Tonight in the NICU, there were not as many babies. A couple of sets of twins had gone home, leaving a big space in the middle. However, the babies that were there, were pretty restless. There was a lot of crying tonight and I had plenty to do. I probably went through about 12 gowns. Each time we switch to another baby, even if it is just to offer comfort without picking them up, we have to wash our hands and change gowns. So I was back and forth, changing gowns and washing quite a bit. I mainly held one baby who was born addicted to drugs. She had been taken off her supportive/weaning drugs today and was having a hard time. She didn’t seem to be able to sleep without jerking awake quite frequently. I took her directly from the day volunteer and except for a couple of breaks when she would sleep for a while and I held other babies, she was my primary for tonight. She was very beautiful. While I was holding her, her CASA volunteer came in to talk to the nurses and try to get an idea of how the family visits and how they act when they visit. The CASA will study the extended family’s request for custody and make a recommendation on the baby’s behalf to the judge. The dad is in jail and the mom apparently lost custody when the baby was born addicted. It’s sad. While I was holding her, I kind of watched the parents with the baby in the next bed. Their baby was absolutely tiny, so delicate. The came in and gave her her bottle, then put her back in the bed and sat there beside her, not holding her or talking to her over an hour, both of them looking at their phones or Ipods. I thought that was kind of weird, but it may be typical for all I know. If I only had 1 hour a day with my baby, I’d hold her. Maybe they’re afraid because she’s so tiny? Okay, they could at least stroke her and talk to her. Again, sad.
My arms are sore tonight, but hopefully I kept the baby’s stress levels down tonight and helped them as they try to learn to cope with the world while going through withdrawal.