Have you seen the wonderful video Bliss have produced to mark World Prematurity Day?
It’s such a simple video but yet it speaks a thousand words, stirs up a million emotions and pulls on every heart string. You see, for the 15 million babies born prematurely across the whole world each year, this is the heart ache experienced by those parents. They cant hug their babies for days, weeks, some even months! Can you even begin to imagine how that feels?
Hugs are something that we all take for granted, especially those first hugs with our new-born babies.
I remember when Wriggler was born, he was placed onto me straight away, I got immediate skin to skin contact, he was cleaned and swaddled and given straight back to me to hold and cuddle. I didn’t want to let him go for even a second.
When Bruiser was born however, it couldn’t have been anymore different. He was delivered very early at 31 weeks and it was an emergency c-section. I didn’t even get to see him, never mind hug him. He was so poorly that he was whisked away to the NICU where the doctors spent the next 48 hours trying to stabilise him. When I did eventually get to see him something like half a day later, I wasnt even allowed to touch him. All I could do was sit next to his incubator and talk to him and look at him… that first hug felt like it was a life time away.
During the days that followed his birth, I got some contact. I got to hold his tiny fingers and tiny toes. I got to put my hand on his head. But because he was ventilated, I wasn’t able to do much more than that. I couldn’t even do his cares because his skin was so very fragile and sensitive. The nurses were great though and they showed me how to touch him and how to comfort him without causing him any pain through two hand-sized holes of the incubator that surrounded him.
(facebook status 29.Jan.2010 3.am)
“I’ve just shared a magical moment with Bruiser. I can’t cuddle you or hold you close to me, but I can scoop you up in both hands while the nurse changes your cot sheet cos you wee’d on it while mummy changed your 2nd poopy nappy of the night!”
I‘ll never forget the day I got my hug though. Bruiser was 5 days old. The day preceding it he had been taken off the ventilator and was now breathing on cpap. He had also done his first wee (this was HUGE, it meant his internal organs which were in failure were now showing signs of functioning) and he had his first taste of my liquid gold through a tube into his tummy (which made him do his first poopy nappy that night). I went into the NICU that day to do Bruisers morning cares (clean his face, eyes and mouth, change his nappy). His nurse that day had a little more in store for me…
In that moment my life was perfect. The previous 5 days seemed but a blur. Bruiser still had a long way to go but, it made me realise that the impossible is possible, you just have to believe!
You can get involved in Bliss’s Impossible Hug campaign for World Prematurity Day by sharing a photo of you, your friends and family and little ones giving a hug on their Facebook, twitter and Pinterest, or email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll share them on their special World Prematurity Day Flickr page.
Do it for all the families across the whole world that can’t share a hug with their babies.