16 years ago, at the height of my career at a high-tech company, an unexpected event happened, and it changed the world for me and us as a family. Just like that!
My premature baby was born at 26 weeks, she weighed only 730 grams. Weight is not perceived. Third daughter after 2 children who were born on time and at a normal weight (with them we spent a day or two in the hospital and at home).
The hospitalization for 4 months and the process of her growth that we went through with her over the years led me to change a lot of focuses in life and among other things my field of work. When I meet parents of premature babies, I see - even though each one comes from a different background or sector, they all (all of us...) have a common denominator...
The word expired says it all…
I'm Liat Graf Efergan, mother of a pre-schooler (adult 😊), a volunteer at the Levant and a certified psychotherapist.
The issue of parenting premature babies is so important to me. I feel a sense of mission to bring it to public awareness, to talk about it, to help parents of premature babies process the birth experience, to go through the shaky journey of parenting a premature baby, to realize inclusive and loving parenting,
And move from crisis to hope despite the accompanying difficulties and uncertainty!
As parents there is a lot of loneliness along the way
We didn't know which way to expect, we didn't know if it would survive
And what life will she have?
Life forced us to face reality!
So we somehow coped…
But we were left with scars,
We didn't know what would happen, and what else awaits us...
During the first years of premature growth,
Parents experience a variety of emotions such as:
High stress, guilt, anxiety, depression and even post trauma.
Parents of premature babies experience a huge gap between the expectation and fantasy for the baby, and the new reality
This gap is experienced as loss and chaos in many ways.
In recent years, there has been a little more awareness of therapeutic intervention, which is designed to help balance and process the emotional state of parents of premature babies, but there is still a long way to go until parents feel that they are not alone, that there will be enough awareness of the issue, and professionals who will help process the unique experience of birth and parenting for premature babies. It is equally important that parents receive tools for dealing with the present and for the future,
In the coming weeks I will expand and tell in a series of posts about more emotional aspects and coping tools of parenting premature babies