Parent Stories

Welcome to the Parent Stories webpage

This site focuses on what health professionals can learn from the narratives of those who have experienced neonatal care; namely the parents of babies who were born prematurely and have spent their first days and weeks on a neonatal unit. In addition, it aims to share the findings of narrative-based research that has explored parents’ experiences of the neonatal unit and beyond after going home. Experience is represented here as a collection of digital stories aiming to provide an education resource for anyone working in this specialty.   

Story-telling about experience offers a way to teach health professionals about person-centred care of those telling their story……In turn, it is hoped that this can lead to enhanced empathic understanding of the parents of neonates admitted to neonatal care.

The stories below are based on key themes that arose from interviews with parents who have had premature babies in neonatal care. Each story represents a pivotal metaphor about their experience that arose from analysis of parent narratives.

ANOTHER WORLD – A story about a family’s experience through the very different world of the neonatal unit

ON THE EDGE  – A story about uncertainty and survival

CONNECTIONS  – A mother’s story about separation and bonding with her premature baby

FIGHTERA father’s story about his son’s battle with the challenges of being born early

OUR SALVATION – A story about care and compassion in the neonatal unit and beyond

THE LONG HAUL AHEAD – A story about a family’s resilience along the long road to normality

OUT OF THE DARKNESS – A story about tough encounters through the neonatal unit into the light of going home

BITTERSWEET – A story about a fathers’ mixed emotions of having premature twins

’We all have experiences of relating to and living vicariously inside the stories that are told by others – whether those are real stories that have happened to them, or stories that they have created, using elements of their experience’’ (pg. 32; Fairbairn, 2002).

Illustration: Charlotte Tisdale