About this project
Expecting our baby – this is an incomparable experience we, the mothers, are endowed with. To feel the new life coming into existence in the womb is a moving, exciting and touching feeling, which makes you dream and see the world in pink. In her consciousness, every mother imagines her beautiful, healthy and cuddly baby – the first happy moments together, the first touch, the first hug. However, things not always happen the way you have planned them. Sometimes the baby is born much earlier than expected.
„Your baby is premature! The first 48 hours are critical. At this stage we cannot give a prognosis.“
Usually these are the first words you hear after a baby is born prematurely. Thousands of questions rush into your consciousness – “Did my baby cry? Does my baby breathe? What can I expect? Will my baby live? What is the meaning of these complex terms used to describe our baby’s condition? Why did all this happen? What are the chances of my baby to survive and be healthy?” Thousands of questions the answers of which you are desperately trying to find. You are overwhelmed with helplessness, fear of the unknown, feeling of guilt, sadness, even with anger… a whirl of emotions, which leave you helpless and tighten your heart every minute, while the most precious thing in your life – your child – is somewhere there, alone, tied up in wires, hoses and complex medical equipment.
When I gave birth to my daughter in the 31st gestation week and her weight was only 1440 grams, my whole world collapsed. I was completely unprepared and did not know what to expect. There was nobody to answer my questions, I was feeling all alone and everything seemed hopeless to me. Today my child is a proof of the fact that there is nothing impossible in this world – she made me believe in wonders and showed me that despite their helpless appearance, premature babies are extremely resilient and strong.
You are faced with difficult times full of ups and downs, hope and despair, successes and failures. However, you should never stop believing that everything will develop in the best possible way. Our premature children have unexpected will to live and you yourselves will get convinced that the youngest ones are the greatest heroes.
“All about Premature Babies” is a project that aims to answer most of the questions parents of premature babies ask themselves and we hope that this will make you more informed, calmer and more confident. What you read here might stir up contradictory emotions in you and you may continue to wonder what to expect, what will happen.
The truth is that nobody can guarantee how things will develop with your baby, but we would like to assure you that you should never give up hope, no matter how hard and hopeless everything seems to you now. These miniature babies are much stronger than you think.
Have you heard the story about the smallest premature baby who survived in the world? Her name is Amillia Taylor and she is an absolute proof of how resilient these small heroes can be. Amillia was born in the 21st gestation week and 6 days – more than two weeks earlier than the limit for viability determined by the American law. Amillia’s birth weight was the unthinkable for a newborn baby 284 grams and her height was only 24 centimetres – not bigger than an ordinary pen.
According to all specialists, Amillia’s story is a real wonder. She spent more than 4 months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Although being an exception, this child is one of the bright illustrations of how advanced medicine is today. Until recently, the survival of a child with weight below 1000 g was nearly impossible.
Nowadays it is not an exception to save a baby weighing only 500 grams. Our aim is not to create a deceptive idea that everything is rosy and your baby is not exposed to any risk at all. We believe that the objective information and sober assessment of the situation are extremely important to you as parents. The adequate care for your child begins with the adequate acceptance of things the way they are. It would be equally harmful to vacillate from one extreme to another, between the blind confidence that everything will be serene and the despair, thinking that the worst is to happen.
Statistics shows that the percentage of premature survivors keeps going up. There exists the risk of different kinds of disability, but there is also a high probability that your baby will cope and grow up healthy.
Get armed with a lot of patience and remember that in their first year premature babies develop according to their corrected age. Do not compare them with the full term babies of your relatives and friends. You had better accept that your child will develop at his/her own rates. Sometimes this happens even more slowly than the corrected age, especially if the child has spent a long adaptation period in the hospital. However, this is normal to expect. There are so many reasons which excuse them. Yet if you still think that your child does not grow at all, does not react to external stimuli etc., you have to go to specialists. A few opinions are never too many. Do not forget that you are with your child every day and you are the best reference point for the doctor! The pediatrist sees the child once a month, while you are with the child 24 hour a day. Do not underestimate your mother’s intuition. It is better to have vain alarm than late interference.
Most probably, everything will be fine, but you, too, will calm down after the consultation with a specialist. Even if a problem is established, in most of the cases the timely diagnosis and early prevention are a guarantee for successful treatment and/or provision of an optimal quality of life for your child.
We hope we have been useful to you and wish you from the heart to have your baby discharged soon! Let they grow up healthy, happy and strong!