I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon this past week at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital for “mommy” bloggers. We were given the opportunity to go on a tour and see many different areas of the hospital and interact with several doctors, nurses, and other employees. It was eye-opening to say the least. From their physical therapists who seem to put their whole hearts into each child, to doctors who are open, honest and forthcoming with information and opinions, to nurses who go through great lengths to provide dignity to even the smallest patients. I was really impressed with their set-up and how they seem to have thought of everything.
One of the places we checked out was the NICU. Each baby in there was either awaiting surgery or had just had surgery. The “cribs” were so small but the nurses talked about how they let parents decorate because for some, this would be the only nursery the baby would know. They told us how they have to deal with death and how, in those circumstances, they consider the parents the patients and treat them as such. They seemed so caring and optimistic despite everything they probably see on a daily basis.
In the NICU, I walked past a tiny little boy, smaller then my daughter’s baby dolls, who was there for a surgical evaluation. He was born at 23 weeks and was 6 weeks old last week, so he would have been only 29 weeks gestation if he were still in utero. He was just so tiny. He was making jerking motions with his arms and legs and it hit me…this is what a baby his gestation would do in the womb. This is what my babies did when they were in my belly. Tears filled my eyes. He shouldn’t be on the outside but he is. This little boy was fighting for his life and CHOA is giving him a chance to live. I will always remember him and will hug my children tighter because of him.
Healthy pregnancies, newborns, and children are not a given. I hope I never have to have a child admitted to Children’s Hospital, but if I do I think they will be in good hands.