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Premature births: “I still don’t feel like I’m really grown up today”

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Premature births: “I still don’t feel like I’m really grown up today”

Laura was born three months early and survived. Unlike three of her siblings before. How a premature birth shapes your life. Mother and daughter talking

Mother and daughter today, 36 years after the premature birth © Bettina Theuerkauf for ZEIT ONLINE

This article is part of ZEIT am Wochenend, issue 07/2024.

Laura weighed 820 grams when she was born at Kiel University Hospital in January 1988 – in the 29th week, almost three months early. It was not a given that she would survive without lasting damage. Nevertheless, the early birth shaped the lives of Laura and her mother Anke Stolte-Edel. Today, 36 years later, the two of them open the door of a small brick house in Kiel’s northeast. On the living room table lie photo albums and a self-knitted sock so small that it could warm a thumb – or the foot of a premature baby.

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