FOR most mothers, giving birth is followed by endless cuddles, finger-clutching and bonding time with their new arrivals.
But when Elmaz Korimbocus gave birth on June 1 last year, daughter Soraiya was immediately whisked away to a specialist ward, leaving Elmaz sick with worry.
Born six weeks prematurely, Soraiya needed urgent help to beat respiratory distress syndrome caused by underdeveloped lungs.
Elmaz, 29, told the Advertiser: "I quite honestly think it is one of the worst things anyone can go through. You build up to giving birth and holding your baby.
"But I had a second to hold her and they had to take her away.
"The staff then took a picture of her which they gave to me so I could have have a photograph of her."
Tiny Soraiya finally came home about three weeks later and, nearly a year on, is now doing well, freeing up some of her mother's attention for a new mission.
The single mother, currently living with her parents in Norbury, says there is too little information readily available for parents of premature babies – something she hopes to help change.
She will be taking part in a sponsored buggy push later this month in aid of premature baby charity Bliss, who provided vital help during her stay at Croydon University Hospital.
Elmaz, a diagnostic radiographer at Broomfield Hospital, Essex, said: "The emotional support needs to be there for anybody with a premature baby.
"It is a very difficult thing to go through and there is not that much information out there – you are left not knowing anything.
"You see this tube and that tube, but you are not given the explanation of what they are for.
"When I had Soraiya, nothing was prepared at all. I had clothes, but they were all for zero to three months, and she was too small. It was a big rush."
The first few weeks were especially agonising as Soraiya's breathing problems worsened.
Elmaz said: "She was doing well for a while and they said she was not that bad and was quite a good size for her gestation age.
"But one morning I walked in and I could see the grave faces on the doctors and the nurses and I could tell straight away something was wrong.
"It was almost a miracle. Just a week from almost dying to then saying she could come home the week after."
Elmaz is hoping to push a double buggy 5km around Regent's Park on May 25 for Bliss, holding both Soraiya and her son Zakariya, 2.
"Bliss invests a lot into research about the effects of being premature," she added.
"My daughter was actually quite lucky in terms of what I saw other babies go through on the ward."
To sponsor Elmaz, visit www.justgiving.com/Elmaz-Korimbocus