Flashback Friday

A Peek Into the NICU, Touch-Time for James

A little peek into the NICU. This video was taken when James was just over two months old. Assessments like this one were done every three hours throughout the day and night. This was referred to as a “touch time” and was the best time for us to interact with James. They grouped his care and tried to do everything he needed during these touch times, so he would have large blocks of time when he was undisturbed and could rest, heal, and grow. During these assessments his nurses would check his vitals, check his lines, do blood draws, give meds, feed him, change his diaper, empty his ostomy bag, change his position, and, once a day, weigh him.

Any amount of sound, light, and touch could become over-stimulating for James pretty quickly. We watched his body cues closely, and did our best to comfort him. At one point during the video he puts his hand across his forehead, referred to as a stop-sign. Other cues included hiccups, oxygen desaturations, increased heart rate, and of course grimacing and crying.

Assessments were very hard to watch at first, but became easier as I grew more confident in providing comfort and assisting in little ways with his care. We could check his temperature, change his diaper, and hold the syringe for feeding. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was the only “mothering” I could do, so of course I tried. Even in this video, after more than two months in the NICU, I was nervous about changing his diaper. A simple diaper change becomes so much more than that when your baby is hooked up to machinery, and there’s an ostomy bag in the way.

I’m so thankful we have lots and lots of photos and many videos of James’ days in the NICU. Looking back helps me to be mindful of just how far he’s come. He truly is an amazing little guy!

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5 thoughts on “A Peek Into the NICU, Touch-Time for James

  1. Alison and Andy….thank you for sharing his video. A mother’s touch (and of course fathers too!!!)…..nothing compares to that touch! He was (and is) such a fighter. I cried watching it! His is truely a miracle! Hugs and prayers sent your way

    • Aww, thank you Debbie (I feel like I can call you that now that we’ve met, hope it’s ok!). He is a fighter for sure, and I’m so thankful for that!! I always appreciate hearing from you. Hope you’re well!

  2. I’ve watched this numerous times now. First two times I cried, it was just overwhelming to watch and to imagine what that was like for you and Andy 24 hours a day for months on end. The nurse seems wonderful, so caring and comforting. It takes an amazing person to do that, and thank God there are those who choose that profession and do it so well. I can’t wait to see you and James in a few days! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Sometimes looking back feels harder than it did at times in the NICU. When I look at him so little and fragile I can’t believe he made it through everything. He had some amazing nurses. They were so sweet, supportive and kind, and took such good care of him! Definitely takes a special person to be able to do what they do. So excited to see you in just a couple days!! 🙂

  3. What a miracle baby! I am so glad James is doing well. This video brings me back to when my daughter was in the NICU. My daughter was born at 23 weeks last year and is doing great today. After she came home from 121 days in the NIUC, I wrote a memoir called “From Hope To Joy” about my life-threatening pregnancy and my daughter’s 4 months in the NICU (with my 3 young sons at home), which will be published this summer. Please see my website:
    http://www.fromhopetojoy.com
    By writing, I believe we are helping other families who are going through what we have!

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