World Prematurity Day is just days away, falling on November 17. A day that is very bittersweet for me.
It’s a day that I often find myself reflecting on the few memories I have of my little sister. For those of you who aren’t aware my little sister was born two and a half months premature in November of 1993.
Her premature birth was one that my family had anticipated. My Mom’s pregnancy with my sister was faced with a lot of complications. Danielle wasn’t developing well. Her organs were very weak, and at the time of her birth she only had 5 fingers.
On November 23rd, she should have been celebrating her 21st birthday. Instead we will be celebrating her memory. We knew following her birth that her chances of survival were pretty bleak. The short time that we did get to enjoy with her, Danielle spent on life support and feeding tubes.I can remember how afraid of her I was. I was afraid of hurting her. She was so fragile, so tiny, so innocent.
To this day it kills me inside that I never took the opportunity to hold my baby sister before we had to say our goodbyes. At 9 years old, I was so convinced that the doctors were wrong and that we would eventually be able to bring Danielle home. There just had to be away. Sadly that day never came, and Danielle grew her wings on November 25, 1995.
Danielle’s memory is something I always carry with me. I constantly go through life wondering what she would be like, what she would think of me, how close her and I would have been had she still been here. Her memory was also a huge trigger for me through each one of my pregnancies. I always faced each pregnancy with a lot of fear and anxiety. Fears of everything from premature labour to breaks downs from fear of infant loss during labour and post-birth.
To this day have a hard time wrapping my head around how someone so beautiful and innocent as a newborn couldn’t have a fair chance at life. It’s not fair. It truly isn’t.
Did you know that every year in Canada 1 in 12 babies are born premature? That’s a pretty wild and eye-opening statistic.
That being said, it amazes me how much medical science has advanced in the years since Danielle’s birth. It has advanced in ways that it has enabled younger and smaller babies to survive.
With such medical advancements, it has caused a need for even smaller preemie diapers to be designed that can meet the unique needs of these premature infants. This is why Pampers has partnered with Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses to design and introduce a size three times smaller than newborn diapers to fit the tiniest and most vulnerable premature babies.
These new Pampers Preemie Size P-3 diapers are available exclusively at hospitals. They offer a small touch of love to premature babies born in the second trimester and weighing as little as 1 pound (500 grams). The Pampers diapers are designed to minimize sleep disruption, enable proper positioning, and aid in medical care for premature infants. These diapers would have come in so handy in the days that Danielle was with us. I can still vividly remember her in her over-sized Preemie diaper. She was so little and the diaper swallowed her.
While she may have had an over-sized diaper, she was blessed with a team of doctors and nurses who took it upon themselves to outfit Danielle in a beautiful preemie infant newborn gown for the few days she was earthside. It may have been the simplest gesture, but it was the touches of love that helped my our journey a little more bearable and easier to swallow.
So on World Prematurity Day let’s join forces and celebrate the tiniest and most vunerable babies with little touches of love.
Image Source: Shutterstock | Premature Baby