Wednesday 16 November 2011

Why Am I Still Here? - Prematurity Awareness

Tomorrow, as my readers will be well aware, is World Prematurity Awareness Day. Awareness is an odd concept, what does it mean to be aware?

The simple fact is that premature birth can happen to anyone, absolutely anyone. And in most cases you cannot predict it. Just because you personally may have never experienced a premature birth, does not mean you are untouched by it.

Prematurity, it is clear, can have a devastating impact on the baby, and the family. What is truly vital, in my eyes, is the care that we give these babies AND the families.

We've got our happy ending. But it may not have been that way. Joseph had care that was exemplary. The way his NEC (necrolitising enterocolitis) was picked up and treated was just amazing, in a level 2 hospital. The way in which his other complications were managed was very timely.

We are very fortunate that Joseph has no effects of his premature arrival.

And that, my friends, is why I'm still here. I recall, in an argument, my husband being angry about my "premature baby crusade" and shouting "you are not the only person to have a premature baby you know".

And that is why I am still here. I am not the only one. I want to write, I want to campaign, I want to tell our story, a story of hope, resilience and courage and ultimately, a story of triumph.

I don't think there is a parent out there who would say any different, having a premature baby is a very isolating experience. Your experience is so different to what you have expected during your pregnancy, and different to your friends and family members experience of childbirth. Perhaps this is why the premature baby community is so strong. I've never seen anything like it!

It's a tough road, when your baby is born premature, and its a different road, one that is rarely straightforward.

But you are never alone. Help is all around, you just have to know where to look.


  1. Keep on campaigning Kylie! My preemie baby is 8 years old now and it STILL always amazes me that whenever I meet people and start the 'He was born 8 weeks early' how almost everyone can recount a memory of their own or someone they know that has experienced a preemie babe. I was so green to it when my baby was early I wish I had been brave enough to make myself more aware of what could happen when I was pregnant instread of covering my ears and singing Lalalalala loudly that everything was going to be just fine and nothing could possibly go wrong! Sadly my baby did suffer with brain damage from his premature birth and has quadrapelgic cerebral palsy, but I try hard not to scare people with that information as so many babies are born early and are perfectly healthy, like my nephew, he was born 6 weeks early in April this year! So me and my sister in law are joining in with this tomorrow too and singing the campaign of Preemie Babies!

  2. My husband was premature and it's a scary and wonderful thing. Keep on campaigning and raising awareness for this wonderful cause. x