I was standing in front of the incubator for 83 days, touching the glass imagining I was caressing Maria


AcibademSistina Marija

Nurses and doctors in constant activity, uninterrupted beats on vital sign monitoring systems, many incubators and young babies struggling to overcome these systems and live independently. It is the sight parents of premature babies face daily. Some stay there for only a few days, while others remain longer before leaving home. What all of them have in common is that they get great love and support by the neonatal intensive care team and their families. Together they go through the many challenges of preterm birth.

Young Maria is one of them. She was born in 29th week of gestation with only 790 grams. Her mother Kristina explains that they went through a very difficult time, filled with a lot of tears and fears. The first blow in her life was the loss of Maria’s sister. Life put her at a crossroad, mourning the loss of one child, while on the other hand she had to stay calm and brave because of young Maria, fighting for her life.

The first touch

AcibademSistina Marija

“It is a great shock for any parent to see such a small, helpless baby weighing 790 grams lying in the incubator and struggling to survive. I felt very helpless at those moments, since I could do nothing. The only thing I could do was standing in front of the incubator, caressing the glass and talking to the small baby to hear my voice and hoping every day that soon I would take Maria in my arms. I couldn’t hug her, cuddle her and tell her she isn’t alone. I felt too much emotion; it was a path primarily filled with fear, uncertainty, weakness, deep pain in my soul, but at the same time it was full of hope and faith. We spent 83 days at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Acibadem Sistina Hospital.

Dr. Dushko Fidanovski was always with us; he was our great support and gave us hope that everything would be okay…. After the struggle at Intensive Care Unit, another difficult period followed, filled with fear, day-to-day controls and monitoring the premature baby.


The moment I took Maria in my arms for the first time

AcibademSistina Marija

Fortunately, the bad days are behind us and today I am a very proud mother of a great three-year-old fighter who makes me happy and fulfills me every day. We enjoy each new moment, every new thing she learns, every movement, turning, sitting, talking she make. I express huge gratitude to the whole neonatology team who took care of Maria, led by Dr. Fidanovski. I will be eternally grateful to the best doctors of the Gynecology Department, Dr. Slobodan Lazarevski and Dr. Gordana Petrovska.

My advice to future moms of premature babies is to never lose hope and confidence in the young heroes. Be brave, patient and believe in your young fighters!”, explains Kristina Kokolanska.