Helping premature babies survive and thrive

Oleksandra had given birth to her daughter Diana nearly two and a half months before her due-date, just on the 29th week of gestation (out of the nominal 40). This was her first pregnancy, and Oleksandra was living through one of the most frightening moments of her life.

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“I came to the hospital expecting a checkup and quick release, and only there did I realize that I had gone into labor.” The baby, born weighing just 1.27 kg, was immediately rushed to intensive care. It was two days before Oleksandra was allowed to see her first-born daughter, and two weeks before she was allowed to hold her for the first time. “In the first days, nobody is sure whether or not your baby will make it, so nobody tells you anything. It was incredibly scary,” she recalls. “In the beginning, I was crying all the time. I couldn’t talk, sleep, eat; I would just sit there and cry. Then I realized that I needed help to cope with this, to be strong for my daughter.” Oleksandra sought the help of a psychologist, and it worked. “The psychologist told me that one does not mourn a living child, only a dead one. That made me realize I don’t have any reason to mourn, and after that I did not cry a single time again.”

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