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Leiola: I’m nervous; every time I see him I feel like I’m going to cry. I have to leave him here; it’s hard. I cannot do that. I don’t want to leave him.
Frances: My name is Frances, and I will be the one taking care of your baby today.
Dr. Wozniak: It’s very hard on the families if we say the baby can’t go home when mom goes home; to leave a baby here is devastating.
Lisa: Baby’s livers aren’t as strong and mature as ours. When they’re in mom, the mom’s liver works for them. When they’re born, all of a sudden their liver has to take over, and sometimes it’s just not strong enough.
Leiola: How long you guys will keep him here?
Frances: It all depends, we will check again the bilirubin level, you know.
Dr. Wozniak: Bilirubin means the baby’s yellow, or jaundiced. The worry is if not treated, this bilirubin can get into the brain and cause brain damage.
Frances: What we’re doing is phototherapy; we expose as much body part as possible.
Dr. Wozniak: The special light helps break down the bilirubin.
Leiola: I don’t want to go, I want to stay here with him. Even thought they’re going to feed him, they’re going to change him, still I have to stay here.
Frances: Let me just get you a chair so you can sit by your baby.
Lisa: As soon as the babies are stable, we get the parents involved right away. Let them make some decisions, we try to keep making them feel like, hey this is your baby, we’re just taking care of them for the moment.
Patricia: They didn’t bring the baby to me right away. She was in an incubator with everything; machines and I couldn’t hold her. It’s very sad to go home without your baby.
Wendy: Bedside care is very difficult in the first two to three hours with an infant like that. Her lungs were collapsing and we were up at 100 percent oxygen. She wasn’t holding her saturation.
Dr. Wozniak: Meconium blocks the breathing tubes in the lung, it lets air in, but not out. With each breath, the lung gets bigger and bigger like a balloon, and finally overexpands and pops.
Patricia: They placed tubes in her trying to get her to breathe; I thought I was just going to take her home. I never expected her to be sick when she was born.
Leiola: Hey, eat first and then sleep.
Dr. Wozniak: We have visitation 24 hours at all the Sharp NICUs so the parents can come anytime. It’s never going to be home, but we try to make it as close to home as we can.
Frances: The doctor came in this morning and decided the baby can go home.
Leiola: I want him to just, go to school, just keep on going to school, don’t stop. That’s what I want him to do.
Dr. Wozniak: The nurses establish this wonderful bond with the family. And they become so close to them, that many of the nurses are invited to the baby’s christening or brises.
Frances: You see them from the first day of life and then, you know, as they improve and really get well, and then they’re ready to go home. We really miss them.
Patricia: Every time I come in here, someone’s holding her, someone’s feeding her, she’s being loved.
Lisa: We were feeding her through a tube, it goes from the nose to the stomach. That tube is now out, and she’s feeding all on her own. Within the next day or so, I’m hoping that she’ll get to go home with Mommy.
Patricia: I didn’t think the day was going to come that I would get to take her home or hold her, even hold her. I hope to raise a nice young lady with a good heart.
Lisa: You smile because you’re happy they’re going home, but then again you’re going to miss them, but then you know you’re going to get somebody else and someone else’s parents will be happy.
[singing] You are so beautiful, to me.