Monday, October 10, 2011

Watching her get stronger

One of our special parents has allowed me to write some of her family's experience with Look@MyBaby. She is still waiting for her daughter to come home from hospital after being born at 32 weeks and wishes to remain anonymous. Thank you for wanting to share this.

Ruby* was born at 32 weeks gestation and has been in the special care unit for the last two weeks. As a mother all I wanted to do was hold her and take her home, like every other mother going in and out of the hospital around me. Some babies came into special care for a couple of days and left, leaving us behind.

I saw the ad for Look@MyBaby in hospital, but didn't want to activate it at first. I didn't want my family and friends to see Ruby as she was, with tubes attached to her and looking so small and frail. At the same time, I didn't want them coming into the hospital to see her. So for the first couple of days I just sat there, holding her when I could and letting my husband go home to our other two children. I just felt I could not leave.

The doctors and nurses have been fantastic. They have understood my need to be with Ruby and have helped that. On the third day of sitting next to her, I cried and couldn't stop. I remembered this day is always hard after having a baby, but today was especially hard. It wasn't like the other two times. This time I just kept crying and nothing could stop it.

One of the midwives suggested I go for a walk to the cafeteria, to get a change of scenery as well as something to eat. I refused to leave Ruby. She suggested we activate the Look@MyBaby camera to "take Ruby with us." She helped me call and set it up. It was easy and only took a few minutes. When the camera was turned on the midwife opened it on my phone and I could see Ruby, every breath, every movement, everything.

I went for a walk, knowing I had Ruby with me. I made a call to my husband and children and they were watching Ruby too. Tom* had sent the link out to our close family members and everyone could see her. He even convinced me to come home to have a sleep. He picked me up and came back to the hospital to sit with Ruby.

Ruby was on the computer next to the bed and I fell asleep watching her, just like in the hospital. I ate a meal with my other children, all the while being able to see Ruby.

Now my husband and I take turns to be at the hospital, while the other one stays home with the kids and the computer, watching Ruby. We have seen her get stronger and family that would still be waiting to see her, have noticed how she is growing and getting healthier. When Ruby was picked up and a tube removed from her nose before being put back under the camera, the whole family celebrated.

Ruby is doing very well and may be able to come home in the next week. We have even started putting notes and pictures in the cot when Ruby is not in it, mostly jokes and messages to Ruby's big brother and sister.

I cannot tell you how much the Look@MyBaby camera has helped us. I have been able to walk away from her cot, knowing I can watch her every movement. I don't have to see other babies come and go, or hear little alarms going off in the special care nursery. Most importantly I have been able to be a mum to my other children, as well as Ruby. The whole family have been able to see her and watch her get strong enough to come home. Thank you Look@MyBaby and thank you to the midwife who insisted I set it up and "see how it goes".


* All names have been changed

Look@MyBaby is available in many special care units in Australia, as well as maternity wards, with more hospitals to come. For a full list of participating hospitals please visit http://www.lookatmybaby.net

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