World Prematurity Day (17 November 2021) is a global movement to raise awareness of premature birth and the sometimes devastating impact it can have on families.
On this day Bliss comes together with partners from around the world to talk about premature birth in our countries and to raise awareness about the hurdles babies and parents face, and overcome, every single day.
Sara is mummy to 8 children: 6 boys and 2 girls – including twins who were born premature and spent the first 2 weeks of their lives in the NICU. She is a full time stay at home parent and and influencer, who shares her life as a mum on Instagram.
Where do I begin? We made it to 34 weeks with our twin boys. We couldn’t believe we had made it this far. Our pregnancy had been a dream. We got the birth we could only have wished for, the boys weighing in at 6lb 1 and 5lb 2,incredible healthy weights for twins at 6 weeks premature. But our journey after that quickly took a dramatic turn that nobody saw coming. Or could have prepared us for. Neonatal became our home for the next 13 long days.
They felt like forever. I had sadly suffered sepsis after the birth. I came into hospital at 7CM dilated with a temperature. It escalated from there and I was quickly moved into the labour ward, where you were both delivered within 40 minutes of arrival! Even the thoughts now that spin around my head knowing it could have been very different if hadn’t I have made it on time. I was in hospital for 1 full week. I received the most amazing care and treatment. But sadly one of our twins August had suffered the effects of it also. He was born not breathing and was whisked away meaning we didn’t get one touch. We barely got a look. He was resuscitated in the other room whilst I delivered his brother. He suffered respiratory distress syndrome. I look back on this part now and feel numb that I couldn’t be with him. Whilst I gave birth again, all I could think about was where my baby was and what was happening to him. He was ventilated for 4 days and was in critical condition.
The invasive testing he went through, the machines which kept him breathing – through that, all we could do was wait. The days were long and the nights were even longer. Your twin brother was thriving whilst we saw you so poorly. We spent hours visiting you both. We knew we couldn’t all be in the same room together. You were together for 8 months growing inside me, but now suddenly parted. As a mum of 8 now , leaving my other children back home was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I felt broken. Torn. Explaining to them where mummy and daddy were. Neonatal can be a very dark place. Nothing can prepare you. Watching in on your newborn from a plastic incubator. A tiny touch, waiting for what felt like forever to hold them. The noises, the machines, the wires. I remember my stomach churning everytime a consultant walked in the room because I was scared to ask any news, what it was to bring. It felt I was having an outer-body experience. But staying strong was all we could do. Knowing each and every minute that ticked by was for you. It was all for you. It was the best place to make you strong and return to us. The care and attention they both received was nothing short of a miracle. I will be forever grateful to the staff and consultants who brought our babies safely into this world and cared for them until they no longer needed it. Without them our story would be a very different one . Eventually after 13 long days our story was a happy ending, our babies were strong enough at 36 weeks to come home.