Parent 2 Parent Stories from NICU Parent
Shante: My name is Shante and we are having our another episode of parent to parent stories from the NICU unit.
Hello and welcome to Parent 2 Parent. Today we have with us Mahesh and he is going to give us a glimpse of his experience in the NICU Unit. Hello Mahesh.
Mahesh:Hello shante how are you doing?
I am doing good.
Shante:Erm you had a little one back in October 2012, do you care to tell us about that experience?
Mahesh:Not a problem at all.
Shante:OK. Would you tell us how you and your wife ended up in the NICU Unit.
Mahesh:Sure. So basically Suhasini was born on October 28 2012 and within I think a day or two in the hospital after delivery, after her birth she was diagnosed with very low blood sugar and that could have been because of the mother’s gestational diabetes diagnosis. So all the hospital, a doctor analysis, diagnosis was to get admitted to the NICU so that they could monitor or regulate her blood sugars. So primarily they put Suhasini in the NICU and within like a day of her delivery or a day of her birth and we were there for about five days.
Shante: Oh wow.
Mahesh: Five days yes. And the experience was because this was our first time we were not prepared for it. They had showed us the process, they kept us informed what was on going. The only difficult part was to see the newborn with all the probes and all the IV sticking out of her but they were pretty comfortable. They were keeping us assured that nothing unusual. And so we had gradually gotten used to it and by the second day, third day and she was able to react to the medication. Not necessarily medication but they were regulating her insulin I guess. I think day four they pretty much decided to take her off in a day or two. Looking back I think it was reasonably not too much a harrowing experience five-day stay for her.
Shante:That’s not a long time period. While you were there what would you consider one of your scary or most traumatic moments I would guess. One of those moments when your heart go like, OK I’m not happy at the moment.
Mahesh:OK, sure. So on day two, so the procedure in the NICU what we figured was they were doing one test after another. So the initial few tests we were quite comfortable, we were like ok this is part of the process. But then, I think at day three they mentioned, I think that she was having low potassium or high potassium levels and they suspected it could be the heart. So the only harrowing experience we had was that time, OK this is more than just the sugar. But the side effect of it was it was just another routine test and it was one more false positive so to speak. So I would say that was my, if I can look back that was the most harrowing experience. OK we are now going from one stage to another stage, is it going from one diagnosis to another diagnosis. And the most harrowing part was waiting for results to come back, where they would come and do tests and say wait for eight hours or wait for 12 hours. Because it would take that much time to do a diagnosis and an analysis. I think the most harrowing part was just the waiting, nothing to do with the process itself, it is just that we had to wait to get confirmation.
Shante:How did you handle that moment? What did you do? Did you actually, did you. What kind of music did you listen to? Did you have a song that actually helped you through or was there a saying that helped you at that moment?
Mahesh:Not really too much. I mean just some prayers, maybe praying. Butmore importantly because Suhasini was with me and I was with her. We just kind of leaned on each other and we reassured ourselves and reassured each other that it should be fine. Because we did not have any other external support, as in external family, her Suhasini mother was in, was here also. But we were pretty much hoping for the best. We were reasonably positive that it should be OK.
Shante:What did you do, what would you call one of your high moments while you were in the NIC Unit, what was a happy moment while you were in the NIC Unit?
Mahesh:There were quite a few of those minor happy moments in the sense of the care given that was very reassuring, when the nurses would give the baby a bath or a feed. Those minor comfort moments where they used to allow us to be part of that, that was very helpful. The NICU was, it was not cordoned off for us, maybe because of our situation so I was with her all the time, with the baby all the time or was allowed to come in reasonablyas much as I wanted.
Shante:Actually I have a random question for you. I know from my NICU experience when they took our little one from us we couldn’t see him for a few hours, did you get to go immediately back or did they delay you?
Mahesh:Oh yeah there were some periods where they would not allow us in. So that was more to do with either the shift change or they were other apparatus, which had to be set up or readied up. There were some periods that were out of bounds for us to go to be with the child but if I recollect back they were very far and few between and not enough that I could even relate back to now.
Shante:Do you have any advice that you would like to share for a parent that has a little one in a NIC Unit?
Mahesh:Sure, I mean from my experience what I would share is to talk freely with if it’s the mother and father. I would say the one positive aspect would be to share your thoughts freely and keep the communication open. It is surprising that you will find that both of you are talking about the same thing or both of you have the same thoughts. Though I felt the person-to-person communication is very key, it is very difficult to solve everything yourself. And I don’t think there is a need to feel you have to do it yourself, you can always lean on your partner, so to speak. And I found that was the single major helpful point for both me and Suhasini.
I am going to throw a random question to you. I thought that was excellent advice Mahesh. And with the different hangouts I have done and the different interviews outside of the hangouts I have done, no one has actually given that advice as far as what you did, as far as that open communication with your partner during that time. How did this situation bring y’all, as far as your relationship goes, did it bring y’all closer? Because a lot of times when you are in a traumatic situation it actually brings you closer or it pulls you apart. It sounds like it brought you guys closer.
Absolutely, I think the one benefit I would think we were lucky, our both focus and concentration was for the benefit of the child. It was not so much our feelings, or our needs, or our challenges. I think subconsciously we were both very conscious of looking out for the child’s interest, that kind of keep our focus on one area. So that kind of made it easier as well.
Shante:I think that was excellent advice. I do have one, I have a lot more questions that I would love to ask you but for the sake of today I actually have one final question for you. Where is Suhasini now, what is she doing now?
Mahesh:She is actually fast asleep on her mid-morning nap upstairs in her crib. She normally sleeps between 10:00am and 11:00am on the weekends, just after having her breakfast. So she is sound asleep at this moment.
Well I am glad to hear that. Thank you so much for interviewing and sharing your story with us. And that is all everybody, we will see you next time. Bye, bye.