for our little miracles & parents.
If your baby is born prematurely, your world is turned upside down. When this is before 37 weeks of pregnancy, a baby is premature. A premature baby is very vulnerable, often has to stay in hospital for weeks to months and has an increased risk of various health problems. To say that this is a tough time for the baby, the parents and the environment is an understatement. But what this really does to you can only be imagined if it happens to you.
Between hope and fear
Unfortunately, Rinske Douna knows all about this. Her waters ruptured after 27 weeks of pregnancy. Finally, after 29 weeks and 4 days, her beautiful son Tigo was born, a miracle. He was 37 centimeters and 1200 grams. A small vulnerable child that had to develop further outside the safe womb of its mother. A difficult period in which hope and fear really took on meaning.
Rinske: “Due to pandemic restrictions in the hospital, which were right not to endanger our child, we were unable to share our greatest wealth with our environment. That was also extremely difficult for us. This was only possible when we got home. after 9 weeks in hospital.”
“We therefore had a special doll made to show others how small Tigo came into the world. Because understanding what it is like to be able to pick up your baby only once a day, because otherwise it costs him too much energy, can’t be explained.”, says Rinske. Tigo is now almost 5 months old and fortunately is doing better than expected.
Rinske is originally an artist and the intense period after Tigo’s birth inspired her to set up the Miracle Life Project. A series of artworks in which she shares her personal story with the world. But she doesn’t just do this for herself. Even more important is the deeper meaning that she gives in her works, for the parents who experience the same with their beautiful premature children. They are works with emotion, works of recognition.
Miracle Life Project
The name of the project, Miracle Life, was of course not chosen randomly. The premature babies are literally miracles, fighters, little miracles. A smile, a sense of support. That is so important every day that you have to leave your baby in the hospital again, with all the emotions and worries that come with it.
The Miracle Life Project consists of 15 artworks in total (based on 5 phases experienced by Rinske) and hundreds of prints. These prints are made from the original artwork and are distributed in the hospital’s neonatology and NICU. The works are especially aimed at the very young babies; to watch and to find distractions. When babies start to develop their sight, they only see contrasts, shadows and preferably simple shapes. The first artwork in the series is based on this.
The circle is complete
The first work of art has as subject ‘The circle is complete’. Rinske Douna literally wipes all her emotions on the canvas in this work. As a closing and processing of her own period. But also as hope and recognition for the parents who are still in the middle of this situation. Rinske: “Eventually there is a feeling that the circle has come full circle, although it still feels far away. There comes a realization that it is good for you to be together, as a family. That your beautiful baby has come into the world is the beginning of an immense adventure. And as hard as it is, it is so important to realize what a miracle your baby is.”