COVID19 And NICU « Just Me Against The World


COVID19 And NICU

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I’m smiling in this picture, but before it was taken I was really upset. Frustrated and upset. Because of COVID19, all of the hospitals had to take extra precautionary measures to keep everyone safe and understandably so. But I was tired and emotionally drained from all of the events leading up to Baby Skyler’s arrival and all of the regulations were keeping me from even holding my baby boy!

After the picture of Jingru and Skyler, they took him straight to NICU to put him on a breathing machine because they were worried that his lungs weren’t developed enough yet. They had me go up with them and then told me that I had to leave and come back later. He had feedings every 2 1/2 hours so I could go back and see him then. This is where things got tricky and confusing. I say confusing because the regulations change every day and nobody ever seems to know what’s going on.

Because of COVID19, they only allow one parent at a time to visit the baby in NICU. That’s why I said that his discharge picture is the first time we were able to be with him at the same time. Because Jingru just had surgery, we needed to call for a wheelchair so I could bring her down to NICU on the 6th floor. Her room was on the 7th floor. Getting in and out was already tough because they have lots of security measures to stop those weirdo baby snatchers. Like we’d have to be checked at the exit and buzzed out. When we got to NICU, we’d have to buzz in and show our wristbands then check in at the front desk to get checked and buzzed in again. They’d quickly tell us about the “one parent” rule and we’d say we knew and only one of us would be going in. Later on in the week, the wristband was faded and gross so I asked the nurse for a new one and she said “I can read it just fine.” Then I went back and a different nurse told me that my wristband was too faded so I needed a new one. ARGHH!

Twice, they allowed one of us to sit in the waiting area. Especially since Jingru was in a wheelchair and I had to push her. Then they changed it and told me that they never allowed people to sit there and I’d have to go back to the room to wait and they’d call me when Jingru was done and I could come down to pick her up. Not only have other nurses told me to wait there, I’ve seen other dads wait there. So I’d be like whatever and go back to the room. Which meant buzz out, go upstairs, buzz back in. If they remembered to call me, I’d have to do the whole song and dance to get back downstairs to wheel Jingru up then rush down again so I could see Skyler. If they forgot to call me then a nurse would bring her up and it would be too late for me to go down to see him.

Every time that I went to visit him, they would tell me that he’s sleeping and that I shouldn’t hold him because that would wake him up. I’m like OK but when can I hold him? They told me right after feeding time, but since Jingru just fed him that I would have to wait until the next one. Because they didn’t want to tire him out, they didn’t want parents to switch off during feeding time to hold him. I went down at 6:10pm and they told me that the nurses are changing shifts soon so I couldn’t go in. I’m like DUDE! How is this even possible?

Jingru didn’t realize they were being so strict on the rules so she thought I was just in a bad mood or something. That is until I explained to her the runaround that everyone kept giving me. Then she was like, no wonder you look so annoyed.

Finally, late the second night Jingru was like go down during feeding so you can hold Skyler. I think the nurse on duty saw that I was unhappy because she was super accommodating. She taught me how to feed him and set me up to hold him skin to skin. She even took a pic for me, which was really tough because they make you put your phone in a zip bag before you go into NICU. This was also confusing because some of the nurses wouldn’t say anything and the other nurses would straight scold you for not using the zip bag. Trust me, I get the need for safety precautions with COVID19. It can just all be overwhelming and confusing which all leads to frustration.

Get this, these are just the NICU regulations for COVID19. The hospital regulations are even more inconsistent so I’ll save that for another post. Baby Skyler is home with me now so I need to change his diaper or something.

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One Response to “COVID19 And NICU”

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