is a global movement to raise awareness of premature birth and the devastating impact it can have on families.
Most of you who have ever read my blog know that Emily was born at only 24+5 weeks, ultimately meaning that until she is two years old her development will be judged on her corrected age. A preemies corrected age is based on their due date, meaning Emily is 13 months corrected, but 16 and a half months actual. Even this far along it still blows my mind and I get tounge tied whenever anyone asks me how old she is.
Everyday, and today in particular, I am still painfully thankful to the doctors and nurses that helped Emily survive and get over every bump she hit in NICU. Sometimes I think people forget that we were so close to loosing her and we feared the worst every single day she was in hospital, and for months after. These thoughts still crop up, these feelings come back and I have to hold back my tears and swallow my anxiety. I imagine I will feel like this forever.
There are so many moments that I will never forget; watching her go past me on her way to NICU and having to wait 12 hours to even see her again, seeing her the first time and having no idea what was going on and staring at her in amazement. The first time Alex met her little sister and wasn’t phased by it at all, I was envious. The first time I held her and it felt like a baby rabbit on my chest. Each and every time her heart rate dropped and she stopped breathing and the nurses had to give her a rub… literally just needed reminding to breath! The first time she wore clothes… but I wasn’t the one who dressed her 😦 And obviously the day she came home and the feeling of being completely lost about what to do next…that was the first normal parenting feeling I had.
It never properly sunk in, what we were going through. No one ever just sits you down and explains has happened and what might happen going forward, we we’re just repeatedly told to take one day at a time.
When we finally settled into our accommodation at the hospital, I would go up to nicu to express in the middle of the night and then say hello to her. The NICU was different at night; dark, quiet and calm. It gave me time to think and take it all in a bit more and these were the times that I would cry the most. I would apologise to Emily for letting her down and putting her through so much discomfort and for not being able to carry her for longer.
Development wise we have been very lucky. Emily has no health conditions relating to being premature and she is doing really well for 13 months. She is walking and babbling like a loon.
Many other premature babies have not been lucky and are left with life altering conditions such as cerebral palsey, chronic lung disease and autism. It can affect baby’s intensines, sight, hearing and development. No matter what though, we are blessed that they survived; whether born at 23 weeks or 37 weeks, each and every single preemie fought to be where they are and their families went through hell to come out the other end stronger. What I have leanrt about preemie parents is that they are always supportive, give amazing advice and don’t judge, because we are all just so grateful that our babies are even here 💜💜💜💜💜