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17 Nov 2017

#PrematurityIs - my experience

It's World Prematurity today and this year's theme is #Prematurityis - what prematurity means to those affected by it.  I am one of those people.

My youngest son was born 9 1/2 weeks early and it was a complete shock.  My previous pregnancy produced an overdue and very healthy 9lb 15oz baby.  There were no indications that my second pregnancy would be any different until my waters broke when I was 20+6 weeks pregnant.  Steroids were given, I had a 3 night stay in hospital and was sent home to take things easy to give baby as many days as possible in utero.

I only managed two days at home before I went into labour and my son was delivered by crash emergency cesarean under general anesthetic weighing 3lb 9oz.

The next 4 weeks 2 days were spent:

Visiting him in Buscot Ward at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. 

Initial deep worry, fear and distress when he was covered in wires and monitors when he was first born.

Balancing the needs of a toddler with those of his new brother whilst recovering from major abdominal surgery.

Slowly getting to know this tiny person through a perspex incubator.

Having precious cuddles, changing tiny nappies and clothes and feeding expressed breastmilk through a tube.

Marveling at his strength as he moved through the wards, off oxygen and into a normal cot.

Helping him learn to suck and feed.

Finally taking him home when he was a still tiny 4lb 9oz.

It's once I was home the enormity of what had happened hit me hard.  His first birthday was even harder, remembering what had happened and it's always at the back of my mind.

No two parents of premature babies will have the same experience, feelings, concerns and outcome. 

Prematurity is different for everyone.

 Image may contain: one or more people and people sleeping

Please take a few moment to find out more about prematurity and how you can help premature babies across the UK and the world: http://www.bliss.org.uk/Pages/Category/world-prematurity-day

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