Our stay in neonatal intensive care unit

September is NICU Awareness Month

September is a special month for me because September is NICU Awareness month. NICU is an acronym for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and my son, husband and I spent the first 3.5 weeks of my son’s life living in one.

My husband and I struggled for years with infertility and tried everything to add a little bundle of joy to our family. We tried for six years to have a child of our own and when that didn’t play out the way we had planned my husband and I decided to adopt. When we crossed the 10-year mark and still were no closer to having a child we were resigned to the fact we may never have children. Then our miracle happened and I discovered I was expecting. Fast forward nine months and we were headed to the hospital. While I was in labour the doctor said something was wrong and I was rushed in for an emergency cesarean.

My son came out a dark blue colour and wasn’t breathing. I didn’t know what was happening and then my son and husband were rushed from the operating room and into the NICU. When they wheeled me in to see my baby he was hooked up to numerous tubes and machines and was surrounded by some of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever met. We were informed my son had a rare and serious bacterial infection. My husband and I moved our stuff into a NICU room and settled in for an undetermined amount of time. The next 3.5 weeks were the most stressful of my life but it gave me insight into how important our NICUs are.

A NICU is comprised of many individuals and I had assumed they were there to give care to sick and premature babies but I learned first hand they do so much more. Not only did they care for my son, they cared for my husband and I as well. There was always someone checking to see if I was okay or offering words of comfort. As the weeks went on my son became stronger and I discovered I could also offer words of comfort to new families entering the unit. We spent our first Halloween in the hospital and one of the nurses and her children had made all the babies in the unit little Halloween costumes. They made a horrible situation seem a little brighter.

When my son really started improving we were moved into a private family room. We were then able to be part of a program called Cuddle Buddies. This is a program where people can volunteer to go into the NICU and cuddle the babies. One day a woman who resembled a grandmother knocked on our door, she explained who she was and asked if she could sit and rock my son, she said I could have a shower or get a coffee. I told her all I wanted to do was lay down and take a nap. She came over and gave me the most sincere, warm and calming hug I have ever received. She then scooped up my son, sat in the rocking chair and as she rocked him she hummed and sang to him. I was able to drift off to the sound of someone’s grandma singing lullaby’s. It was the most peaceful and deep sleep I had in weeks.

Soon after we were released and able to leave the hospital. I wanted to be able to thank everyone who had gone above and beyond for us but we couldn’t. I mentioned this to the nurse who was filling out our release papers and she said no one does this for the accolades; they do this because they truly care for the families and the babies. She said every baby they get to release and send home is a “thank you.”

So this September please take a moment recognize all the wonderful people and volunteers who make up our local NICU Units and all they do to bring hope and caring into the darkest hours of a families lives.

Christina Komives is sales manager for The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Team Alberta adds nine medals on day two of competition at Canada Winter Games

Team Alberta had a solid day at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

PHOTOS: Canada Games action from the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Wheelchair basketball, short-track speedskating draw large crowds

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

Most Read