My daughter was born 12 weeks early in 1963. I wasn’t allowed to see her, but I crept to the neonatal unit to try and sneak a peep when she was two weeks old and got a rollicking from the autocratic matron.
She was fed in the excess milk from any mother in the unit as I didn’t make any. She was five weeks old when I was ‘allowed’ to see her. Two years later I was confined to hospital for three months whilst they prevented her sister from being born 12 weeks early. I had gone to the antenatal clinic and they told me I was in labour, but I was unaware of it so their intervention was early and the baby went full term.
When my first daughter grew up she also had her first baby 12 weeks early, but her experience was so different as she was encouraged to bond with her daughter from birth. She couldn’t make much milk but the baby girl wasn’t allowed other mother’s milk. Luckily my other daughter had a baby at the same time and her milk was abundant so she would express for her tiny niece which the mother delivered as her own! My eldest daughter had a second baby two years later who was 14 weeks early. He had lots of problems, a stroke at birth, a perforated stomach ulcer at 12 hours old and then an infection in his PTN line. His whole tiny body, all 1lb 11ozs of it was bruised, he looked like a little black slug. They said he would be physically and mentally handicapped. How wrong could they be. Both of my eldest daughters two children have grown up with good careers and both have healthy children of their own - all full term.Valerie