Parents love taking pictures of their babies with stickers on their onesies showing how many months old they are. The photos are cute keepsakes and fun to see how much growth occurs during a relatively short period of time, marking milestone after milestone.
The same isn't true for all parents, though. For those whose babies were born prematurely, the milestones are different. Seemingly normal events—cuddling, even breathing—are worthy of grand celebration. For these babies, one-size-fits-all stickers don't cut it.
So a really creative mom who has lived the preemie parent experience, did something about that.
Amy Purling's son, James, was born a year ago when she was just 30 weeks along in her pregnancy. He weighed in at a little over 3 pounds and about 15 inches long. Even though she knew her pregnancy was considered high risk, due to a misshaped uterus that restricted James' growth, the 30-year-old Australian mom's birth experience was, nonetheless, traumatic.
I can't deal with the cuteness 😍 Ziggy I think you're melting the hearts of everyone who sees you! Your first bath looks so relaxing 💦 Premature Baby Milestone Cards available at www.miraclemumma.com.au (Link in Bio)
According to the Daily Mail, James was born bruised and swollen, "like he'd been through a war." The good news was if he'd delayed his debut for even one more week, a platelet disorder that could have killed him was caught. Fortunately, doctors were able to correct the condition with three transfusions.
Saige is finally 1kg! 👏 This girl blows her Mum @jemmajanine (and me) away every single day! She recently overcome yet ANOTHER scare and even has the doctors amazed! Keep it up beautiful 💕 P.S. those lips though 😍
Fighting to save James's life was how Purling spent the first minutes, hours and days of his life. You know, when most of us were setting up elaborate baby announcements.
James was on oxygen support and placed in a special protective crib in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, which was tough on Purling and her husband, Scott. So when a nurse took a photo of Purling holding James for the first time, she felt as if she finally had the kind of precious keepsake most moms get of their healthy babies moments after they're born and, again, when the babies turn a week and a month old.
Amahli's squishy cheeks are proving she doesn't need that feeding tube! Just LOOK at them! This photo is so peaceful, it makes me feel so calm. Thanks for sharing Shelley 😍 Premature Baby Milestone Cards available online (Link in Bio)
started writing a journal anytime he did anything new, the first time
he opened his eyes, the first suck of his dummy," Purling told the Daily Mail. She started making cards each week for James' milestones, even if she still envied other moms whose babies' development achievements could be marked in more mainstream ways.
That's when she came up with the idea of Miracle Mumma cards. They include simple, elegant designs with messages such as, "Today I gained weight for the first time," "Today is my due date," "I was brave for my operation today," "Today I opened my eyes for the first time," "First cuddle with Dad" and "I graduated from NICU today." The cards are made to be triumphantly placed next to the baby for photo documentation.
So this happened today!! After 28 days, Jess finally had her very first cuddle with little miracle Theodore. I may have squeeled a little when I received this photo, and the smile on Mum & Dads face says it all. So much love 💙💙💙 Premature Baby Milestone Cards available online www.miraclemumma.com.au
these precious moments helped me heal and gave me strength in a tough
time," Purling said. "Premature
babies are unique and their early entrance tells a special story (which
you will struggle to remember at such an overwhelming time)."
The cards have not only resonated with other parents of premature babies, but apparently the whole Miracle Mumma business has "turned into a support network" for other moms with similar experiences. Many moms can't understand what it means to have a baby place on a doctor's chart for being the same size as their actual age.
This makes me well up everytime I watch it! Absolutely beautiful. Happy Due Date for Saturday gorgeous Summer. I loved being a part of your first 6 weeks and can't wait to watch you grow into a fiesty go-getter! Buckle up Mumma @karinajanebriggs! Premature Baby Milestone Cards available online (Link in Bio) - the perfect gift for a Mum with a premmie
A card distinguishing between "He's so tiny" and "He's come so far" can make a big emotional difference for parents whose babies' first moments and months could not be taken for granted for even a minute.
A year later, James thriving, and Purlin's takeaway has been "just how important life is."
have made it my mission to help others who will go through the same," she said, "
and I believe these milestone cards are helping to make this frightening
time just a little bit brighter for these families."