Monday, October 21, 2013

What's Treatment Like for a Preemie Baby in the NICU?

One journalist, whose baby was born at 23 weeks, shares her experience:

In reality, critically sick babies are cared for by a constantly rotating team of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, residents and specialists. Some are plain smarter or more experienced than others. Some know the baby better than others. Some treat aggressively and some don't. One doctor is pro-life. One has disabled kids. One was unexpectedly widowed. All of these factors influence how they talk to parents, how they assess quality of life and how they interpret risk.

For months I obsessed over my baby's oxygen saturation. The alarms would sound many times in an hour as our daughter struggled and recovered. She didn't hover inside the targeted range ordered by her physicians. She cascaded wildly. Gunk in a tube or even a loud noise or a song she didn't like on the radio would send her crashing. Sometimes all it took to bring her back was another round of the Hokey Pokey. "Keep singing!" our nurse would say. Other times I watched those numbers drop into the 20s as nurses lunged to revive her. Everyone who entered her room had a different threshold for when to intervene. Sometimes a doctor would turn the oxygen up, and as soon as they were gone, the nurse would turn it back down. All this came rushing back to me as I listened to the researchers talk about the "standard of care" as if it were something tangible and logical.

Meanwhile, babies that age are aborted... my body, my choice and who cares if the baby has to die. Right feminists? Right.