World Prematurity Day

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It has been a while since I’ve added a new blog post, mostly due to Henry being an active toddler resulting in a lot less free time! So today, while Henry has a short nap, I’m frantically typing away as I really wanted to write post in honour of World Prematurity Day with the theme of #PrematurityIs; a campaign led by Bliss to encourage preemie parents to share what prematurity means to them. This kicked off at the beginning of the week with a touching video which I am very proud to have been part of:

Throughout the week I’ve been sharing what prematurity means to me through the Miracle Babies Facebook page, which I’ll share below along with some points shared by other parents on the page.

To me, prematurity is a lot of things, here are a few snippets of the journey that stand out . . .

. . . going into labour at 22 weeks into a twin pregnancy and giving birth at 23+0 weeks.

. . . expressing milk every 3 – 4 hours (including throughout the night).

. . . barely being able to see what my twin boys look like due to them being covered in medical equipment.

. . . saying goodbye to my son after two days in hospital.

. . . waiting three weeks for a cuddle with my surviving twin.

. . . being excited to breast-feed my son after 12 weeks of waiting.

. . . bringing home my surviving twin boy after 4 months in hospital and being immensely grateful to the wonderful doctors and nurses who made that day possible.

. . . counting down the weeks into my current pregnancy, hoping for a full term delivery for my rainbow baby.

I could list many more but those are the key points that stand out in my mind. Despite the above, this is Henry when he was born and now at 22 months old, happy, full of energy and, thankfully, oblivious to his rough start to life:

Henry, then and now

Here are a couple of stories that have been shared from our Facebook followers:

. . . (going) into labour at 26weeks, into a twin pregnancy, 38 yrs ago, this was extremely frightening. First pregnancy as well so even more worrying, not really knowing what to expect. Those days this sort of thing didn’t happen very often!!!!!!

. . . I’ll never forget the day I was discharged from the hospital. It’s so hard when you are discharged way before your baby is. I remember the first time leaving the building and seeing a couple of dads walking in with empty car seats and balloons

And lastly, I’ll close with some words from a good friend I made this year through our shared experiences, a fellow 23-weeker mummy to surviving twin, Leo:

Prematurity is . . .

Leaving the hospital every night without my baby for 130 nights and for around two thirds of that feeling like we were living on a knife edge.

Phoning the hospital every night and morning wondering what were they going to say and thinking if my babies nurse didn’t come to the phone in 30 seconds there must be something wrong (silly I know)

Other parents asking “what gestation is your baby?” and saying 23 weeks and waiting for there face to drop and now I say it with pride against the odds you did it Leo!

Being shown care and such kindness by people I didn’t know before other parents, nurses, midwifes, doctors and consultants.

Here’s Leo just after he was born and now, looking very healthy and happy!

Leo, then and now.

Happy World Prematurity Day to all preemie parents, miracle babies and the angels whose journeys were cut short! Please share and help raise awareness.

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