November is World Prematurity Month. To honour and support the moms of preemies, we are sharing stories of moms who’ve been there and who can offer support from the other side of a long road. This is Tania’s story.

 

Tell us about the day your baby was born.

My water broke in the early hours of the morning – 9 weeks too early. I was administered steroids and an emergency C-section was scheduled for the next morning. I spent the night feeling my baby move and listening to his heartbeat on the ECG machine. We were told that his odds were good. The next day, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy who weighed 1.9 kg. He struggled to breathe so I didn’t have much of a chance to hold him. He was rushed to the NICU and I only saw him again much later that evening.

 

Can you describe some of the emotions you experienced during the early days and weeks with your baby?

The first few days went well. I celebrated every improvement and saw him as often as I could. Not being able to care for him myself was so frustrating. I was desperate to hold him and felt heartbroken seeing him with all of the pipes and tubes. I’m not going to lie: mine is not a NICU story that ends well. Not all preemies make it. At 5 days old, my son developed an infection called necrotising enterecolitis. It advanced very quickly and became incompatible with life. He passed away (peacefully as he was heavily sedated) at 9 days old. My heart was broken. I had such hopes for our life together as a new family. We were shattered and devastated. But he fought so bravely and was so beautiful. I am so grateful that we got to spend just a few days with him on Earth.

 

Do you have any words of encouragement for a mom who is currently waiting for her baby to come home?

Stay strong and hopeful. Keep informed too. Make sure the doctors are keeping you in the loop. And always remember to only panic when the nurses do. Otherwise every beep will drive you crazy!

 

Read more stories like this one.

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