Each and every one of us has our own personal story. Our stories of course may be quite different and our experiences unique, but for parents of premature babies our journey into parenthood will overlap and our experiences may be reassuringly similar.
For the last year I have shared my own story of premature birth and of a journey that does not end at the NICU door. I have written about first holds, kangaroo cuddles, grief and loss. I have written about the sudden interruption of pregnancy, the uncertainty of the unit and the sights and sounds of neonatal care that stay with you long after you leave. I write to raise awareness; but I also write because of those who have been before. For the parents who have already shared their own experiences of NICU, whose stories I found when I needed them the most. Yes, each story of neonatal care will be different, but the similarities are often striking and this discovery can bring great relief.
Storytelling can be an extraordinarily powerful tool – with stories that offer hope, humour, those that make us think or give us courage. Stories which help us to negotiate challenging times, to give us strength and to shine a light on the way ahead. Stories can bring us comfort and let us know that we are not alone. They can educate and reveal a hidden world. They can raise awareness and offer support.
Have you read a story that has helped given you comfort or hope? Have you got a story to share?
We are always on the lookout for stories of premature birth, neonatal care or life beyond (approximately 550-800 words) and we invite you to share yours.
Email Catriona at firstname.lastname@example.org