World Prematurity Day...are you 1 in 10?

This year we are delighted to be at the RIPE Market in Zabeel Park on Friday 17th November 2017 to celebrate World Prematurity Day.

Bringing our families together to celebrate their journeys and hold those families close to us whose journey had a tragic end. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Bringing together our Stars at Al Barari...

For World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day we held an event amongst the private gardens at Al Barari. With the love and support from Alexandra from Little Angels and Fazila from Lighthouse Arabia we were able to make it a day to remember for each and every one of our Little Stars.

Everyone was welcome no matter whether their loss was through miscarriage, still birth, neonatal or Infant Loss. Our families brought siblings, family members and friends for support. The gardens were beautiful to walk around and allowed our families to take some time to commemorate their little one in the way that is right for them

Upon A Star...help us make our stars shine brighter

Our incredibly special project to bring memory boxes to families who suffer neonatal loss, stillbirth and miscarriage. Each box is white in colour, gender neutral with an elephant design on the front. The language of the box is English but will also be produced in Arabic when required. We need your help to crochet or sponsor the crochet of a cocoon for the baby which will be enclosed in each of our memory boxes.

Memory Box Contents

  1. Unspoken Words Notebook for parents 
  2. Private letter to the parents from Little Angels - Love through Loss Support Group
  3. Hand crocheted sleeping cocoon for the baby
  4. Linen drawstring bag for babies keepsakes.
  5. Grief consultation session with Lighthouse Arabia
  6. Information from Middle East Assistance for funeral arrangements
  7. Treasured Memories Inkless paper kit for hand and footprints
  8. Information to create hand and foot castings
  9. Barefoot Dubai Remembrance Photography
  10. Private Letter from Small and Mighty Babies
  11. Upon A Star candle

Collection Points - please contact each individual to arrange collection or sponsorship of your crochet pack which will be available from Sunday 4th June 2017.

Mira Oasis in Reem Community please call Kerry on 056 886 0700

Meydan Heights & JESS School please call Lala on 052 817 9235

Umm Suqeim please call Joanne on 050 656 8147

 

 

Just Look At Me Now...

Last year we started the Small and Mighty Photoshoot inspired by the work of a photographer from Canada. The reaction was incredible and this year we were delighted to work with Barefoot Dubai to create another set of incredible images.

Shot in Dubai Creek Park our families arrived with their Mighty Babies ready for a morning of photographs and fun. Showing the journey of a premature baby from receiving life support in NICU to now a strong and resilient Mighty Baby. With the love and care that Barefoot Dubai ensures go into every photograph myself and every family involved were as proud as can be with the final images. 

We look forward to welcoming more families at our next photoshoot later in the year

 

 

Wills, Custody and Guardianship in the UAE?

Our next meet up on Wednesday 5th April will take place at Vendome on Umm Al Sheif Street from 9.30am. This month we will welcome Nita Maru from TWS Legal Consultants to informally chat to us about the laws in the UAE regarding Wills, Guardianship and Custody of Minor Children to name a few of the items Nita shall cover.  We look forward to catching up with you all!

For more information please visit http://willsuae.com.

 

 

 

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Development Milestones...and a premature baby

When we were in NICU with George I always had a burning question....when will he come home. Its a question I was recommended not to ask or keep asking the neonatal consultants by my head, my heart..and my husband...he will come home when he is ready. We have all been there but the day does eventually come when the NICU doors open and you walk out with your Mighty Baby in your arms.

At this point I felt like I was finally a mother, it was me keeping our son alive and not a machine. Mighty George is growing up to be a wild but utterly fabulous little man. We have navigated all the fun things having a premature baby throws at you (not!) to the first teeth, weaning, toddler tantrums, "threenager" years and nursery so why do I still have this overwhelming feeling that there is something else that keeps making me cautious, another question I have to ask. I often read the multitude of premature blogs, websites and posts out there about how a mother can never quite get over her time in NICU and the long term implications it can cause to our wellbeing so maybe this is why when he struggles with a few things he "should" be doing or is "expected" to be doing at a particular point in his young life my stomach hits the floor like it did in those days in NICU. Is something not right. is something wrong. why this, why that is firing through my mind. Relief came when I was able to sit down with Kamal, Senior Occupational Therapist and owner of TherapyBox Australia to talk about development milestones, what are they and what "should" our little people really be doing and as parents, what if anything, can we do to support them. 

