What do the emotions of a mother who has delivered her baby prematurely look like? How does she feel, when she knows that her baby’s life is hanging by a thread? When she knows there might not be another day for her baby to see?
Ruby Kimondo is a mother of four boys, having delivered them at 28 weeks, 30 weeks, 38 weeks and 34 weeks. Ruby suffered from a dangerous pregnancy-related condition called preeclampsia all through her four pregnancies. Today on Mummy Tales, Ruby gives us insights into what she went through during those difficult moments, and how she is now helping other women who have undergone similar experiences.
Why Couldn’t I Carry my Pregnancies to Term?
“My preterm birth experiences were quite the challenge. With each birth, I was left with strong feelings of guilt and inadequacy. I wondered why I couldn’t carry my pregnancies to term and felt horrible about subjecting my babies to many painful medical procedures as they spent their first days of life in incubators at the Newborn ICU. This was even before I could cradle them in my arms.
Would my Babies be Alive the Next Day?
I remember facing dark moments where I was not sure if my babies would live to see the next day. During those times, I would grope in the dark, asking the doctors endless questions as I looked for slightest glimmer of hope that there would indeed be another day for my babies. Many times, that glimmer of hope was hard to find. I therefore lived through the uncertainty of not knowing what would happen next. I decided to take one step at a time and one day at a time.
See also: Mary Wanyoike’s inspiring video below
So I learned to let go, even love from a distance and just trust. I showed up for my babies every three hours, every day, for weeks on end. I went through the slow and steady process of accepting and learning to live through the challenging experiences that I could not run away from. And soon the prematurity storm passed with such indifference to my experience of it.
Preemie Love Foundation
I began talking about my preterm birth experiences and connecting with other mothers who had gone through similar experiences. This led to the formation of a support group for parents of preterm babies, called ‘Preemie Love Foundation’ in 2015. In it, we draw lessons from our collective experiences. Our activities include:
- Provision of information and support for parents who have undergone the prematurity experience
- Provision of mental health care to parents going through the prematurity experience
- Provision of follow-up and guidance to parents after discharge from hospital
- Creation of public awareness on prematurity issues
Preemie Love Foundation has created Peer Support Networks where parents can receive and give compassionate support to one another and receive information and practical suggestions for caring for their babies.
We use WhatsApp as our primary communication and information dissemination tool. We also have frequent physical meetings by active members where we reach out to new mothers at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Newborn Unit and other hospitals.” -END
Thank you Ruby for sharing your story. If you would like to join the Preemie Love support group, if you know of a mom who would benefit from the interaction, or if you’d like more information from Ruby, see her contact details below:
Facebook: Premie Love Foundation
Do you have an inspirational motherhood story that you’d like to share with other moms? You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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