Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rumble in the Jungle

After visiting the NICU everyday for nearly six and a half weeks, we returned to the NICU for the first time in over eight months.

Emma was officially invited to the Clear Lake Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Reunion.

We got to visit with a few of the nurses that shared care of Emma including Alice, one of Emma's favorites.

We also got to visit momentarily with Dr. Bedhi and Dr. Patel.

As we were leaving we were fortunate enough to see familiar faces. During Ladybug's stay, we became "scrub buddies" (See side story below) with the parents of a little girl who was also born at 30 weeks around the same day as Ladybug. She weighed a little over three pounds and went home a few days before Ladybug. We refer to her as Ladybug's Butterfly or NICU sister.As Ladybug's Mom, I admit, the reunion was more uncomfortable than I thought. It was really weird to step back as if stepping back into time and see the hospital from a different perspective. In January, February, and March, I didn't have time to think of consequences or "what if's." In November, I do. I have said this before but it certainly bears repeating. We are blessed to have a constant reminder of the power and proof of miracles!

Side story: The security, privacy and safety of the NICU patients is VERY VERY IMPORTANT. To obtain entrance into the NICU, you would have to "buzz" the nurse/NICU receptionist. She (very few male nurses in NICU) would then check with the nurse assigned to to your child to see if you could enter. Once the secure doors were unlocked, you would step over to the washing basin or over to the lockers first to deposit materials that couldn't be taken into the NICU. If your baby was in level 3, you put on the hospital gown. Then you had a to grab a sterile sponge that contained sanitizing soap and scrub your entire hands including under your fingernails. You washed, you scrubbed, you rinsed, you scrubbed, you washed, and rinsed again. Absolutely no GERMS were allowed in the NICU without permission. Once your hand washing was complete you stepped over to another phone to dial the nurse/receptionist once again, who would then unlock the second set of secure doors. All this is written not as unpleasant reminder, but as part of the experience. This also reiterates, that as parents we did not know the names of the other babies nor parents. We only recognize the faces of those that shared the washing basin, or waited outside locked doors, or those that share a story with crossover to ours.

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