1 Jun 2011

An Isolating Experience Pt I

When pregnant with twins I felt anything but isolated.  My quickly growing, gigantic tummy made it hard for me not to stick out in a crowd and my tummy was the talk of the town...or the parts that I made my way through on my daily outings, be it to work, the mall or the grocery store.  I don't believe I had ever talked to so many people during my regular outings when I was not pregnant with twins. 

My stomach was like a big beacon or a strobe light calling people in from afar to look at my stomach, touch my stomach and talk about my stomach.  I didn't mind all the attention my twins were getting even before they were on the outside, as it was exciting and fun to talk about all our great expectations, tips on raising twins and so on.

Then things changed.  In nearly the blink of an eye, the twins arrived and were put into Isolettes...also commonly referred to as incuabtors.  Right away they babies were isolated.  Isolated from their womb-mate immediately.  Put into a plastic box with fancy levers and dials to move them around, angle them, warm them and make them as comfortable as possible now that they didn't have my body to protect them.

We were in the NICU for 111 days + 1 day if you count the one night at the hospital they were delivered in and prepped to be transported from.  As soon as they were born they were whipped off to the nursery, leaving me alone with my husband and some unknown staff.  This is where the isolation began to set in.

Not only were my babies isolated, but my husband, son and I were as well.  Then came the grandparents and uncles.  Isolated from each other.  Forbidden to see the babies in the NICU for fear of introducing germs into a unit in which the sickest babies were with low functioning immune systems.  During a baby's development they do not start to receive many of the mother's immunities until around 31 weeks.  My babies didn't get that chance and therefore were very much protected during their stay in the NICU, as were their other NICU roommates. 

This situation was the first of many kinds of isolation we've experience along our journey.  My next posting will continue with the same topic...stay tuned...

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