views expressed here are my own!


Guestpost by Kathrine aka mummypinkwellies: Awkward Moments

Recently we’ve had a number of “awkward moments” with our daughter Littlebit and the assumptions people make about premature babies.

When Markus asked me to guest post over here for him I thought this would be the prime place to have a rant about what not to say to the parent of a toddler who was born prematurely. All of the thoughts listed below have actually been said to me in the last 6 months, yes really!?

I wrote a similar post over on my own blog, which you can find here: http://www.mummypinkwellies.com/2011/08/what-not-to-sa…preemie-parent

this was written when Littlebit was just shy of 1 year old and we’ve had some absolute corkers since. So here goes. Here’s what not to say to the parent of a child who was born prematurely:

1. I know someone who was born 10 weeks early and he’s got all sorts of problems. Which problems do you think she’ll have?
Don’t assume that my child has problems, and even if she does is it really any of your business?

2. So, does she have cerebral palsy?
Take a look at her, what do you think?

3. Oh, her eyes do look really bad. She’ll get teased in school because of that. What a shame!
Yes, yes it’s a shame she has a bit of a squint but you know she’s alive and well. I’ll take a squint any day!

4. Well, at least you got to bring your baby home. Some people aren’t that lucky.
Do you seriously think I don’t know that? Really?

5. I know she was born early and you were really quite poorly but I do think you’re being a bit selfish not giving her a brother or sister.
No comment!

6. But she seems so clever and ahead of her peers. How is that possible when she should be so behind?
I don’t know, but shouldn’t we all just be proud of her achievements rather than dwell on what might have been?

7. When will you know if she has learning difficulties like most preemies?
Well, she’s showing no signs of it yet so I dunno. But so what if she has? Again is it really any of your business?

8. I know a boy who was born 15 weeks early and he’s huge now. He plays Rugby for the Borough. She’ll be fine.
Brilliant, good for him. Stop generalising though.

9. It must be awful having a premature baby?
Well yes, of course it was awful at the start. But actually no, we’ve learned so much through this experience. Met some amazing people who we wouldn’t otherwise have met. It’s not all rainclouds and storms actually. There are some amazing rainbows we have seen as well.

10. Does that mean she won’t be able to have children?
What? Why?

11. But she’s so normal looking?

And I’ve saved the best for last…
12. Does that mean she’ll die prematurely as well?
Do you know when you’re going to die. No! I can’t predict her death either but no, being born early doesn’t mean she’s fated to an early death too!

What senseless things have you heard said about children who were born prematurely?

This is my girl now:


So, I’m Katherine, known as K to my friends and online as pinkwellies79 or Mummypinkwellies.

My daughter, known online as Littlebit was born 10 weeks prematurely back in September 2010 and weighed just 2lb 4.5oz at birth. A lot of my blog is about her. She is my life!

I blog about:
* bringing up a 30 week preemie turned feisty toddler
* life in a small market town
* campaign and fundraising work for Bliss – for babies born too soon, too small, too sick and Tommy’s – researching problems in pregnancy amongst other charities close to my heart
* the things that I love
* baking and cooking
* shopping
amongst other stuff and probably a fair bit of fluff

You can find my blog at http://www.mummypinkwellies.com


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What does ‘prematurity’ mean to you?

So last week we had “World prematurity day” but what does that actually mean to most people?

It means babies who are born well before their due date! The official cut off point where a baby is declared viable ( reasonable chances of survival ) is 24 weeks gestation.

To me “World Prematurity Day” means my boys! These bundles of joy were born at 25 weeks 6 days gestation. At the start of week 25 we were sent from East Surrey Hospital all the way to Portsmouth to the Queen Alexandra Hospital. 5 days later contractions started and the boys were born at 25 weeks 6 days August 14th 2011 at 10.30am

Rather than having to write all of it again and thereby making this post far too long, I shall now give you a couple of links which will enable you to read our story at a time that is convenient to you:

The website is called ‘MotherhoodJourneys’ it is run by @motherscuffer and earlier this year she asked me to write down our story, which she put up on her site in 2 parts:

Part 1 http://motherhoodjourneys.com/guest-post-an-expectant-dads-story

Part 2

Guest Post – The Start of Life as a Daddy

We were aware of all the problems, complications and so on that being this premature could have but we prefer to be positive and take things on 1 problem at the time!

The next reasonably big thing we are hoping to go smoothly without any problems will be their check up at Southampton General for their heart conditions. I am getting more familiar with medical terms than I ever really wanted to be. PDA, VSD, Pulmonary stenosis these can all be pretty serious, all of them affect the heart and most of them are very common in premature babies. Then there is the terminology that is used in treating a pulmonary stenosis, one treatment is the ballon valvuloplasty.

Now imagine you have no medical knowledge whatsoever or in my case you are not married to a doctor or have a doctor in the family. When you are first told that your babies have these conditions I can very easily imagine that it would be quite frightening .

That’s were organizations like these come in:

@tommys_baby http://www.tommys.org/

They’re actively helping to fund the necessary research and development to understand the causes of preterm delivery and the health problems premature babies face. They also help educate people what it means to have a premature baby and how to care for them and support those who need a helping hand.

Two relentless supporters of these wonderful organizations are

@kykaree & @pinkwellies79
These two ladies are so passionate about prematurity, caring for a premature baby and how to cope yourself with the problems that having a premature baby can put upon you. it still amazes me how determined some people can be?

@kykaree writes about her life here:

@pinkwellie79 writes about her life here:


Unfortunately not every premature baby does make it, we know all to well about this. There are these wonderful people who might just be able to help you grief in a wonderful way:

@sayinggoodbyeuk & @bearspoon


Last but not least I want to thank
Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth
Princess Anne Hospital Southampton & Southampton General Hospital
For all their hard work and dedication!