Siyana…a little girl, born on the eve of the most magical of all Christian holidays – Christmas. Mummy Iva and daddy Vasil already have two older children and are looking forward to their third being born in the end of February this year, but…the baby decides to surprise them by arriving earlier.
On Christmas Eve, a little fighter is born into the world, weighing just over three pounds – Siyana. Placed in the Department of Neonatology of the University Multi-profile Hospital for Active Treatment “Plovdiv”, under the watchful eye of Dr. Diana Argirova, the tiny Siyana fights for her life for 40 days. She is given strength by mummy Iva, who is there with her little hero every day. However, Iva is at the end of her tether, overwhelmed by her emotions and fears, which only a mother who has been confronted with the same situation can understand. Her husband – abandoned by his mother as a child and raised by his grandmother and grandfather – struggles with self-doubt and insecurity, which leaves him reeling with guilt. He is seldom at home, does not come back until late in the night so that he won’t have to see Iva’s face while she’s crying… from helplessness. The fear of losing their child, rather than bringing them together, tears them apart. Entrapped by their chaotic thoughts and consumed by their own fears, in their powerlessness, they make an emotional decision – to abandon Siyana…
They announce their decision to the doctors in the Department of Neonatology who are taking care of Siyana and with whom we from the Community Support Centre “For Children and Parents” cooperate in translating our mission – not to allow a single child to be separated from its family – into reality.
When we learnt about the risk at which Siyana found herself, we immediately sought to make contact with the family. The case was entrusted to Stela Alexandrova, social worker, and Mariyana Kostadinova, manager of the team “Social Work”. Whom our specialists met and spoke with were two insecure and confused parents – the mother was in postnatal depression and the father was at a loss as to how to help her. From the onset of the conversation, it became clear that their decision to abandon their child was in actuality an emotional one – that they did not want to leave their baby but were simply afraid. “Siyana was born early, we are not ready to take care of her, what if she has disabilities and I am not capable of looking after her…”, Iva shared her fears with us. A myriad of questions whose answers we began to seek. And we did find answers and solutions.
Over the course of the next 30 days, our team remained by Iva and Vasil’s side. We helped them begin to feel more sure of themselves and maintained close contact with the experts who were taking care of our little fighter so that she could leave the Department of Neonatology healthy and come home to mummy, daddy and her two older sisters. We supported the family emotionally and materially: we provided them with a baby bed and a newborn baby set – clothes, towels, a baby bathing tub, skin care products, bottles, a dummy, etc. We also provided adapted milk for premature babies so that the little girl could gain weight and overcome the need to be given enzymes to support the work of her digestive organs.
We were by their side on the day when Siyana was released from the hospital: she was the very picture of a Grim Brothers’ heroine – “Hair as black as ebony, skin as white as snow, and lips as red as blood” – and weighed almost 5.3 pounds.
We continued to support the family and the development of the child. Together with Dr. Argirova, we will monitor the little girl’s growth and state of health until she becomes a year old and, if necessary, she will benefit from the rehabilitation therapy offered by the kinesitherapist who works at our Centre, Hristo Spasov.
With the help of the American nonprofit organization “Rays of Hope for Bulgaria”, which supports children in need, we provided the family with a baby stroller, a feeding chair, and a baby walker.
As of today, Siyana is a seven-month-old baby girl who is just like all other babies her age – smiley, happy to be with her mummy, daddy and two sisters. We continue to be there for them because we believe that every child deserves to live in a secure family environment and to have its chance to reach its full potential.
From January this year until now, thanks to the coordinated efforts of our team at the Community Support Centre ‘For Children and Parents’ and the teams of 3 hospitals in Plovdiv, 9 children were saved from being abandoned and are now living and growing surrounded by the love of their birth mum and dad.