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3/12/92 — Our NICU Journey Day 117

March 12, 2011

Isaac — 1514 grams

Molly — Home


This is Molly with her first home healthcare nurse, Ruth. Kenn was in the throes of buying the pet store and working hard to get up to speed. I still had one sick baby at the hospital and now one at home. I understand that home nursing is virtually unheard of as an insurance benefit, but I honestly don't know what we would have done without them. I couldn't take Molly with me to the hospital (or anywhere else, really). I certainly couldn't leave a baby on monitors and oxygen with a teenage babysitter. My parents lived 300 miles away and were still working. Even the adults who were nearby and might have wanted to help would have needed specialized training. Though medical science has advanced in the 19 years since they were born, I still think we were lucky to have our twins back when we had outstanding insurance benefits.


Docs say that your eyes are the same and they will look again next week. Today you took your first full feeding by mouth — 40 ccs. Congratulations! You took more than half your feeds by mouth, so you are getting there, pal. We miss you and love you. Daddy says to give you a big kiss.



Home nursing notes:

Molly did well last night. She nursed three times. Maybe she’s getting the hang of it! Low heart rate alarm went off one time this morning when Molly was stretching big. When I immediately auscultated her [listened to her], she was in the 180s.

During the last feeding, the low heart rate alarm went off. Molly got dusky and apneic. She did not self correct, but had to be stimulated to breathe. Parents said this happened a few times [I don’t remember saying a few! It happened many times] in the hospital and always during feedings. — Ruth

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori Prang permalink
    March 12, 2011 11:02 am

    You said it about the outstanding health insurance benefits ‘back then’. I am so incredibly grateful to that in what was already a stressful situation. I hate to think what it would be like today! Hurry home Isaac!

  2. March 12, 2011 11:27 am

    It was very hard when we had 1 baby at home and 1 in the hospital three years ago. My husband took FMLA time off from work, so we could alternate who was at home with who was in the hospital. This period was the most exhausting and overwhelming part of our NICU experience, though we were very lucky that our kids didn’t have any serious complications while they were in the hospital.

    We had excellent medical coverage (for 2007/2008), and home nursing was not an option. We were very lucky that my husband was able to take those 3 weeks off of work. If he had not been able to take the time off we would have hired a nanny or a nurse to help get us through that time.

    • March 12, 2011 11:35 am

      Our babies were born before the idea of family leave was put into law, but it wouldn’t have mattered, as we are small business owners.

      I’m so glad you had good medical coverage and were able to work out family leave during the times your babies were in two different places. We knew families on the NICU who lived in a different state and had older children at home. Making arrangements in those kinds of complicated circumstances must add so much stress to an already stressful situation. Thanks for your comments.

  3. March 12, 2011 11:32 am

    Here here for great health insurance!

  4. jamie permalink
    March 16, 2011 11:04 am

    We had a great social worker that told us about our twins being eligible for institutionalized medicaid and BCMH, since they were born under 2 lbs and in the hospital for so long. It was a process to get them approved, but it was a blessing. Whatever our insurance didn’t cover, medicaid picked up 2nd, then something called BCMH would pick up anything else. I just hope other families are told about these options. It takes time to fill out the paperwork and meet with the medicaid advisors, but the system covered our tiny miracles…regardless of our income.

    • March 16, 2011 12:50 pm

      Jamie, thank you for this excellent information. If you have a link to the program, I will add it to my resource page. I’ll also see what I can find. In today’s healthcare environment, families need all the help they can get. Hope you are all doing well. Thanks again.

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