I met Julie, Emma’s mom, at the Royal Alex Hospital way back in February, nine days after she had given birth to Emma. Each Wednesday the NICU social workers offer a group for parents who currently have a baby in the NICU. That week I happened to be the graduate parent there to offer a parent perspective on life in the NICU and beyond. I always bring Kane (and Maverick) with me because I think it’s important for parents to see an NICU graduate. When you are spending most of your time in a hospital setting you imagine the worst possible outcomes for your baby and although Kane is a crazy two and a half year old my hope is that he still gives the parents who meet him something positive to think about.
Over the following couple of months I ran into Julie a number of different times. Sometimes at the parent group, other times at the Stollery Children’s Hospital where Emma was transferred for heart surgery. I’m not exactly sure what it was (possibly the fact that we both had babies in the NICU who also went through heart surgery!) but I felt a connection to Julie and each time I met her I encouraged her to call me if she needed to talk.
Julie finally called! She called to share the good news that Emma was coming home and she wanted me to document it. Emma was released from hospital on June 12th after spending 120 days between the Royal Alex NICU and the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Last week was the first time I got to meet Emma and she looks great!
Emma was born on February 9th at 25 weeks gestation. She weighed 1lb 11oz. When she came home she was up to 6lbs. Emma continues to require oxygen and is fed by NG tube, but those are small details when you think about what this little warrior has overcome. She is home and surrounded by her family.
It was great to meet Emma and the rest of her family, particularly after hearing so much about her from Julie. I am so glad they asked me to come over and document her new life at home. And I’m looking forward to hearing how Julie’s baby shower went on the weekend. Julie and Dan didn’t tell anyone that Emma was home so they could surprise everyone at the shower!