Five Weeks and a Day - A NICU Story - Day 26

Day 26 - September 8, 2014


It takes a village. And it takes a preemie parent to know what a preemie parent needs. That is why I am so grateful that a woman I have not spoken to since fourth grade reaches out to me when she finds out about LoLa. She is walking this journey herself right now with her amazing little early bird in a different hospital. She sends me a NICU care package through an awesome organization called Project Sweet Peas, which provides parents and preemies with resources and support. It contains things like preemie clothing, a journal, personal care items and scent dolls for LoLa and I to be able to smell one another when we are apart. I am so appreciative that Molly contacted me, to have someone to share the worries and celebrate the weight gains with, to seek advice or just to vent, knowing that the person on the receiving end is going through some of the same challenges.

Molly, through sharing her experience and strength with me, opens my eyes to the importance of really listening to your gut. It is so easy to dismiss your intuition or distrust your instincts when you feel you have little experience on which to base them. So as a first time mom, I find myself

wondering what authority I have to weigh in on medical decisions or question the plan of care, especially in light of the recent upsetting events. But luckily, our team of doctors is very in tune with her needs, and they’ve already addressed my concern before I’ve had a chance to raise it. Her MDs have ordered a complete blood count and once the results are in, they are able to report that her bloodwork is fine; white blood cells and platelets are within normal limits, hemoglobin is on the low end, but not a concern. I ask what they are looking for, and her doctor explains that specifically they were looking for a “left shift” which is an increase in immature white blood cells in the peripheral blood indicative of an infection or inflammation. As her mother, all I really have is the perception that she is just not herself, supported by a similar experience as described by my friend Molly.


But her MDs recognize a different set of signs and symptoms which lead them to the same conclusion, that LoLa is not quite herself, and this deserves a second look. Fortunately now, with infection ruled out, they conclude that she is simply exhausted and has a gassy belly, which the MD can hear and feel. The prescription is rest, tummy time, tube feeding, and a watchful eye.

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