As told by Dad, Phil

The scariest thing in the world (or so we thought at the time) was being told our wee boy was coming into the world….  Early….  16 weeks early!!

Unsure who we would meet, how he would be, what care or attention he was going to need in the short or the long term.  All the same concerns as any new parent faces, but with the added stress of being told we wouldn’t be able to hold or even touch him for a few weeks. And then the information overload came.
‘According to the scans he’s a good weight so that’s positive’ and…
’24 weeks gestation is really where their greatest chance of survival is, but we can do amazing things these days’, but I think…
‘Generally speaking Boys tend to have a lower survival rate than girls’ is the one that sticks in my mind the most
The only thing we really knew for sure was that we were in for a long journey ahead, but with no idea of how long or where it would take us.
Looking back now, 7 years on I feel like a bit of a fraud. We were the lucky ones.  Although he was born at just 24 weeks gestation weighing in at 665g with his eyes fused shut, young Reuben hung on to life. True we did nearly lose him on more than a couple of occasions, but we have got through the other side and have a happy, healthy growing boy who I still look at and marvel that this is the same wee scrat I first met through the plexiglass of a hospital incubator.  Smiling as I watch him devour his dinner and recall feeding him his first “meal” of 0.5ml of milk via a tube and syringe.  Watching him tackle the opposition on the football pitch and remember the way his tiny legs would writhe around in his incubator when his minute nappy needing changing
I know that no two prem journeys are the same, and not everyone has as happy an outcome as us, but I remain ever thankful and in awe of the amazing work our health professionals performed in order to sustain the young life we have in our family today.


Thanks for sharing Phil and Happy Fathers Day!

We get a lot of positive feedback from families in a neonatal unit who read these stories and feel strength, hope and positivity knowing that they are not alone going through these experiences and feeling certain emotions.

If you would like to discuss sharing the story of your neonatal journey, we’d love to hear from you. Please email 

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  • The Little Miracles Trust provides support to families of premature or sick full-term babies as they make their journey through Neonatal Intensive Care, the transition home, and onwards. We do not receive any Government funding and are entirely reliant on the generousity of individuals, companies and organisations in the form of donations, value-in-kind donations, grants, sponsorship and fundraising events to supplement operating costs and fund our services and initiatives.
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  • Here’s a gallery of support examples