German tourist gives birth at 26 week
Edward and Jessica Bass from Germany wanted one last holiday before the anticipated birth of their child and their chosen destination was Israel. Jessica was six months pregnant and she ensured she received the correct approvals from her doctors and midwife before setting out on the trip. In week 26 of her pregnancy Jessica began experiencing quickly progressing labor pains. The couple arrived at Laniado Hospital, where it quickly became clear that this was not a case of false labor but was full blown contractions.
Jessica was taken to the birthing room, and within a few hours the tiny baby girl entered the world, weighing a mere 840 grams. The baby was immediately rushed to the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she received treatment appropriate for her age and weight. But then Jessica, a cashier at a supermarket, and Edward, a worker at a metal factory, found themselves in an untenable situation: they had not expected to be away from Germany and were faced with a situation where they needed to return home yet their new baby Emilia was not ready to be released.
Four weeks after the birth, Jessica recovered and returned to Germany to tend to bureaucratic matters such as health insurance for their daughter in order to arrange for the movement of the baby. Since Jessica and Edward had no family in Israel, the nurses in the NICU filled the void. "I myself am a mother and could empathize with them,” says Angela Leansberg, a nurse at the NICU. "Her parents weren’t able to see her, and I thought that with every passing day the little girl was growing and they were missing it. At first I emailed them pictures, but then I thought of having a Skype conversation with them. Whenever I worked the evening shift I contacted them, would dress little Emilia and the whole family in Germany would gather to see her. I wanted to give them the feeling that she was in good hands." Ettie Littig, the supervising nurse in the NICU, said "We were delighted to take care of little Emilia who arrived at a low weight yet in very stable condition. Due to her premature birth, she required intensive and devoted care from the Neonatal Unit which she received with love. For me, the Skype calls with her parents in Germany were an integral part of our service and our care." "I took care of Emilia in slightly unusual manner because there was no one with her" says Angela. "I was like her mother. I would hug her, I would pick her up. I would talk to her and caress her. It was important to me for her not forget the feeling of human contact, it's a very important part of the treatment for preterm infants."
The parents returned to Israel this week, after a month of absence and very soon, sweet little Emilia who already weighs 2 kilos, will be released from the hospital and the happy family will return to Germany. "I would definitely like to keep in touch with them if they are interested," says Angela. “The grandmothers in Germany have already sent me a letter of thanks and good wishes.”