Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life in the NICU - hospital observations

I spent a lot of time at the hospital over the past month. A few things stood out to me as I went through the halls. Of course the NICU is on the same floor as Labour and Delivery. I walked through the L&D waiting area every day, several times a day. It seemed to me that you were more likely to see anxious families waiting at night time. And you could tell how long they'd been there by how much trash was sitting nearby (pop cans, water bottles, chip bags...). You could also spot the 1st time parents vs. the been there done that parents quite easily. Those wandering around smiling and relaxed were not having their first baby. They were much too calm and a huge contrast to the first timers. The first timers seemed to have exaggerated pain (I don't know what their attitude to contractions in later labour would be like) and hovering, panicked looking dads. I wish them all well.
Another image that stuck with me happened in the cafeteria. There was a young doctor there holding court as if he was Doug Ross. Good looking guy. 3 other doctors around him, listening to his tales. And you could just tell they were talking about women. Very amusing.
The last image I want to share is the very important friend that burst into the NICU, oblivious (and unconcerned) about the visitor rules. Visitors to the NICU are limited to 4, one of which must be a parent. But there she was in full make up and heels, carrying the obligatory newborn gift shop set in blue. Turning her nose down at every other baby in there. Disregarding the nurses trying to get her attention. She finally submitted to one rather authoritative nurse, admitting that she hadn't washed her hands on entering. She wasn't a parent, and was not accompanied by one. Oops! It was pretty funny to watch.

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