Premature Birth
Nothing can prepare you for the early arrival of your baby; after all it isn’t something you have planned for. In fact a forty week `textbook style’ pregnancy was the plan.

From discovering you’re pregnant to experiencing morning sickness, decorating the nursery, the first kick – this was the plan! An exciting journey, you imagine yourself with a huge belly at full term...

Prematurity... is a word until now you have given little or no thought to but all your plans are about to change and prematurity will impact on your life in a way you never imagined.

Suddenly everything has changed. You naturally panic, concerned for the welfare of your unborn child. Seemingly trivial things fill your head - the nursery isn’t finished, we haven’t got any clothes, I haven’t completed my handover at work. Mixed with feelings of guilt `I shouldn’t have lifted that heavy bag’, `Why didn’t I tell the Dr I’d felt a twinge?’

Whilst the circumstances of each premature birth differ, the overriding feeling of hopelessness is the same for every parent.
Sometimes there is enough time for parents to view the unit; others will see the unit for the first time when they visit their baby, which can be overwhelming.

If you feel frightened by what you see, ask a member of staff to explain to you what's happening. It's natural to feel scared and the neonatal team will do everything they can to alleviate your fears.

Remember you have an important part to play in caring for your baby; even though the medical care required may make your role feel insignificant, it shouldn't be underestimated.

Your baby needs you and the nurses will try to involve you in caring for your baby as much as possible. Some babies only stay in neonatal care a few days, some a few weeks; others may take many months to come home but the vast majority of babies do go home.

You will no doubt feel incredibly vulnerable and will seek support from staff and other parents. In many ways they almost become like `family’ to you. You share an experience no one else understands. It will stay with you forever and change your perception of life. After all you have seen firsthand how fragile and precious life is.

Copyright Early Baby Store 2015