This year, around 15 million babies around the world will be born too soon. Yes, 15 million and many of those babies are too small for their mums and dads to hold them, hug them. Too small. Sadly 1 million of these babies will not survive.
Hard hitting and harsh you may say when we are sitting in our nice worlds living our nice lives quite happily moaning about our children. Would you moan as much if you didn’t have the opportunity to have something to moan about or would you hug your children and family that bit closer knowing that every moment they are with us is one to treasure?
The 17th of November is World Prematurity Day. The charity Bliss will join with other organisations around the globe to raise awareness. They are an amazing charity in the UK, working to provide the best possible care and support for all premature and sick babies and their families.
The theme this year is #GiveaHug and it’s especially close to my heart for a number of reasons but mainly because our eldest son was in the Special Care Baby Unit for his first week of his life.
I had preeclampsia in the last weeks of pregnancy and his growth was stunted as a result. I was induced at 37 weeks, although I had been in hospital on and off until 36 weeks where I didn’t leave.
I suffered an eclamptic fit during labour and pleased to say we both came out the other side. About an hour or so after he was born, he started to shake and the midwives (yes, by this stage there had been a couple after the drama) along with the paediatrician decided that he needed to go into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as his sugar levels were very low. Apart from the shaking, they took a small pin prick of a blood test from his foot to confirm this.
So he was whisked off to have tubes put down his nose and he couldn’t have been in better hands – yes even though I wanted him in my own arms. I, on the other hand was also in capable hands. I stayed on the high dependancy unit as my blood pressure had plummeted and I couldn’t walk anywhere as I just kept on fainting. Classy!
The maternity unit that night was so busy that there wasn’t anyone available to take me to see him and so it was the next morning they wheeled me over and I could hold him in my arms for a second time.
I was eventually ‘upgraded’ as I call it to the ward right next to NICU and when strong enough was able to go and see him whenever I wanted to. Our son was also upgraded from the Intensive Care glass room to the NICU baby nursery where the other babies were and finally next to my bed.
So, the next time you #GiveaHug, remember all those babies and families where that is a luxury. There are many families who have had far more traumatic times and thanks to Bliss and other charities like them, are all grown up and leading healthy, happy lives.