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“Domm, I think my waters have broken”

Five weeks early, in the middle of the night, when we were due to have a bunch of work done on the house in the next week 

If I’d been more awake, a swear word might have crept into my head instead I felt like I was about to pass out. 

Having a premature baby, accompanied by an inherited blood disease, is the most emotional and stressful thing I have ever experienced.

Life can often feel out of control but having your baby rushed into neonatal intensive care (NICU) within hours of birth is one of those situations where things go up several notches.

Time spent gazing into an incubator, staring at a tiny baby covered in a sheet of plastic with wires sprouting from the remnants of their umbilical cord truly puts everything into perspective. 

Prior to the birth, I’d felt pretty frustrated at work. It was becoming increasingly difficult to promote design within the project; things were getting pushed through with little user consideration and accessibility continued to be perceived as something of a nuisance.

It’s funny how quickly this was all forgotten.

Since returning to work, it’s clear that the team have a respect for the role of design even if there remains work to do on bringing designers into the process at an earlier stage.

We’re all under pressure due to the long running nature of the project, as well as the continued intuitional fear of change. I’ve learned recently truly how important it is to communicate often and clearly – whether that is in work, at home or in the corridors of NICU.

So here’s to collaborating often, in the open and with the right people in the right conversations.