You’re walking around baby proofing your life, excited but calm that birth is still a couple of months away! You’re still sneaking away on the last of couple’s getaways for the next year at least. And then, you call your birth partner and drop the little bombshell that, “Hey, so I think the baby’s already here!”
Having a baby is a life-altering experience, having premature babies is even more so. New parents have to learn an extra set of skills of caring for the baby through the pre-term. A baby is termed premature if it is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. There are some reasons why babies are born earlier than the expected time frame, but it is important that parents do not spiral downwards in blame wondering where they went wrong. Yes, pre-term babies were a cause for concern, but with the advancements in medical science, your birthing team will reassure you that your pre-term babies go on to live a long, healthy life just as other babies. Babies are the most resilient beings, and pre-term babies catch up to their peers as they grow.
One of the first emotional struggles with premature births is that right after the baby is born, after a first look or hug, the baby is taken straight to the NICU where the medical team looks after the feeding and nursing care so that the baby can gain weight and develop normally. In such cases, parents are allowed to visit every day and often encouraged to give ‘Kangaroo Care’ where the baby lies against the skin of the parent to bond emotionally.
However, as with all challenges that life throws at us, in this too, the positives and learnings supersede the worries. If you believe or want to believe in medical miracles, this is your chance!
If you don’t believe us and need more real life inspiration, read on for the story of Lyndsey Miles whose pre-term baby has been beautifully captured by the father at every stage.
Imagine giving birth at the end of your second trimester! Well, Lyndsey Miles did just that! Baby Ward Miles, was born 3.5 months early, literally making him a tiny package weighing only one and a half pounds.
Baby Ward Miles defied all the odds and is growing up to be a strong, healthy boy. Ward’s father Benjamin Scot, who is a photographer, documented his son’s first year. The parents also had a couple of scares with Baby Ward in the NICU, and Benjamin Scot penned his thoughts down about such times in a journal.
We’re used to babies being tiny, but one of the photos in the film shows just how overwhelmed Ward’s mother is at how tiny he is, but still fighting to live as every champion does. Ward was born 15 weeks early and spent the first 107 days of his life in the NICU in an incubator being cared for by a specialized team.
Pre-term babies tend to bring out the best in their parents. Never is the strength of the parent called more into question than when their baby’s health is a concern. Ward Miles’ parents channelled their strength into envisioning bringing their baby home, happy and healthy. And the photographs are a proof of that. As they say, there is nothing as unconditional or endless as a parent’s love.
Baby Ward was finally brought home after more than a three-month stay at the hospital and is growing in strength every day. If you know someone who is worried about premature labor and birth, share this story to bring them hope and inspiration.