holding sick babies :)

My facebook status tonight:
Just got back from my Sunday shift holding NICU babies. I was holding babies that had been born at just a pound, so even many months later they were the size of a newborn! Whenever I hold my babies the song that always comes to mind and I hum to them is Edelweiss…”…may you bloom and grow…bloom and grow forever.”

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Every Sunday for 3 hours I hold babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at a downtown hospital. Some have drugs in their system (so they are being weaned, and are quite irritable, not to mention other problems), others were born at 23 or 24 weeks at only a pound in size….I don't hold them until the babies are more stable and a little bigger (ie more than a few pounds and able to tolerate and benefit from touch). The official volunteer title is “Cuddler”..even our badges say it 🙂 I love it. But my arms/back get sore because of the positions I end up in!
I need to remember to cut the buttons off my shirt. Volunteers wear a uniform polo that have three buttons that are quite high up so I never button them anyway, and sometimes the baby is pressing against them which can't be comfortable. But the buttons are sewed on sooo tightly I can't use normal scissors.  First world problems, right? 🙂

I have been holding babies only since around August here in San Diego, but I held them over a year when I lived in Memphis. Even though the song “Edelweiss” (which I first heard in Sound of Music) is normally never in my head, it ALWAYS comes to me when I am rocking my babies. I find the idea of wishing for them to “bloom and grow forever” to be so applicable. 🙂

Dec 03, 2012 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

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