September is the Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness (NICA) Month, designed to honor families experiencing a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit and the health professionals who take care of them. The NICA Month is an initiative taken by the non-profit organisation Project Sweet Peas, who through personal experience have become passionate about providing support to families of premature or sick infants and to those who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss.
Why is it relevant to us? Because unfortunately we have been one of those families, and I am taking this opportunity to vent out the agony we have been through while our child was in there fighting alone. Although our NICU stay was just for 3 days but even for my worst enemy I would never wish to go through what we went through those 3 days.
I had an emergency C-section delivery; my baby came out with a healthy weight at 3.0 kgs but looked a little frail. I couldn’t feed him for two days but we didn’t quit trying and the third day we triumphed. Just when everyone got relieved and happy, the baby pooped. My mom went on to throw the diaper after giving it a good observation. And here started the trauma; the poop had 3 or 4 red streaks in it. She double checked with my husband, to which he said he saws these streaks in the other diaper which he threw a while back but ignored So what if again my husband was on to the diaper not mom?
My husband rushed to the nursing station got hold of one of the busy nurses, told her the problem, she said “it is fine, that is quite normal”. Husband came back told us what she said we were a bit relieved, but not my husband. After half an hour, one of the two pediatricians who do rounds for new-borns wards went by our room; the husband got hold of him and below is their conversation
Husband: “Sir, my son got blood streaks in his poop, is it normal?”
Doctor: “Who said it is normal?”
Husband: “She, pointing out to the nurse.”
Doctor: “What, are you mad? Is it normal?”
Nurse:” I thought it’s a baby girl”
Doctor: “Get the baby to the NICU right away”
It happened at 6:00 pm, the next few hours were filled with confusions, stories, presumptions, conclusions and again a, “what if my husband didn’t think to consult the doctor?”
TIP TO NEW MOMS “Always observe your baby’s poop, it is the only way to identify if your baby is healthy or not.”
Anyways the Doctor suspected stomach infection and decided to get a stool test done and kept the baby under observation in NICU. Also instructed not to feed the baby anything? This was definitely to avoid any infection to grow so best decision for baby but worsened our situation. If you are not a mother or never have ever seen a NICU (touchwood) let me tell you how it works. It is a highly sensitive area where many tiny little some crying some sleeping babies are kept in separate machines. Some on bedding with clothes, some without bedding and without clothes depending on the cure they need. Not everyone is allowed inside a NICU, only the allocated nursing staff and the timely visit by the parents, can depend on the hospital staff. The one where we resided had glass windows with curtains on always. The curtains were opened twice a day morning at 11:00 AM and evening at 6:00 PM, exactly at the time when paediatrician had rounds and would update the parents about the conditions of their babies. Only mothers who had to feed their babies were allowed every three hours.
I already mentioned that my son was not allowed to be fed until the test results came and required medication was started. Now imagine a sick, hungry baby crying alone from his family. A very disturbing site to watch at least for the mother of the baby and that was me. Those three days are vaguely blurred to me; I only remember instances here and there.
I have jotted down our three days struggle by each day into Part two of this post.
With this post I am taking my blog to the next level with BlogChatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.