In the NICU at Akron Children’s Hospital, she was an “A.” That means she ate at 3, 6, 9, and 12. Every three hours she was assessed (temperature taken, heart, lungs, and ng placement checked, girth measured, diaper changed, etc.) and then fed.
Here at home we’ve kept this routine partly because her medicines coincide with these times, and partly because we’re even more conditioned to it than she is. Since the hospital is no longer home, we’ve made our home into a mini-hospital.
Before we brought Bekah home, we bought our own stethoscopes and had the nurses check them to make sure they worked. Since she was weighed at 9 every night, we bought our own baby scale so we could see if she was “up” or “down” at the end of every day.
I note our findings and observations after every assessment, and sometimes in between. We plan out our day ahead of time, making sure it is as predictable as possible. We’ve even created designated areas for all of our “hospital” things.
Our dining room table has become a weigh station. Our coffee table is a pharmacy. We perform procedures like ng insertion in the guest room because it is across the hall from a bathroom so we can be as clean as possible. We are still fairly dependent on her monitor. We don’t usually look at it, but knowing it’s there makes us feel better.
Although she can be disconnected from the monitor while we are with her, we’ve only unhooked her for bath time, and then only because we decided that electrocution would be worse than not seeing the monitor lights blink, but barely.
We’ve made ourselves into temporary nurses, and we plan everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) around her “A” schedule. I hope her kindergarten teacher doesn’t mind our kind of “A,” because we don’t plan to change for a while.
Read the rest of Sarah and Rebekah’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.