"You recognise the fear, but you can't let it consume you" – Lisa Jordan on having a premature baby
Today marks World Prematurity Day.
Every year, across the world, around 15 million babies are born prematurely, and 4500 of these early births happen right here in Ireland.
Luckily, thanks to advances in medical science, survival rates of these little fighters are increasing every year, and last year, some new research carried out by the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin could reveal that 100 percent of babies born at 28 weeks survived.
This year, one of the many Irish mums welcoming her baby early was Cork blogger and influencer Lisa Jordan.
Jordan welcomed her son, Aj Ace, in August, and the tot arrived into the world a month before his due date. This week, we caught up with the mum-of-three to chat all things NICU and giving birth in the middle of a pandemic.
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1. You gave birth a month early – did you have any idea this would happen?
No, I had a scan only a few days before and everything looked normal. So I was shocked when I realised he was coming. I think for most women they don't have any warning and it can be a little bit scary.
2 It must have been a shock having him a month early – did you have any immediate concerns?
He was born a month early and weighed as much as a full-term baby so I wasn’t very concerned, but the lungs were my biggest fear.
Luckily he was breathing on his own in a couple of hours which was so great. For anyone having a baby, you have all these little fears in the back of your mind that you try not to dwell on and with a premmie baby, it's exasperated quite a bit.
As hard as it can be, it is having that positive attitude that helps both yourself and your baby so while you have to recognise the fear you can't let it consume you.
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3. How long did you have to stay in the hospital for after having Aj?
Luckily, I was only in the hospital for one night, and Aj was in for 6 nights, so it wasn’t too bad. It was hard being away from him, of course, but thankfully, the time went really quickly and he was able to join us so soon after being born.
4. Looking back, what made your stay in the NICU easier?
The nurses of course are angels, they would send us photos at night time which made me sleep better, it was so lovely. The staff in the hospital were all just incredible. Knowing that you have such a team looking out for you really helps to put your mind at ease.
5. As a parent of a baby born prematurely, have you got any advice for parents who are dealing with the stress of having recently welcomed a preemie?
I would say that their baby is in the safest place in the world and to try not to get down or upset. Your baby needs you to be strong to bring them home when the time comes and you have to remember that in the end. Your strength and love give so much for the baby and that has to be foremost in your mind. If you don't mind yourself you can't give everything you need to the baby.
World Prematurity Day
To mark today’s World Prematurity Day 2020, the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance (INHA) and Irish brand WaterWipes launch ‘Pledge Cards’, a new initiative that allows family and friends of parents of premature babies to pledge their support by doing simple gestures that have a big impact. The aim of the initiative is to highlight the ongoing challenges these babies and their families face. These cards are available complimentary in Neonatal Intensive Care Units across the country or to download for free at INHA.ie.
Mandy Daly, Irish Neonatal Health Alliance, (INHA) Health Director of Advocacy & Policy Making, said,
“The aim of the charity has always been to advance the long term supports and care provided to premature babies and their families at all stages of what can be a very difficult journey. Many parents of premature babies have expressed that the support from family and friends is so important to their personal wellbeing and the new ‘Pledge Cards’ celebrate and recognise this simple yet impactful insight. It is through WaterWipes and our ongoing partnership that we have been able to create these very special cards which are already benefiting parents.”
Commenting further on the initiative, Ailbhe O’Briain, WaterWipes, HCP Marketing Manager UK & IE explained:
“We have been working with the INHA for over two years and we are delighted to launch the new ‘Pledge Cards’ initiative to mark World Prematurity Day 2020. Through our ongoing work with the INHA, the ‘Pledge Cards’ were born out of an insight shared directly by parents and their loved ones, as to the power of little acts of kindness to lift spirits during difficult and challenging times."