It's now possible to preserve and nurture a baby born as early as the 23rd or 24th week of a normal 40 week pregnancy. The challenges facing the child are significant but the instinct of the majority of parents is to do anything they possibly can to preserve the life of their child. As medical science has produced ever more sophisticated incubators and ventilation systems, both the challenges and the hopes of parents have increased.
Joan McFaddon talks to parents who are going through or have gone through the often agonising process of watching a premature baby being nurtured through the first weeks of life. They talk about their emotions, the highs, the lows and the looming danger of losing hope. They also reveal the challenges of trying to enjoy all the parental bonding of a normal birth amidst breathing aparatus, feeding systems and monitoring equipment.
At the core of their situation is the uneasy relationship between what medical science can do and what is best for their child - a child they'd do anything to preserve in spite of all the challenges that might lie ahead.