Friday, May 14, 2010


Baby ICU and incubators

The experience is quite stressful. You are though with the final sprint and hard work and you cannot hold your baby right away…They need special cares and it the best for our babies but it is hard. Nowadays the tendency is to let the parents have much more contact with their babies since its being proven that babies evolve much better, they gain weight and eventually the discharge is much sooner.
All the machines are intimidating all the procedures, which depend on the hospital, are also very frightening.
My baby was born in 37 of my pregnancy so technically he was not a premature baby. But his weight was also in the line, in fact this was the reason why doctors decided to induce labour since I was having an CIR. In other words,the placenta was no longer feeding my baby as it should. So, back to incubator, when he was born he was taken almost directly, after a very short greeting to the ICU, were he was put into one of the incubators.
After labour, and expulsing the placenta doctors checked everything was ok with me and gave just a couple stitches to the small epistomy they made. They finally let me go back to my empty room where I did not have my baby. My husband followed the baby and went into the ICU and spent some minutes with him and then came with me to my room. He told me that apparently everything was fine and that if I was going to be able to see him I should be prepared because I was going to be impressed.
Then the nurse came into my room and game another great news…”if you cannot walk to the ICU, you will not be able to see your baby until tomorrow” of course my legs were numb from the epidural and as you can imagine was very difficult, only an hour had gone by since giving birth. Strength came from within and I walked to the bathroom, and then I told the nurse I was ready to see my baby.
First a very hard hygiene protocol, putting on a sterilised robe, hat and sleepers, then you were allowed to go towards a sink were you had to clean your hands and arms with special soap and finally you were allowed to go to the place were babies were but first you would have to put on some alcohol gel on your hands. Yes, my husband was right; it is shocking to see your newborn with cables all over. You realize how tiny we are and that all that crap of how he will look like doesn’t really mean a darn thing.
The nurses in the ICU told me that I could hold my baby. So tiny, so helpless, holding your baby with all those cables around, with so many people around, with those electronic noises, is something I do not wish anyone to go though.
The time they allowed you to be with your son was of only 1 hour and a half. Nothing!
Of course this is something that depends exclusively on each hospital. Then they asked you to leave and they checked each baby and let them sleep.
So every three hours the same routine robe, hat, sleepers, hand wash, alcohol, baby, and out. If you do the calculation you can imagine you practically have no time for anything not even sleeping. I had my room right next to the ICU but there were some parents that came from home… obviously they did not come every three ours. These were cases of very premature babies that had to be hospitalized up to three or four months and the mothers were already discharged.
My breasts were about to explode I wanted to breastfeed my son and it was hard to do so in these conditions. Anyway I got a lot of help from the nurses in the ICU and with the aid of a breast pump I started doing so. The second day some of the cables from the machines connected to my baby were taken off and only left some others and we were able to dress our baby with some of his clothes. Until then he was wearing only his super tiny diapers.
Another unpleasant surprise came along the third day. The nurse said that since our baby had not pooped they would have to do a test to his stomach to see the reason for this. Again we were forbidden to hold him for a couple hours. Tears rolled down my face as I prayed for everything to be ok. Thanks God it was.
Three days had gone by and since I was ok the hospital wanted to discharge me again a new drama came along for us. I couldn’t even imagine going home without my baby. THAT WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION. The solution they gave me was either go to a hotel a couple blocks away or pay an extra for my stay at the hospital.
As everything developed fine we were allowed to give him a “bath” if you can call it that way. We washed his hair in a sink of the ICU. The rest of the days went by. First all cables were taken off then he was allowed to sleep in a normal cradle of the ICU. Finally one day the doctor

So my experience with the baby ICU and incubators lasted, thanks God, only a week.

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