Come and join us on Tuesday 10th January at Pain Quotidien in Dubai Marina Mall from 9am to catch up with the Small and Mighty Mums and have an informal chat with Kamal herself. In the coming weeks I will be "test driving" some of her exercises with George and reporting back to you all. 

Celebrating those milestones....I got no tubes to help me breathe

I am utterly delighted to have teamed up with www.puddingsandchops.com to offer these incredible NICU milestone cards to families across the UAE.

Josie and Laura who own this business have nothing but supportive in helping me get these across the world to the desert dunes of Dubai. I am thrilled to have them here and please email me if you are interested to see them.

 

 

The three hats of me..

I was delighted to welcome Marissa from Little Sybarites into my home last month with Jules from Jewel Seddon Photography. We have talked about all things Small and Mighty, cried about all things Small and Mighty but most of all smiled. The chance our group has to help families is phenomenal and I praise each and every family in our group for helping me grow our network of support.

Thank you Marissa for your loving words, Jules for your stunning photography and also agreeing with me...photos are not my forte!

A Wave of Light

Today, Saturday 15th October, we recognise World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

At Small and Mighty Babies we arranged for a special set of photographs to be taken with the help of Barefoot Dubai to especially remember those babies known to us within our community. We reflect on the loss and surround each family with our love and support. May they know that they are always cherished, always remembered.

 

 

 

Time Out Kids Awards - we won!

Its taken me too long to get back onto the blog and but I can't think of a better way to start than sharing this incredible news!

Its been an incredible three years since I started Small and Mighty Babies and to be recognised and awarded for all our hard work is just wonderful. Thank you Time Out Kids and thank you to all our Mighty Babies, without you we wouldn't be where we are today.

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Light a candle and support babies born too soon..

I love candles and my house is always full of burning lights and so whatever the occasion, I think a candle can offer so much love, hope and light. When George was in NICU I would light a candle every night for him, say a little prayer, have a little cry and wish him home soon and I am so pleased to have been able to create this candle with a Dubai based candle extraordinaire Mel Upham of Pure Candles. We have two fragrances available at the moment, Lime Basil & Mandarin and Lemongrass & Ginger.

Whether for yourself or a friend who is currently caring for a baby in a Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, please help support Small and Mighty Babies and light a candle today for all babies born too soon.

AED120 per candle with 45 hours burning time.

Mighty Mum Kirsty makes us all smile....

One of our mums Kirsty has featured in this months Aquarius Magazine. Kirsty, mum to one year old twins Ella and Caleb has written the most honest, frank and damn funny "20 ways the UAE has changed since having babies". Well done Kirsty, I feel this is just the start of your writing career...I can honestly say, I would love to be one of your pupils receiving a school report if this is anything to go by!! JPH-H


Small and Mighty meets on Tuesday 24th March

Looking forward to the Small and Mighty Babies meet up planned for this Tuesday, looking forward to seeing you there!

Date: Tuesday 24th March 2015

Time: 9am - 11am

Venue: Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 3

www.ajccc.ae

 

City Tots next meeting on Monday 2nd March

City Tots next meeting will be on Monday 2nd March from 11.00 - 13.30. The group meets in the ground floor meeting room and light refreshments will be provided.

City Tots is a support group based at Mediclinic City Hospital for the parents of premature babies who have been admitted to the hospitals neonatal intensive care unit. Please contact joanne.pomer@mediclinic.ae for any more details. JPH-H

 

 

A brave and brilliant woman... Marina Fogle

In August last year I heard the sad news that Marina Fogle, wife of English adventurer, author, broadcaster and all round great guy Ben Fogle, had lost their third child late into pregnancy. Marina has recently written about what happened, how she copes with the power of grief and how understanding grief has helped her recover. She talks about how being honest with her children over what happened became huge relief to her and I think in one way or another, we can all learn much from her and this article.

For me, this article was a reminder about how fortunate I have been. Marina had suffered an acute placental abruption. The same fate I was dealt on 9th May 2013. To those who were with me on that day and those looking down from the above, thank you for keeping me safe, and thank you for keeping Mighty George safe. I know how different my chapter could have been. JPH-H

Introducing the Small and Mighty Babies Incubator Cover

During our stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit I would see the incubators covered with folded blankets, towels or when available a homemade incubator cover which had been purpose made to fit the incubator. There were not enough special sized covers for each incubator and hence why a folded towel or blanket would be used.

