Jesse and I did get a chance to take a tour of the NICU yesterday. Phoenix is large city with many hospitals but there are only 3 hospitals that have an intensive care NICU that takes the most premature babies. I'm so glad to know that this hospital is one of them and one of the best. What we learned is there are three sections that a baby can be in during his/her stay. The smallest most premature babies start out in the ICU part of the NICU where there 1 nurse to 2 babies or even a 1 to 1 ratio. Babies here are on ventilators and feeding tubes. They stay under the photo lights and require extra assistance all throughout their stay. They stay in issoletts. The parents can touch the babies through the sides of the issoletts and after the babies are stable the parents can hold the babies on their chest while they are still hooked up to all the monitors and ventilators. It is important for these babies to feel the skin to skin contact.
Once the babies start getting better at breathing, they are moved to the intermediate section. The babies there are off the ventilators but they may still need help with breathing now and again and may be given extra oxygen to help them breathe. These babies may or may not be feeding through the feeding tubes. Once the babies star breathing on their own and are nippeling effectively then they are moved to the last section.
The last section is where the babies are in their own open crib and can keep their temperature. These babies are eating every 3 hours and nippeling from the bottle or breast at this point. The babies are then released to go home.
We were able to visit a baby boy that was delivered at 27 weeks gestation and he weighed slightly less than 2 pounds. Now I have seen pictures of babies born that early but it was quite a shock to see how small he was. His limbs were barely twigs and he was all covered in wrinkles and hair. About 85% of babies born at this gestation survive, but I was shocked at how tiny and sick he looked. It was interesting to get a perspective on what our girls would look like if they were born now, but I really hope we have another good 8-10 weeks out of this pregnancy.
As of Monday, I have 1 more week left in the hospital and my contractions have really slowed down to just a few a day. I'm confident that the medication is doing its job and now I just have to do my job at home. Sara will be moving in next weekend and she will be able to get things around the house for me so I can concentrate on staying in bed or on the couch and baking my girls.
All I can say is that this next week cannot pass quick enough. I am really getting sick of this bed and the 4 walls that I stare at each day. I know many other women who have stayed longer than I have and I have to admire their ability to do it each day. I'm already going a little crazy and my hormones get the best of me now and again. I have cried about the smallest things while just getting out of my room on a wheelchair ride can lift my spirits 100% for the moment. If I could only have the night nurses, I would probably be doing better, but the day nurses are not friendly people and they can add to my mood.
Okay rant over.....more to come later in the week.
18 months in review
1 month ago