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Small but great fighters. This is the title of the introduction to a book that I just read, about premature babies, those who arrive early in this world, those who are born before 37 weeks of gestation and who, together with their parents, fight with all their forces, to recover time, some abilities, and survive.
Medicine tries to delay the time of your birth as much as possible, but it is not always possible. The baby comes out, and instead of going into his mother's arms, he is taken to an incubator. And there begins the great battle, that of the baby and his parents. In Spain, almost 8% of newborns are premature, and although most manage to survive, cases of prematurity continue to increase. Being a mother or father of a premature baby is dressing up with uncertainties regarding the evolution of the child. It is a somewhat more complicated birth, a hard work of stimulations, manipulations, treatments and cures, so that the baby starts its physical, psychic and emotional mechanisms, and manages to leave the incubator.
It is a coming and going, without limits. Sometimes slower in some ways and faster in others. Meanwhile, parents struggle with their ghosts, their feelings of guilt, their fears, their worries and doubts about their baby's low weight and appearance. I think the parents' experience is the worst. Years ago, a friend of mine has been through it, and I remember how helpless she felt. She could only see her son for short periods of time, she had to leave him at the hospital to go home, and her nights were endless.
Everything you had planned for the first few days with your baby took time. But, like most premature babies, her son survived, and he returned the smile she had forgotten about when he was born. I recommend the book to all parents Premature children, by Nora Rodríguez (The sphere of books). In it, they will be able to learn about the experiences of other families, as well as find great tips to take care of premature children, from birth to adolescence.
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