This is my comic about Sam’s week in the NICU. Again, I try not to do comics that are specific to my experience, but that’s where my head’s still at this week. Next week I’ll do something funny, I promise!
I didn’t actually cry like this when Sam was in the NICU. I got a little teary-eyed at times, but nothing major because the doctors and nurses where very good at explaining the situation and keeping us calm. This comic is more a reflection of my internal state.
So. The NICU. Sam had two pneumothorases when he was born. Those are little pockets of air in the lungs that make breathing difficult. This happens to babies who are born premature (not Sam), born with undeveloped lungs (not Sam), babies who aspirated meconium (not Sam) and babies who tried to breathe before their umbilical cord was cut (Probably what happened with Sam.)
Sam spent an entire week in the NICU. The doctors treated him with oxygen by putting tubes up his nose and having him wear an oxygen hood over his head. I was fortunate in that the hospital where I delivered allowed mothers with babies in the NICU to stay an additional three days. They actually let me stay an extra five days, but officially the program only lets you stay three.
A week seems like a long time to stay in the hospital with a sick baby, but it really just seemed like one big day to me. I didn’t look outside often and there were no windows in the NICU, so it was hard to tell when one day started and another began.
But, now we’re home, everyone’s good, and hopefully last week will soon be a distant memory. I really feel for parents who have babies in the NICU for a longer period of time, or who are unable to stay with their children while they’re at the hospital. I know that in regard to everything that COULD have happened, we got lucky, but it’s certainly an experience I’d like to never have again.