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A Day in the Life of Emily 5 - The Special Care Nursery and Babies with Special Needs
After the first 24 hours in the Intensive Care Unit, our baby was brought to the Special Care Nursery. She had been born severely underweight, a mere 1800 grams. With a very real chance of her having a chromosome abnormality and a heart defect, the doctors were doing everything in their power to monitor her condition and keep her stable.
Learning the Rules of the Special Care Nursery
Before anyone was allowed to enter the Special Care nursery, there was a set of rules set up with hygiene in mind. The protection of newborns with special needs, was uppermost in everyone's minds. Whether babies were premature or beset with a myriad of other life threatening conditions, everyone followed the rules - without fail.
It was amazing to see ordinary people following extraordinary procedures for the sake of keeping germs outside this sterile area. Among the things to consider was removing jewellery that could easily scratch baby's delicate skin. We soon learned that rings, watches and bracelets were better left at home. Anyone showing signs of a cold, flu or stomach bug are asked not to visit. The risks are simply not worth it. For some babies, depending on their condition, it is imperative to wear a mask. All clothing must be covered with sterile gowns.
Information for Parents
- Example of a Special Care Nursery
Special Care Nurseries looking after babies with special needs have strict rules. The experience can be intimidating but anyone who visits a baby in this unit need not be alarmed.
Preparing for the Special Care Nursery
We had known before our baby was born she may well have to spend some time in the Special Care Nursery and had been given the guided tour a month earlier and again two weeks later. But nothing truly prepared us for those first moments. Seeing so many babies with special needs, totally reliant on machines and the people who work tirelessly to monitor their every breath was at once wonderful and shocking. There were tiny babes born prematurely, others with heart defects or perhaps a bout of jaundice, and all were fighting for their lives.
Tucked away in the back corner of the room was our little girl. I could see her chest rise and fall as she lay spread out in her humidi-crib. Wires and tubes led from her body to machines at the side of her crib. But she looked peaceful. Her breathing was laboured but constant and her skin had that healthy glow of all newborn babes.
She's No Turnip - For Emily
Emily's story is now in book form available at Amazon. I am so pleased to see her smiling face across the internet and around the world. Thank you to all who have supported me in telling her story. Karen Wilton
Finding the Right Name
Even though we had made some tough decisions through the course of the pregnancy, now our baby daughter was born, it would seem the hardest decision was giving her a name. We had picked out a name for each gender but now she was here, Georgina didn't seem to fit. No-one remembers who thought of the name Emily but everyone agreed the name suited her perfectly.
The nurse on duty that morning took great delight in writing up the card with Emily's name and setting it up at the end of her crib. Now the world would know this tiny bundle of joy was Emily, my beautiful baby girl. She had a place in our hearts as 'our baby' for eight months throughout the pregnancy. Now she would have a place in everyone's mind as friends and family could call her by name. It was a wonderful feeling to present Emily to the world.
Having a baby in the Special Care Nursery could have been a frightening and intimidating experience. Thanks to the expertise of the staff the days were filled with warmth and caring, not only for Emily but for us as parents, family members and friends. I will be eternally grateful for their dedication.
- A Day in the Life of Emily 1 - The Pregnancy
Follow the pregnancy of a woman as she unfolds the dilemnas, risks and uncertainties of being pregnant in her forties. From first trimester to final trimester she is faced with the possibilites of having a baby born with chromosome abnormalities.
- A Day in the Life of Emily 2 - Choices - Abortion or the Gift of Life
The eleven week ultrasound can give an indication of any chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus. If the test is positive a woman may be faced with the choice of terminating the pregnancy. One mother shares her turmoil on being given this news.
- A Day in the Life of Emily 3 - The Birth Day - Natural Delivery or Caesarean
Women have been giving birth naturally since time began but when the life of baby or mother is threatened, an emergency Caesarean Secion might have to be performed.
- A Day in the Life of Emily 4 - The Intensive Care Unit
The Intensive Care Unit of any hospital is at once frightening and a place where miracles happen. Our baby was born against the odds but through the dedication of the staff of the neo-natal intensive care she had a good chance of survival.
- A Day in the Life of Emily 5 - The Special Care Nursery and Babies with Special Needs
It can be heartwrenching for any parent having to visit their newborn baby in the Special Care Nursery but the staff make the experience less frightening. Their expertise is in looking after babies with special needs.
- A Day in the Life of Emily 6 - The Diagnosis, not Down Syndrome
Following a pregnancy fraught with every possibility of having a baby born with a chromosomal abnormality, the diagnosis has finally arrived. The good news; our baby does not have down Syndrome – the bad news is something much worse. Edwards Syndrome
© 2011 Karen Wilton