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. 

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.

Time Out Dubai Kids Awards 2016 - Winner - Best Pre & Post Natal Care Provider.jpg

Small and Mighty Babies Photoshoot, thank you Red

Red Methot, a photographer based in Quebec has touched a very special group of people here in Dubai. Red has two children who were both born premature and any parent of a premature baby knows this totally rocks your world, for both the good and the bad reasons. His experience inspired him to create a series of images of children, who were also born too soon, holding a photograph of themselves when they were on life support in NICU...and wow, did it get me thinking!

Inspired to say the least I wanted to try and re-create this in Dubai for many reasons. With the help, support and guidance from Jules at JewelSeddon Photography we have been able to turn this dream into a reality. I hope to highlight premature birth in the United Arab Emirates, to raise awareness of Small and Mighty Babies but mainly for our gorgeous children. I wanted to create an opportunity for our families to have an image that speaks so loud it brings tears to our eyes, its proud, its strong and it reminds us to always hold our heads high. No matter what struggles we face in our lives we know the battle we as families and our wonderful babies have fought.

I couldn't be prouder to share these with you x

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.

Feature Mum of the Month

This month I am thrilled to announce the start our feature mum articles. Each month I hope to share with you a mums story about her early delivery and her Mighty babies journey. 

This month I spoke with Sam Draper who gave birth to her daughter Willow at 25weeks plus 4 days. Read all about it here


City Tots suspends its sessions for the next months..

City Tots is a support group for parents of premature babies who have been admitted to Mediclinic City Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The group aims to support and educate parents during and after their NICU experience. They provide parents with the coping skills, a place to find unconditional help and voice their individual concerns.

The 2015 Schedule has been suspended for the next few months and updates will be confirmed by Mediclinic City Hospital

For more information please email MCH.Tots@mediclinic.ae

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

 

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

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/

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 

Mediclinic City Hospital announce the start of City Tots

I am thrilled to be able to share the great news that City Hospital shall begin their City Tots sessions on Tuesday 17th June. 

City Tots is a support group based at City Hospital for parents of premature babies who have been admitted to City Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The group aims to support and educate parents during and after their NICU experience. They provide parents with the coping skills, a place to find unconditional help and voice their individual concerns. City Tots allows parents to express any thoughts and feelings in a safe, non judgemental and personal environment and makes a tremendous positive difference to the parents experience within the Mediclinic City Hospital's NICU.

To support City Tots, one or more of us from Small and Mighty Babies shall attend this meeting to provide any care and support to parents. We found comfort talking to parents who went through similar experiences and hopefully, we can return that comfort. JPH-H

The 2014 Schedule has been announced for the following dates with the group meetings taking place at 11.30am to 1.00pm & 6.00pm to 8.00pm in City Hospital.

17th June 2014 

15th July 2014

19th August 2014

16th September 2014

21st October 2014

18th November 2014

For more information and to confirm your participation please email MCH.Tots@mediclinic.ae