“She lay utterly motionless save for the ventilator’s rhythmic, almost robotic, inflation and deflation of her lungs. I wondered if she had any awareness of my presence at all. Or indeed any awareness of anything.”Excerpt from Chapter 21 of my upcoming memoir
Today, 17th November, is World Prematurity Day, which is a global movement to raise awareness of premature birth and the devastating impact it can have on families. I’ve been posting to this blog for a while now, raising awareness and trying to tackle various difficult ethical, moral and social questions about premature birth. It’s inspired me to start writing a memoir about the terrifying roller-coaster ride my family and I were suddenly and unexpectedly flung onto when our baby arrived 15 weeks early…
A story about my inner world, the darkest parts of my mind and the thoughts that no one wants to voice. A real no-holds-barred account of the psychological and emotional impact of premature birth, particularly on my mental health as a mother.
I want to expose medical mistakes and fluctuating nursing standards. I want to shine a light on how easy it is to fall through the cracks of the medical system. My aim is to break taboos, voice pernicious thoughts and explore the many heart-wrenching dilemmas my family and I faced.
Why? Because, against all odds, our baby survived and came home, but the trauma we experienced during our neonatal journey came with her, as I’m sure it does for each and every neonatal family. 1 in 7 babies is admitted to neonatal care in the UK, totalling over 100,000 babies each year. That’s 100,000 families going through a shared experience, battling similar issues, facing the same fears and struggling with comparable pain points. My memoir will honour the incredible strength and endurance of these families, and, I hope, help others by normalising the frightening psychological impact of having a sick or premature baby.
Follow the progress of my book as it develops. It’s going to be a tough journey, but if the end result benefits and supports others then it’ll be worth every step it takes.
4 thoughts on “A memoir in the making”
This is such an important topic to explore and break taboos about, and I know your memoir will make an incredibly valuable contribution. We’re cheering for you.
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I see you found my own preemie blog Mike & Ollie, so you know my preemie twins share their birthday with Prematurity Awareness Day, November 17. We are further along in our journey, but it was years of roller coaster rides (and not the fun kind). I wish you all the best of luck. Let me know if there is ever anyway I can help, even if just to lend an ear.
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Thanks so much for reaching out. Yes great to read your blog too as it resonates with many of my experiences of prematurity. A rollercoaster indeed.