On the Inside Looking Out
As a Child Life Specialist at Riley Hospital for Children, I never imagined I would be on the inside looking out. Like so many of the families we serve, I experienced firsthand what it was like to "live" in the hospital for almost an entire month.
My son, Lincoln, was born prematurely at 34 weeks and 5 days. I didn't even get to hold him after he was born and was whisked away to the Riley NICU at Methodist Hospital.
The weeks that followed were a blur of heel sticks, optiflow adjustments, and a roller coaster of emotions. Just when we thought we were about to go home, he would have another apneic episode or some new change in his health.
Being a Child Life Specialist I never thought I would need to be "child lifed," but I did. Our Child Life Specialist, Karen, gave me the support I needed and a reluctant but necessary break out of the room. The staff was so amazing and supportive during our stay. The nurses became an extension of our family and I looked forward to seeing who was working each shift. They went above and beyond to make sure my husband and I were comfortable.
Lincoln is doing much better now and I have adjusted my diet to meet his MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance) needs. He is such a happy baby! Being on this side of the patient room door and helped me to grow clinically as a Child Life Specialist. I am now able to relate to the families I serve in a way I never was before.
While it was really hard, I am so thankful for our time in the NICU. I know Lincoln received the best care possible and we are a stronger family because of this experience!
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