Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Ochsner Lafayette General.
Five Lessons Learned from a Six Day Hospital Stay With My Newborn
The first month postpartum is spent with very small windows of sleep, adjusting to your new little one, and doing everything in your power to keep mom (that’s you!) and baby happy and healthy.
Having a baby during a pandemic, however, brought an entirely new set of worries. Masked visitors, the spread of COVID, and your little one’s fragile immune system are always top-of-mind. Then, add the unexpected RSV season in July of 2021 and unfortunately pediatric emergencies became even more frequent.
Our son was just 27 days old when we made the call to go to the emergency room. Our daughter (his older sister) tested positive for RSV a week or so prior, so we knew there was a risk and high probability that he had RSV as well. We spoke with our pediatrician and she said to go ahead and pack a bag and prepare to spend at least one night in the hospital with our little one.
What was originally a planned one-night stay turned into a stressful six-day ordeal. Though I do not wish for ANYONE to have to bring their tiny human into the emergency room, I say wholeheartedly to anyone in the Lafayette area: bring them to Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center. During my nearly weeklong stay, I learned some valuable lessons that I hope can be used as nuggets of wisdom.
Go to the Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center Pediatric Emergency Room.
As I was packing my bag and my baby’s bag to head to the hospital, I was cringing thinking about all the cleaning supplies I should bring with me to make sure that my baby did not catch any crazy germs in the Emergency Room. Thankfully, my pediatrician let me know that there is actually a Pediatric Treatment Area inside the Emergency Room. When I arrived the woman sitting at the desk immediately noticed how small my baby was, and she got me to the back as quickly as possible. I was so thankful, and I was incredibly relieved that they had the immune system of my small child at the forefront of their mind.
Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center Has the Best Nurses & Doctors Around.
When you have a tiny one, it can be tough to hand them to someone you don’t know very well. Every nurse who came to visit me and my son greeted us with compassion and kindness first and healthcare second. They were thorough in their explanations of what to expect for my son’s care. Even in the wee hours of the morning, they were courteous to let us sleep as much as possible. I’ve been to several hospitals in the area. None of the nursing staff can compare to Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center.
Worried does not even begin to cover how I was feeling that week. Seeing my son hooked up to oxygen and an IV was unbearable in the beginning. Fortunately Dr. Gonzales of Pediatric Associates of Lafayette, who has privileges at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center, was a rockstar. He was hopeful, but also a realist, which I appreciated. He always ensured that every question I had was answered, that I had realistic expectations for our stay, and that I knew my son was his priority. I never once had doubts that I was receiving the highest level of care.
Bring Entertainment. Seriously.
It may sound silly, but hospital stays can make the days feel incredibly long. I highly recommend bringing a laptop or tablet. It is so helpful to have some lighthearted shows playing to ease your mind. If you’re more of a podcast gal, that’s another option.
Ask for Help.
My husband was taking care of our two-year old at home while I stayed with our son. I was nursing at the time, so leaving the hospital for any extended period of time was not really an option. There was one particular day where I thought I would go crazy if I stayed in that room staring at the four green walls for another minute. Finally I asked a friend to come keep me company (with snacks, please!), and it made all the difference in the world. Not only did she just come to keep me company, but she was delighted to do so. Remember, you are not a burden! Your loved ones want to help, so let them.
Remember That This, Too, Shall Pass.
Those six days in the hospital felt like an eternity. When we were finally released, and I was able to finish my maternity leave from the comfort of my home, I was able to reflect on our experience. In the moment, it feels like it will never end. I am here to tell you, with good care in place, it makes a world of difference. I am thankful for the staff at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center, and I sing their praises wherever I can. Any glimpse of peace in a stressful situation is worth its weight in gold.