Monday, November 8, 2010

The Pros of Hospital

I spend a lot of time in this blog talking about how much I want Maddy home and how much I'm frustrated with the hospital. My husband would probably say I talk about that TOO much ;) (and maybe I do). But there are definite positives to Maddy being in the hospital, so I thought I'd talk a bit about those things. Sometimes thinking about those things helps me to keep a good attitude about her extended hospital stay, and it helps me to be able to accept things as they are

Firstly (and most importantly), as long as Maddy is in hospital, she is very safe. She's definitely "safer" than she would be at home. Her vitals are monitored day and night - and if she were to get sick quickly, the staff would be able to respond much faster and with more skill than I would be able to if she were at home. I think that a serious emergency situation is unlikely, but IF that were to happen, at home she may not survive. In the hospital, if anything were to happen to her, it would be because it was completely unpreventable. 

Secondly, Maddy needs a LOT of therapy. Throughout her childhood, we will likely be having appointments with both occupational therapists and physiotherapists, probably at least weekly. While she's been in hospital, she has been having DAILY appointments with both therapists - and as a result, she is getting much more intensive therapy while she is an inpatient compared to if she was at home. I can already see improvements as well - for a Diastrophic baby, I think she is quite advanced in her motor skills - yesterday she was sucking her thumb!! If you consider how short her arms are, along with the position of her thumbs, that really is quite an achievement. I really think that the therapy has been helping her a lot. 

On a completely selfish point, I have been getting mostly great sleep since Maddy was born. I've been setting my alarm to pump in the middle of the night - but recently stopped doing that. I definitely am getting a lot more rest than if I had a newborn at home to look after! And I think that for new mums, one of the hardest things is the lack of sleep. I still remember those days with Lana and I'm sure that second time around, it's even worse. But with Maddy in hospital, I've been spared from most of that. Maddy apparently sleeps great at night - and when she comes home, I know that it will probably still disrupt our sleep a bit - but no where near as much as if she'd come home earlier.

Bernard and I have been on occasion leaving Lana at home with our helper after she's asleep for the night and having a bit of couple time since Maddy was born. Most of the time, we just walk around our neighbourhood, get a drink, go and watch the Tai Chi, karaoke and Chinese line-dancing down at the ferry pier and laugh at the people who obviously don't know the routine ;) It's nice to have that couple time as well, and I know that if Maddy were home, it would be harder to do that. 

I am looking forward to having Maddy home, but I know that it will be the start of a different journey with her - one that may be even harder than the NICU time in many ways. I know that it will probably be much more demanding of us on a day to day level - we will have the responsibility of all her care, plus we'll need to take her around to all her appointments and balance Lana's needs as well. I know that I'll probably get less sleep then, and less time to relax too. So I am thankful for the benefits of hospital, even though I might not always sound very thankful. :)


  1. You're incredible Nicole. As a mother, I salute you. As a person, I am flabbergasted by your acceptance and grace in a difficult situation. Maddy could not have been given to a more loving home - one where love even resonates when she cannot physically 'be' at home yet. Love & Blessings to your beautiful family.

    - Nashua

  2. Nicole thank you so much for this post. It is awesome to be reminded that they are working with Maddy every day. So often I look at the situation and fail to see all that is happening while Maddy is in hospital. Praise God for seeing things in the right perspective. You are continuing to look after Bernard and Lana and I can see you are making special time for each other. That truly is a blessing. Glad to see you are able to get a bit more sleep. I am so proud of all you are doing. Lots of love always, Mum, Dad and Ash.

  3. Hey, what about "you are continuing to be LOOKED after by both Bernard and Lana"!? ;) Lana's disposition does more than we can ever imagine - she's such a blessing through these times. - Bernard