Originally Posted by TCMoulton
Oh I know how hard it is to watch your baby while you feel helpless because you cannot comfort her. Please know though that the nurses and doctors are not torturing your sweet little one - there is probably a very good medical reason that she is not held more. Often babies that need advanced care in the NICU need to be kept stress free so that they can use all of their energy to grow and heal and often just being touched too often can stress them out. When my baby had her brief NICU stay I found that asking questions of those who cared for her in my absence helped me to understand what was happening with her care better than just assuming I understood what their reasons were.
Hope you are able to hold her more very soon.
We couldn't hold DS2 after heart surgery for 7 days because he was too medically fragile. Picking him up increased his heart rate and lowered his oxygen saturations and he had to go on higher oxygen, which ultimately lengthened his stay.
I can completely relate to your feelings as a natural mom. Having a child who needs loads of medical care is a tough pill to swallow, especially when the medical condition is something you know little about. But the medical staff is there to help your baby, please know that! Interact with them and ask for a patient advocate if you need one. It is totally within your legal rights to find out what is going on and to be a part of the baby's care and decision-making process.
I was extremely involved while my DS2 was in the ICU. I kept a journal of all his meds, procedures, and anything else he underwent. It helped me to feel like I was a part of his recovery - that and pumping. Breastmilk can be the difference between life and death, so I pumped religiously. When I felt helpless I pumped. It was all I could contribute and it helped a lot. The nurses told me that they think the breastmilk accounted for his speedy recovery and I believe it too.
Have they talked about putting in an arterial line for blood draws? My son needed several blood draws an hour in the beginning so they put a line directly into his artery so it was not painful when he needed to have blood taken. Also, you should be allowed to touch your baby even if you cannot hold her right now. Touch her often and talk to her. She knows your voice, she NEEDS to hear it. It will soothe her. I used to read books to my son or just talk to him about all of the wonderful things that were waiting for him when he came home.
Be involved mama, for the sake of your baby. Babies with very involved parents tend to get better care in my experience. We became very good friends with our son's nursing staff and they went above and beyond. They even used to call me during my midnight pumping session every night to update me on his status. If you need help ask for it. The medical staff is there to help you too and emotional support is a big part of having a child in the ICU, so ask for help if you feel you need it.