farah doing the 5000m.
Catch bus one to Bury Interchange, change swiftly at Bolton Interchange, a quick changeover here is essential, arrive at hospital.
Sprint up from the bus stop into the unit, avoiding any delays on the way.
Prepare bottle (or breast as appropriate) for baby, ensuring you comply with current millage requirements, mistakes here could prove costly.
Feed baby, avoiding all distractions, wind by chosen method preparing arguments for the 5 nurses who will tell you you are doing it wrong.
Place baby back in crib. Any vomit at this stage will incur massive penalty points.

Penultimate Premmie Parenting Pentathlon round 3 - Preparing for Discharge

Time starts when you are given discharge plan.
Calmly leave unit rushing to Boots and Mothercare, buying crib, carseat, layette and essentials.
Arrive at unit and complete your neonatal resuscitation training. Panicing at this point will be costly.
Find the rooming in room and set up to your satisfaction.
Obtain pre-prepared baby and sit. First one to move and do something loses.
Spend night with baby, points are awarded for every successful hours sleep you have, with gremlin sounding baby. 

Premmie Parenting Pentathlon round 4 - Homecoming

Bring baby in front door, and show around the house, talking continually.
Set out medications, formula, any agreed charts, syringes and other equipment.
Take baby out, it is imperative no one touches the baby - approved Olympic standard methods are sling, pram or baby carrier, rain covers are allowed.
The antibacterial swoop - someone will, inevitably, try and touch the baby, points are awarded for the fastest production and successful application of antibacterial gel.
Time and person management challenge, arrange visit from neonatal outreach sister, delivery from pharmacist (who will subsequently send you Christmas cards), and visit from Auntie Agnes whilst feeding baby on 3 hourly schedule and tending to your own needs.

The Premmie Parenting Olympic Committee have decided that anyone who achieves all this, regardles of time, will be awarded a gold medal, in the form of a rewarding smile from your precious baby.


  1. Great post! Made me smile and then sigh, tired from just reading it! x

  2. Sounds familiar! But I have to ask. Is that oxygen prong (s) attached to josephs face? I never saw them like that before as the type they use in the south west go up both nostrils and are taped to face x

  3. Can relate to plenty of that - love it!! xx