There are so many things you hear as an expecting/first time mum. In those first few months, usually starting as soon as you announce your pregnancy to the world, you are inundated with ‘advice’.
This can range from the genuinely helpful ‘Always pack spare clothes. ALWAYS.’ To not so helpful ‘Who cares if the midwives don’t recommend it? I did it and it worked for mine!’* To the downright bizarre ‘You chew their food first then feed it to them, that way they get your germs to improve their immune system!’*
(*yes, I have heard both of these myself… sigh…)
I remember reading for hours on what to do/not to do. These days, I have an idea of what works for us, and how to make life easier with kids.
I spent the entire first year with my first born checking the development charts every month to make sure he was on track, trying everything that was recommended.
I also remember the only time I didn’t listen to my instinct as his Mother.
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In September, my cousin’s little boy had his first birthday. This was an especially important birthday in my family because for a little while, it was uncertain if this beautiful boy would make it.
He was born extremely early, at just 29 weeks old, by emergency C-section due to severe Pre-eclampsia. My cousin was just 23 and this was her first child.
Ever since, despite his early start and accompanying issues, this little man has been incredible. Smashing his milestones out the park closer to his actual age peers than his corrected age peers. (The system works on the basis that his actual age is, for example, 12 months but his corrected age due to his premature birth is actually closer to 9 months.)
The one thing that I’ve learnt from my cousin in this last year, aside from what an amazing person she really is, is how little society actually understands conditions like Pre-eclampsia and how a premature birth can affect a baby developmentally.
There were so many people who wouldn’t understand why they couldn’t visit this tiny baby with no immune system during peak flu season. So many who wouldn’t understand even now how his development will have to be treated differently from his peers for his first few years.
To help raise awareness of Pre-eclampsia and premature birth, I have asked my cousin a couple of questions, I hope you find them an interesting and educational read! View Full Post