November 17 is World Prematurity Day, a nationally recognized day to raise awareness about premature births and the importance of supporting families with preterm babies.
If you are a parent of a preemie, you will always remember certain moments. Here are my top five.
The ‘dolphin’ sounds
When preemies sleep, most of them make cute clacking noises that resemble dolphin sounds.
Every ounce gained was a milestone
When our son was born at 6 months, weighing 2.99 lbs., every half-ounce he gained was celebrated!
50 paperclips = 0.5 ounce
Kangaroo care time
I looked forward everyday to Kangaroo Care time. Preemies spend most of their time in an incubator, and so not being able to hold them at will can be emotionally difficult for any parent. The Kangaroo Care method, a skin-to-skin method for holding a baby, is known to improve their overall health.
Buying regular size diapers for the first time
We were the happiest parents at the check-out line the day we went to purchase regular newborn size diapers.
Preemie diaper… smaller than an ipod touch.
The people who helped us
Like most preemies born in rural areas, our newborn baby had to be transported to the nearest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by LifeFlight.
Having a home away from home was crucial. The Ronald McDonald House, located near the hospital, enabled us to be close to our hospitalized infant during difficult times.
An entire dedicated team of professionals was assigned to look after our preemie. The NICU doctors, nurses, dietitians, etc. followed our baby’s progress 24/7. And even afterwards, once we went home, follow-up clinics were organized and early intervention programs were put in place.
We will ALWAYS remember and be grateful to the people who helped us!
Keep spreading the word #WorldPrematurityDay