We were lucky. Beyond lucky.
My first World Prematurity Day in 2010, the inaugral one, was much different to this one. It was a day that wasn't really known in the rest of the world, just the US, and really just parents. It was a day to reflect and celebrate. The day was largely about my own experience, which though it didn't feel so at the time was a positive one, with a healthy child at the culmination of our journey.
However now I have travelled further along the road World Prematurity Day means so much more to me.
Some babies born prematurely don't go home. Their stories are real, valid and need telling. I would urge you all to read this post by Hugo's mummy.
Some babies have lifelong implications of being born prematurely. Their premmie story is never over.
In this country we have the amazing NHS and I see dedicated health professionals each and every day. They care for the babies and the families.
I see dedicated parents and other volunteers who want to use their own experience to help ease the journey.
And I look out on a world where premature babies in many countries don't stand a chance merely because of where they are born.
Premature birth is about
* women's health
*economic and social equality
*trained health professionals
*clean and efficient hospitals
*ambulances and transport teams
*bereavement support and caring palliative care
*educational systems that understand prematurity
*companies who develop equipment and medication
This is list is not exhaustive.
We all each and every one of us, have a part to play in the premature baby story, whether we know it or not.
Happy World Prematurity Day