February 24, 2009

Touring the NICU

As some of you know, on Saturday we got the chance to tour the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit here at the hospital. Since we got the vibe that our babies were coming sooner rather than later, and they will most likely be born here, we thought it might be a good idea to familiarize ourselves with the unit.

We had the opportunity to see the different types of beds that they have, from the enclosed isolettes that are used for the smallest babies, to the larger beds that are more open (although can be closed if needed) for the larger babies. We saw the different types of breathing aids that they have from ventilation tubes to the little canulas that go in their nostrils. They explained how the babies move from the far back (the smallest, most sick) to the front of the unit (almost ready to go home). We found out about how the staffing works, visitation hours, everything we could have wanted. It was very comforting to have the opportunity to see where we will most likely be spending a fair amount of time when they are born (although with every day they stay in, our time in the NICU likely gets shorter).

The most reassuring part was that, becuase our babies are already so old, they will most likely need the most graduated of aids, if any. For example, they will most likely start out in the biggest beds, and if they need any breathing assistance, it will most likely be the little things in the nostrils, and they will most likely start out closer to the front of the unit. Not only that, but we discovered that our babies (who are both well on their way to being well over 4 lbs.) weigh more than any of the babies there (they thought their largest was probably 3 1/2 lbs...ours will be giants!), and will probably be some of the oldest in the unit. In terms of premies, our babies are in a good spot!

There were moments, for me, that were almost overwhelming. Partly because, for the first time I could actually picture us there. The babies suddenly became so much more real to me when I got to see a realistic picture of us after their arrival. And that is a lot for a hormonal mother! Also, hearing that our babies would be among the oldest and the biggest (the youngest baby they ever had there that they were able to keep alive was born at 23 weeks!) was reassuring for me, but I couldn't help but feel for the families (a few of whom we saw there). All of the various "if your babies are born within the next 48 hours" talks we heard came back to me, and while our babies were in the clear for almost everything in those talks, most of the babies there weren't. I remembered the emotions that I felt hearing about the complications, and how I imagined dealing with them to prepare myself, and knew that the families of the babies there were living what I only had to imagine. I felt so strongly for those families, that it was hard not to cry. No matter what we've been through, our babies have made it a long way, and we have such a better prognosis than we originally did, but I remember how devastated we were originally and that is the reality in which these families are living. I'm sure, when you are thinking about and praying for us, they would appreciate a quick prayer as well.

As for updates...not much is happening. Everything is status quo. These babies suddenly seem to want to stay in forever...the doctors are starting to talk about 35 weeks! Meanwhile, everyone is enjoying putting their guesses in for the dates. Logan has Feb. 27, Lucas' mom has March 4th, I picked the 5th, Rebecca (my boss) picked the 6th, my mom has the 7th, and Lucas' dad has the 8th...so feel free to put in your guesses! There is no official prize for the winner - except for the satisfaction of being right!


Anonymous said...

Kim, we prayed for everyone you mentioned at Bible Study last night. All of those babies in the unit. And the families. Love reading your blogs...keep them coming. Hugs!! Denise

Lauren and Jeff said...

I still hold onto my vote for March from a few weeks ago. I guess I'll take March 11 since I remain an eteranal optimist! Logan is clearly the pessimist of the bunch, huh?!

Lauren and Jeff said...

Oops - edit that to say "eternal" optimist. At least it's a humorous typo!