My name is Alex Odnokon, my partner and I brought our first child Kace Jordan into the world on August 23, 2018. He was three and half weeks early and that is when I had my first experience with Prince Albert’s nursery.
This year’s Give A Little Life Day holds a place close to my heart as we spent a week in the nursery with Kace due to his lungs needing extra help because of his early arrival. While in the nursery he also developed jaundice twice. Kace had to be on a CPAP machine to help his lungs exit the CO2 that he wasn’t able to push out himself. During this time he was hooked up to IV, a breathing machine, blue lights, and many cords that made his first time parents pretty scared.
While we were there the staff were so great at helping me hold my newborn even if it was difficult with all the cords he was attached to. They were helpful explaining everything medically that was happening. Let’s just say they were the people I leaned on for the 7 days he was in there.
But this is the reality of our hospitals nursery, is it is just too small! From a parents eyes this is the struggle I noticed; the babies were all squeezed in this small room where as a parent you found it hard to squeeze a chair in to sit with your baby. As a parent you felt like you were sometimes in the way when there was too many people in there. Sometimes you had to wait your turn to get a chair from another fellow mother sitting with their baby. When multiple babies have their warmers on, the small space heats up pretty quick. You’re so warm you are so uncomfortable, could you imagine how the nurses on a 12 hour shift feel?
Due to the small space there simply could not be family and friends coming and going, therefore only the parents of the sick baby can be in there. Kace’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, and extended family could not see or meet him the entire time he was in there. They would look at his warmer in the far corner hoping every day they came in was the day they got to meet him. That was the most heart wrenching part of it all. Due to multiple babies being in a common area, if any woman wanted to breast feed their baby, the males (fathers) would have to leave the nursery.
The staff make the best of their situation in no doubt, but from a parents eyes we need a bigger space for these amazing nurses and doctors to do their jobs. As a parent, it would be amazing to have more of a private setting with your sick baby and for the extended family to be involved for support.
Lastly I want to thank the staff that made my 7 day stay be as positive as possible. They answered all my questions, they supported me, and they celebrated with us when Kace would improve… they were simply AMAZING!