The incubator cover will help to enhance the preterm infants rest and recovery. It will shield the baby's eyes from light, exclude external noise, reduce draughts whilst allowing easy access and observation of the patient when required. 

I have been working on a design with Amelie of Les Bobos Chics based in Dubai. Amelie creates the most beautiful childrens clothing, prints, gifts and homewares. From a first design to a final product, I am thrilled to share this with you.

The covers will be available to purchase from the Small and Mighty Babies Shop (coming soon!) and will be available for boys, girls and a unisex version. We have used a thick padded material which is decorated with classic Liberty fabric. The Small and Mighty Babies Incubator Cover provides parents an option on being able to "clothe" their baby when dressing a baby in Neonatal Intensive Care is not usually an option. The Mighty star also detaches and is a rattle for your Mighty Baby. I would love to hear your comments and any suggestions you may have.

Amelie, thank you for turning my dream into a reality. JPH-H

    

 

 




MOM wins James Dyson Award...

Inflatable Incubator designed to save babies in developing countries

The World Health Organization estimates that 75% of deaths among premature babies could be avoided if life-saving technology was more easily available across the world. Being from the UK and having George born prematurely in Dubai, I have seen the amount of equipment needed to run a successful neonatal care unit, something which most of us would just take for granted. However, hospitals in many countries simply cannot afford the life-saving equipment needed and thousands upon thousands of babies could be dying because of this shortage. 

The 2014 winner of the James Dyson Award, a programme designed to encourage young people to come up with world changing inventions and ideas, is setting out to reduce this number of unnecessary premature deaths with their inflatable incubator design. 

The incubator is low cost to produce, light to carry and easy to pack and use, and even runs on battery life in case the hospital has power shortages. Providing the same critical care as the usual $45,000 incubation system, the MOM costs only $400 to manufacture and get started. This is fantastic news for the health care systems in developing countries and mothers around the world. It is also great to hear that everyday more and more importance is being put on neonatal care.

Mighty Babies can’t speak for themselves so we need to make sure we are their voice and continue promoting the need for more neonatal technologies across the world! HW

To read more about MOM and the James Dyson Award please see

http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/projects/mom/

Pop 'N' Grow... there, when you need them

Pop 'N' Grow is a UK Charity based in the Isle of Wight which provides special clothing for babies admitted into a Neonatal Unit. The clothing has been designed specifically for babies in special care units and these special baby-grows "make room" for the medical equipment caring for the babies. This charity was the brainchild of Paula Smith whose baby girl Amelia was moved into NICU following complications at birth and like all parents of NICU babies know, it is not always possible to dress your babies easily when they are still on life support, if at all impossible.

The clothing is unique and ordered in the UK but having spoken with Pop 'N' Grow they would be happy to ship to the UAE if a donation was made to the charity considering the shipping costs she must cover. Paula's efforts have given parents an option to be able to dress their baby, the most natural instinct for a mother, to cloth and protect.

On a final note, as a searched through the website of Pop 'N' Grow I found something that totally shocked me and as I read the page, I just began to cry. The patron of the charity is Joel Pott, guitarist and vocalist of the band Athlete. Joel wrote a song called 'Wires', a song I know but a song I hadn't ever realised had a deeper meaning. When his daughter was born prematurely, Joel wrote this song. If you are not familiar with this song, I suggest you search for it and Joel, thank you for such making such an incredible song,  I know it will mean so much to so many people. JPH-H

www.popngrow.co.uk

Small and Mighty Babies September Meet Up

It was so wonderful to meet up last week with parents and the Mighty Babies. We sat and talked like we had all known each other for years. We talked about the struggles some of the Mighty Babies are facing but also some of the hurdles they have overcome. For me, it was lovely to hear the feedback on Small and Mighty Babies but also to learn of additional contacts for me to share, ideas for our future projects but more so to remind me why I started this journey. I feel I have managed to turn one of the saddest periods of my life into the most special, that privilege (though it didn't feel it at the time!) of having my baby come early has taught me so much and opened doors for me that I never knew existed. Thank you George, and thank you everyone. JPH-H