I know all moms worry about their children. But I do happen to think that moms of micros have it worse, here are some reason things I've been reading: (courtesy of my friend Stacey and her blog: the Preemie Experiment).
This is what keeps me up at night. My gut tells me something is "up" with Kaitlyn. Yes, I know, many of you say, just appreciate her for what she is. And I DO, oh I really do, but I still can't help but worry and want to find solutions. that's me. that's what's gotten me so far already in helping Kaitlyn.
Directly from Stacey's blog (hope it's ok stacey):
Interesting article in the October 17th issue of Pediatrics.http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2008-0768v1?papetocI only have access to the abstract and I never know what I can reproduce legally so here is a snippet of the article...OBJECTIVES. The objectives of this study were to examine the circulatory changes experienced by the immature systemic and cerebral circulations during routine events in the critical care of preterm infants and to identify clinical factors that are associated with greater hemodynamic-oxygenation changes during these events.CONCLUSIONS. Routine caregiving procedures in critically ill preterm infants are associated with major circulatory fluctuations that are clinically underappreciated and underdetected by current bedside monitoring. Our data underscore the importance of continuous cerebral hemodynamic monitoring in critically ill preterm infants.
And some comments from Stacey's blog:
"14 years of preemie-l and 12 years of preemie-child have given us a sea of substantial, varied anecdotal evidence so that anyone with half a brain or an iota of observational skills can see that in the majority of cases, preemies carry life long impacts of their lost gestation. While there ARE kids who do well, graduate from high school and college - create meaningful lives for themselves, there parents can describe the ways that that represented enormous triumph. Many more parents, sit in dark living rooms wondering what "tomorrow" will be like for these representatives of a vast experiment they didn't really know they were being unwitting participants." - S
"At any rate, the research indicates that the effects of brain damage/abnormality in preemies (about 100% in preemies born below 26 weeks)either causes psychiatric problems to worsen or first become apparent in adolescence. Term-born control groups are used in these studies so it is almost certainly prematurity-related brain abnormalities that cause the problems. Other studies have shown a decrease in IQ between ages 8 and 15, and a very large decrease in the percentage of children considered to be normal (this among VLBW preemies). " - Helen
"Bradley S. PetersonColumbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Unit 74, 1051 Riverside Drive, NY 10032PetersoB@childpsych.columbia.edu:
"Premature birth can have devastating effects on brain development and long-term functional outcome. Rates of psychiatric illness and learning difficulties are high, and intelligence on average is lower than population means. Brain imaging studies of infants born prematurely have demonstrated reduced volumes of parietal and sensorimotor cortical gray matter regions.
Studies of school-aged children have demonstrated reduced volumes of these same regions, as well as in temporal and premotor regions, in both gray and white matter. The degrees of these anatomical abnormalities have been shown to correlate with cognitive outcome and with the degree of fetal immaturity at birth.Functional imaging studies have shown that these anatomical abnormalities are associated with severe disturbances in the organization and use of neural systems subserving language..."
And one more:
"On top of the above things mentioned by Helen, I also ran across a press release today about a study showing that young kids who undergo general anesthesia have an increased risk of behavioral and developmental disorders.This study looked at routine hernia repairs, not really sick kids. I haven;t tracked the study down yet, but here is a link to a news article:
Now, if general anesthesia impacts the brains of average kids, what about preemies whose brains have lost that critical developmental time in the womb?"-Kristie
Stacey's daughter was released from her regional center at age 3, many of her issues didn't show until she was older.
I know this may open a can of worms with comments, but I can't help but worry, but know, dear readers, that I still enjoy every minute (well not every minute) with my amazing little girl - Maybe Kaitlyn will be fine, maybe she won't, I love her dearly either way, but the worry, that's motherhood right?