New Year Wish

Monday, April 4, 2011

March for Babies Monday: The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

or the NICU for short.  This is a place in the hospital that I never dreamed we would ever visit or call home for 31 days.  It is unlike any other place we have ever been...

The tiniest babies you will ever see that are hooked up to several machines to keep them alive.

The tired and exhausted parents who sit for hours upon hours with their babies hoping and praying that they will be able to bring them home.

The wonderful and caring nurses and doctors who work around the clock caring for these tiny miracles.

We were blessed to have such a positive NICU experience and an extremely healthy 30 weeker.  Brendan had absolutely no setbacks in the NICU.  He required no oxygen.  He experienced zero apnea spells and had no drops in his heart rate.  His only job was to learn how to eat and gain weight.  His time in the NICU was so short compared to many preemies.  We were given an estimate of 6-10 weeks and he was there 4.  He was a true miracle preemie.  A superbaby as my sister called him.

I spent many hours in the NICU after Brendan was born.  I would sit in the same chair for hours and hours and look out the window.  I would hold him and care for him.  Every three hours I would change his diaper, take his temperature, and feed him.  The nurses always told me they loved when we were there because we made their job so much easier.  We knew what to do and when to do it.  This was the only way we could care for our baby.  I would rush to get to the hospital every morning so I could feed him and get him dressed for the day and then stay until about 7pm when the shift change would begin.  The walk out of the NICU at the end of the day was the hardest for me.  I think I cried every night I had to leave my baby at the hospital and then drive 30 minutes home.  It felt like he was a million miles away. 
My chair
How we spent our days.

Jason only got to see his baby for a few hours a day and at one point was sick with a fever and was unable to visit for a week.  During that time he got our apartment ready to bring Brendan home and excitedly told me that he had his high chair all set up for him.  I told our favorite nurse after I got of the phone with him and I'll never forget what she said,
"He's missing his baby and putting together all of his things are his way of helping Brendan right now."

I had never thought of it like that and thought it was funny that he was putting something together he wouldn't need for months and months.  She helped me realize that since Jason couldn't be there for Brendan physically he could at least have his home ready for him once he left the NICU.

Brendan had so many visitors while he was in the hospital and they had a wonderful visitor policy.  As long as you were healthy you were able to visit.  It was also nice when my cousins, a friend, or my aunt would come visit for the day so I would have someone to talk to while I sat with Brendan.  I think we were all blessed to have dealt with this situation.  It most definitely shows you what is important in life and how precious it is.

March for Babies: Brendan Paul

The March of Dimes has some incredible information about being a parent in the NICU.  Check it out.

The NICU experience

In the NICU

1 comment:

katie said...

I remember holding him when he was that tiny! It is so incredible and such a blessing to watch him run around and enjoy life the way he does! He is truly a miracle!