Life as an Itty Bitty (by Casey Miramontes, 11936)

carissaIntroduction

Being pregnant is one of the happiest times of someone’s life. They are bringing a beautiful life into the world. Weather it is for the very first time and making them a first time parent or the second, third, or fourth time bring a child into the world it is still beautiful and a happy time. What people don’t think about is what will happen if my baby comes earlier than planned? What will happen if my baby isn’t developed enough to go home from the hospital right away like we are planning? There are several things that can be factored into why a baby may need to stay long in the hospital before going home. They could have been born premature, they could be jaundice or they could just not have developed enough lungs to be able to breathe on their own. What parents tend to not consider is the fact that this may happen. I know I didn’t think it would happen to me or my unborn baby but it did. I went into labor five weeks early and delivered an underdeveloped baby boy that had to be transferred hospitals and have an extended stay in the NICU. This leads me to the question: What can I expect having a baby in the NICU?

How to Get Informed: Read These Resources

  1. Colella-Santos, Maria Francisca, et al. “Newborn Hearing Screening And Early Diagnostic In The NICU.” Biomed Research International (2014): 1-11. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

This article talks about how babies that stay in the NICU have a higher chance of having hearing loss compared to those babies who were born at full term and did not need an extended stay in the hospital. The hearing screen helps doctors determine if there is hearing loss or if that baby is more likely to develop hearing loss. Doctors did the hearing screens on babies that stayed in the NICU for longer than 48 hours as they were more likely to have hearing problems.

  1. Kenney-Lau, Mildred M. “A Guide For Supporting NICU Graduates And Their Families In Early Development.” Pediatric Nursing1 (2014): 47-46. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

This book is used to explain to parents what they can expect once their baby graduates from the NICU. It goes over the basic care guidelines and also what to expect developmentally because NICU babies develop at a different rate than babies that were born full term. The book also goes over real life cases of babies and has quotes from the parents of those babies.

  1. Wigert, Helena, Michaela Dellenmark Blom, and Kristina Bry. “Parents? experiences of communication with neonatal intensive-care unit staff: an interview study.” BMC Pediatrics 14 (2014): 3. Academic OneFile. Web. 6 Mar. 2015. Wigert, Helena, Michaela Dellenmark Blom, and Kristina Bry. “Parents? experiences of communication with neonatal intensive-care unit staff: an interview study.” BMC Pediatrics 14 (2014): 3. Academic OneFile. Web. 3 Mar. 2015.

This article gives lots of background information how what to expect communication wise from the nurses and doctors in the NICU. They interview some parents about their experience of communications with the nurses and doctors. Also talked about in this article is how much stress it is on a parent to have a baby in the NICU. It is stressful because the parents don’t get to stay there all the time with their baby so good communication between them and the nurses and doctors are even more important.

How to Get Involved

As a community everything is better when we work together. If you are wanting to get involved one thing I would recommend is calling a local hospital or community service place and finding out what they need help with. My middle child, my oldest son, was born five weeks early and needed to stay in the NICU for 10 days before he could go home with us. His lungs were not developed all the way and he needed a little extra help breathing to start off with. While he was staying there all of the tiny babies were stuck wearing newborn size hats because the hospital did not have small enough ones for the premature babies. All of the babies were swimming in the hats that the hospital provided for them. With this in mind I put my hobby of crocheting and knitting to work by crocheting small enough hats for the babies that were staying in the NICU. I am wanting to make a few more hats before I go drop off the hats I have made for them. All of this making of hats has made me feel extremely lucky to be able to provide several babies that haven’t had a good start to life with something that is truly their own.

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4 comments

  1. Andrea

    The project that we chose as a family was to make fleece tie blankets for children in the hospital. I wanted to make a special blanket for a little girl who underwent a heart transplant within a few weeks of birth. My 6 year old and I chose a special heart print for Addy the “heart baby”. She has along stay in the NICU ahead of her. I also sent a blanket to a friend of a friend. I was told that this lady could use a special pick me up after the long road she’d had. She had placenta complications and deliver a few months early. It just worked out that we sent a few of our blankets to babies! This resonates with me because it has to be among an expecting mother’s worst fears. Being the mother of 3, I understand this fear. My nephew was also born at 32 weeks gestation. He had quite a long stay at the Randall Childrens Hospital NICU unit. I hope that your itty bitty turned out to be okay!

  2. Mike Murray

    Hi Casey! Thank for choosing such an important subject. Having a baby is so stressful for so many reasons and many parents to be probably try not to consider this scenario, hoping to avoid it. As you stated though, “it may happen”. So it is critical to be prepared on some level for unfortunate situations like this. I’m sure that even a small amount of preparedness can ease a parents concerns should they find themselves in a predicament like the NICU.
    I would have liked to have seen more of the “what” I could expect in your post. Especially in terms of communication with doctors and nursing staff as these can be very frustrating as a new parent. You actually went through this ordeal and it would have been nice had you shared more of your experience, good and bad. Awesome topic and some good references for the reader to look into!

  3. Aryanna Abercrombie

    Hey Casey!

    I absolutely loved your introduction. Thought it was abosolutely flawless. It had nice flow, and the use of questions do a good job of bringing the reader in. Then, tying the topic back to you was also a win! I felt like that just deepened the topic you were discussing because of your connection. And the fluidity of the paper really continued throughout. I felt like the flow and voice of the paper was overall just awesome!

    What I think couldv’e made your piece stronger was maybe writing more of a body. I think the sources you have look great, but besides listing them as resources, you don’t mention them. A lot of people aren’t going to want to take the time to pull up the source and read it themselves. So, if you were to highlight some of those source’s key points in your writing, I think it would help to better get the point and research across to the audience.

    Overall though, good job!

    Good luck with your finals!

    Aryanna

  4. Julia Taylor

    Casey,
    I have been so interested in your topic this whole term. I am so happy you stuck with it and have created so many beautiful hats. (The one with the little bow is adorable!)
    Were you able to stay with your son those ten days or did they only allow visiting hours? It’s funny how fast everything happens and also how time seems to stand still while experiencing these life events.
    I would have loved some more info on how to get involved, or even a list of things that people can do in order to help NICU babies, (and their families) Some local links that accept volunteers, or since you experienced it first hand, maybe even some inside pointers on what a family in those situations would need or could use.
    Thank you for giving your time and your great talent to this project! Those babies are so very lucky!!!!
    ~Julia

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