Close your eyes for a moment and imagine your full term newborn in front of you. They are approximately 50cm and weigh 3.5kgs. They have 10 fingers and 10 toes. Their gender is obvious to you. They have tiny fingers and toe nails. They have perfect little lips and cute button ears. they have a gorgeous nose. They have eyes which are closed until they wake up and give a cry - you wonder what colour their eyes will be. Will they look like your husbands side of the family? Will they look like yourself? Will they be a miniature version of their brother or sister?
Now divide that weight by thirty, and you are close to what my micro prem weighed. Divide your babies length by three and you will be close to how long my petite baby was.
Now picture your full term baby who looks so small to you and everyone you meet, but picture them smaller, with skin that is best described as translucent and fragile. Of course it's not a normal situation, it's not normal a normal situation to be holding a baby that should still be growing and developing in your womb but instead are in your arms, incredibly premature.
Our children were real, ARE real. For those who choose to ignore my daughter. For those who choose to pretend like she wasn't here. For those who refuse to call her by her name. For those of you who change the conversation, please don't. I don't put a screener up on what you say. For those who choose to minimise our loss, I am pleading with you to stop. I say this on behalf of all babies born too soon who went straight to heaven.
There was honestly no difference between holding my full-term live babies, then what there was holding my 15.3 weeker, except that she was fragile and light and not moving or crying. She looked like a tiny baby. Every part of her formed on the outside, although she had months more developing to do on the inside.
Ava Grace Johnson
10cm head circumference