The story of Vasilij and the challenges that premature babies face with
“Premature baby. No, one can never be ready for that challenge. The day one is waiting for to be their happiest day suddenly becomes the happiest and scariest day at the same time. The baby is persistent to come to this world and one is not ready for it, one is scared and excited, has many different thoughts and millions questions, whether it is going to be born alive, safe and sound, whether it is going to stay in this new world!? Happiness, joy, sorrow, pain, fear and tears. That day not only did I give birth to him, but he also gave birth to me as a mother. He gave birth to so many feelings unknown to me until then, that day is the day when the biggest challenges for the that little fighter and the whole family begin. Vasilij was born in the 28th pregnancy week on March 25, 2021 with 1,320 grams and 44 cm long. That day and every next day I forgot that anything else existed, the door to neonatal intensive care, although it sounds scary, was my favorite door, because as soon as I enter I knew that my brief meeting with that tiny part of me, with my soul that lies in the incubator with so many hoses and tubes that I do not know their purpose. Even the patch on his arm hurts me more than anything when I look at him. Such a small, beautiful and innocent baby, full of love. When I look at him I am filled with love and happiness, yet with slight amount of fear.
I was afraid to ask the first question about him, I was afraid of every answer I might get. I did not even know what to ask, yet I told him through the glass “Everything is all right my son. If you could know just how wonderful you are. We are going to fight this battle and we are going to hug each other soon, you will come home with your mommy. “The first day I asked the doctors for information, but when I met them I avoided them because I was afraid of the answer, yet I took a deep breath and met the doctor. The first thing I had to face with were my baby’s lungs, a long fight that together, we are going to fight to the end. Mommy knows that you will make it. I smiled in front of him, looked at him and touched the glass of the incubator thinking that I touched him. I give him the courage to fight and when I got out of the hospital I cried and screamed, I could not stop. That happened every day until I accept that, but that was not all. Moreover, I had to face with Vasilij’s heart problems. I was looking for a way to accept all that outside of the hospital, so when I went inside I had again that positive attitude for him mostly with a hope that he is going to make it. Just when I thought that all that is behind, a new challenge came. We had to fight with the brain hemorrhage, for which we did not know what kind of consequences it may leave.
Yet, me as mother, even though I thought that I would not be able to find a way to endure, that I am weak and I cannot stand it, I still succeeded, I managed to accept everything and I decided that I will fight for my baby until the end, that every problem we are going to overcome together and that there is nothing that can get on our way. Huge thanks to the heroes in white, especially to Cornelia Trajkova, MD and Radica Muratovska, MD who were the first to start our fight and everyone else. I also thank my mother, who was as persistent as a lioness, dragging me with both hands so that I would not fall into the dead end hole and my husband, my sister and the whole family that built a fence around that hole.
So full of positive energy every day, we slowly progressed together. After a long and difficult 57 days at NICU, the day came to go home with our son. The fight continues at home because all those diagnoses are still present. I become a nurse who prepares therapies all day and does exercises to the baby. That is great. My baby is at home and it is a pleasure to do everything about him. For the next 2 months I could not sleep at all because I was afraid. I sat next to him and listened to his breath, since I knew that the machine is not here to alarm if something is not good. When I was not sure, I woke him up to make sure that he is good and put him to bed again. It all passes over time. Together we learnt how to make it easier for both of us. I watched him grow and I was so joyful on each next follow up, when the doctors would say that he is better. Six months since he was born, we can finally relax. Our hero Vasilij managed to win all the battles. We surpassed all difficulties, we decreased all medications. Everyone says now you can relax and enjoy life, yet I do not know how that looks like. I hope that other mothers of premature babies will have that feeling, unfortunately I did not. As soon as he managed to win all the battles, this time my hero Vasilij encountered a new battle. The most difficult one.
Now, I can only believe in him because he is such a strong fighter and a hero, stronger than all the people I know. I believe that he is going to fight again, so that his mom and dad can be even happier with him together, for the rest of our lives. Vasilij is going to make it, he is going to win even this battle, since premature babies are real heroes.
“All parents of premature babies, be brave because they are the most invincible fighters one can meet in life,” wrote Simona.
Vasilij and his mommy Simona,
We love you