This is a photo of the first time I held my baby girl. her tiny hand is clutching onto my shirt so tightly.
I wanted to write a post to go along with this one, about what not to say to Parents on Premature babies. Those unhelpful poorly thought out comments were the minority. Whilst I did feel I wanted to share them, and I guess be given a “right to reply” (because at the time, I probably just absorbed them. They should not be given more air time than they are due. the vast majority of people were kind, supportive, and gentle with us.
A few really lovely things we appreciated, which might be great to try if you’re stuck how to support someone in your life:
Those who touched base, be that message, or call from across the world. Just to know our baby was in their thoughts meant a lot. It’s not easy to know the right thing to say, but just letting someone know you care can be enough.
Those who dropped everything to come and visit, yet didn’t expect any of us. They understood that leaving the unit was hard for us, that they couldn’t necessarily see her or hold her. Seeing those familiar faces in an alien environment was really great.
those who listened. I imagine I wasn’t particularly coherent, repeated myself a lot, spot too graphically about my Caesarian, but those who gave me the time to listen, gave me a lot.
Educate yourself about prematurity, lots of Charities have information for families such as Life’s Little Treasures’ fact sheet here.
A couple of people tracked down Premature baby clothes, this was so thoughtful, as when you can finally dress them, it feels like a little bit of how it’s “meant” to be. Some great sites for Premature baby clothes are Early Birds and Pure Baby.
Food is always well received for new Parents, premmies or not. Home cooked food always tastes so much better. We had no kitchen facilities whilst we were in hospital so those who brought us homemade treats really felt like a true luxury.
Personalised gifts-a Phlebotomist at the hospital went out and found a little Christmas decoration with our daughters name on-that little act of kindness has stayed with me to this day. Their name is so new when a baby is first born, so anything personalised feels so special.