Little Baby- Big Room
Written by: Lauretta Zurcher
If you have not read the previous parts of Lauretta's story you can find them here...
Because our baby had been out in the “real world,” he could be carrying germs which would be infectious to other preemies in the NICU. Therefore, he was admitted to Pediatric Intensive Care. Here was this little guy hooked up to monitors of all sorts, in an incubator that looked way too big for him, situated in the center of a large room – all by himself! Seeing him this way made me feel worse than when he was in the NICU. At least there he was joined by other babies and staff members who were constantly moving about the area.
I found myself praying a lot those first few hours. UNEXPECTEDLY this little part of us was in serious trouble, and we were helpless to “fix” him. Thank God for a very perceptive doctor who knew immediately the best treatment for our baby. We would make many more trips to see this specialist in preemie care. I’ll never forget that when our son was “out of the woods,” the doctor looked at us and said, “This time he will not be going home until he’s good enough to not have to come back!” Those were promising and comforting words, but we had no clear picture of what that actually meant.
AMAZINGLY once on the proper medication, our son thrived. The extra fluid in his little body dissipated and he gained weight! Having a baby in the hospital is a thoroughly frightening experience, but it also meant that trained and qualified people were taking good care of him, and I could continue to rest and heal- (well, maybe not emotionally!) Frequent phone calls and frequent trips to the hospital were exhausting, but we wanted to do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to provide for the safety and well being of our child!
Our neo-natal specialist was right- on with his prognosis. The baby was released from not just pediatric intensive care but also the hospital once he reached 6 pounds 4 ounces. This time we exited with certain medications to control fluid retention and regulate heart rate. He seemed so grown up and LARGE at just 6 pounds!
I remember shopping for sleepers and actually ANYTHING that would fit our little man. Newborn sizes were too big, and Preemie clothing was a limited option. Someone suggested that I use my daughter’s Cabbage Patch doll clothes! They might have fit, but our little guy wasn’t nearly as chubby as his sister’s dolls!
Once home “for good,” we next had to make appointments for regular well-baby care. Added to that was one nerve wracking appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist. We needed to confirm that baby’s eyesight was not comprised from his days on oxygen while incubated. Everything checked out just fine – thank God, AGAIN! There were other things we needed to watch for, as preemies tend to have several complications. We were praising Jesus for our little miracle and praying he would continue to develop and grow. He remained on a monitor and required frequent feedings…quite UNEXPECTEDLY, my husband abandoned his comfy bed and lodged out on the couch night after night to handle the nighttime feedings!!! What a guy. He claims that Daddy and baby bonded while watching late night baseball games and ESPN!
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