Monday, August 31, 2009

Released from the NICU

After 15 days in the NICU at Hiranandani, our baby was released. He went through a pretty standard progression for lung problems, starting with a ventilator/respirator, moving to Continuous Postive Air Pressure (CPAP), and then to a hood, and finally off the hood.

While in the NICU, there were usually 4 to 7 other babies there. The doctors and nurses definitely have experience dealing with pre-term babies. I've never been in any other NICUs anywhere, so I can’t comment on the equipment or processes.

During that time he had two pediatricians – Dr. Sanjeev Ahuja and Dr. Bijal Shrivastava. Both were very good. Although busy and rushed, they both answered our frequent questions and helped manage our anxieties. We shared progress updates with our friends, including home pediatrician and an obstetrics nurse, neither of whom suggested anything different than what the doctors were doing.

One comment – the visiting hours for the NICU at Hirinandani are limited. Officially, visitors are allowed from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Mothers are allowed to visit more often, usually because they are nursing. On the one hand, this restriction limits interaction with your newborn. On the other hand, it does keep germs out of an area with infants that need every chance they can get.

And the proof is in our now healthy baby. When we visited the U.S. consulate, they said he certainly didn’t look like he’d spent 15 days in the NICU and that he was also the only baby they’d seen with his eyes open – he was looking at them, eyes wide open, while we were there.

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