Monday, August 10, 2009

A Very Important Project

I have this problem, I can't throw fabric scraps away! Anything that is 1-1/2" or more in width, I think should be saved and used later. So I roll up strips, pile up squares and triangles and stoe them away in the closet. In reality, I generally have so many projects going on that I won't use those scraps and I will just keep adding to them. Then I was reading one of the many blogs that I keep up with, (did you see my list?) I'm pretty sure it was Make Life Sweet and here I came across The GracieJane Project. Barbara will be putting together little modern quilts and donating them to the NICU of her local hospital! Such a fabulous idea! My son was in the NICU after he was born and so this project touches me personally.

Below is my personal NICU experience:

My son was born at 42 weeks gestation, 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 19 inches long. He was healthy and full of color. (He was also born with his eyes wide open...a complete representation of his personality! ;). He never wants to miss a thing.)

The day we were supposed to be discharged however, his blood sugar was too low and his temperature was also too low. He had to stay and I had to go home. He was supposed to be given formula for the night and as long as his blood sugar was better in the AM, then I could bring him home. It was hard for me to leave the hospital without him, but I was exhausted and really needed rest. So I did it. I went home and slept a LOT. The next day I went to the hospital. I went to the nurses desk and said who I was, showed my special bracelet and asked to see my son. The nurse (a young, emotionally insensitive girl) said with all the attitude and lack of consideration a person could have, "That 'Baybee' was put in the NICU." (I don't know if I can get across the attitude and way she spoke to me by typing, but trust me, it was FULL of attitude. As though I should've known that something happened even though no one notified me. )

"Excuse, me?" I replied. Shaken and concerned. "Just a minute." She said [insert loud sighs and moans about having to move her hand to the phone because I'm such an inconvenience here]. Then she got on the phone and started talking under her breath. What I could make out didn't sound good. I was convinced that someone was going to take me aside and explain that my baby didn't make it. It was an awful feeling. Finally, a nicer nurse came and took me to the NICU.

Upon entering the NICU, I was surprised. The place was pretty peaceful. Lights were kept dim, some babies were in the little beds that all hospitals have, some were in incubators, some even had blind folds on. Of course, I took this all in after wards, because when I first got in there I was still in a bit of shock and concern. Someone took me to my baby. He was in an incubator with just a diaper on, an IV in his hand, and covered in sensors and wires. It was hard to take in all at once. I wanted to both hold him close and was petrified that I would lose him.

I first met Wanda. Who said they had tried to reach me but my phone number was entered into the system wrong when I was checked in to the hospital. We cleared that up and I had to sign some paperwork. Wanda left to get things in the system properly. A really sweet nurse, whose name I don't think I knew, came over to me (I was just standing outside the incubator very still, watching my sleeping baby), she said that he was in really good shape, that he really would be fine, he just seemed to need a little help. That was when I finally burst into tears.

It got better after that.

The NICU nurses were amazing. They were so comforting and willing to answer all my questions. I was really scared to leave my little guy the day I was checked out, before he was in the NICU. So I should've been more scared first seeing and then having to leave him in the NICU, but feeling how much these nurses cared about him, made me so much more at ease.

Wanda came back and showed me how to open the incubator. She let me change my sons diaper and hold him and feed him. He was so warm from the incubator and it was difficult to hold and feed him with all the tubes and wires. I found out that he was on an IV with antibiotics incase there was an infection. Newborns don't get fevers like us, instead when there is an infection their temperature drops. So the antibiotics were to keep anything worse from happening. Then there were monitor wires and oxygen sensor wires and so many other wires. It is really overwhelming to see such a little baby all hooked up to machines. I am so thankful that I had a great labor and easy delivery. If I hadn't, I don't think I would've held up in all the stress.

My little man spent 4 days in the NICU. When I finally got to bring him home I was really nervous that something would go wrong and I wouldn't know. I would check his temperature 30 times in the night and I would wake him up to eat because I didn't want his sugar to drop too low at any point. Of course, the day I took him home, I was told there wasn't anything to worry about because he had maintained both temperature and sugar for 24 hours. I worried anyway.

I saved everything from his NICU experience; bracelets, blankets, notecards with his name that the nurses and desk people made him. I can't tell you how nice it would have been to have a sweet little quilt made just for him. Trust me, every little bit of comfort for your little baby in the NICU is such a precious treasure. I want other moms to have something to bring home with them, so I am sending ALL my scraps to The Gracie Jane Project.

If you have scraps, I hope you go on over to Gracie Jane Project and send them some too!

Now to leave you with some pictures of my little man when he was in the NICU:




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