I am enjoying my NICU rotation for multiple reasons: It is the closest I will get to the obstetrics world while off service, I don’t start until 8am and I’m done by 4pm most days, I actually sleep on call, and I get to cuddle cute little babies!
Unfortunately, most babies who come to us are not the healthiest and need some kind of monitoring, assistance with breathing, tubes, etc. so they aren’t always cuddleable. The one time they are the most cuddleable, though, is when they come out screaming and crying after a c-section. We got to all the c-sections, dry off the babies, get them all mad, weight them, and if they are happy, we wrap them up and give them to dad to hold while the surgery is finishing up.
I’ve discovered that the best way to get in the baby cuddles is to be the one to wrap the baby. I have fallen well into that role because I’m the least experienced in the whole baby-resuscitation game, and most of the nurses don’t like me getting in the way – so once we know the baby is staying with mom, I go grab the warm blankets and come back ready to swaddle. At first, people didn’t want to let me do it because good swaddling really is an art…
But, you’re looking at the mom of two (2!) cranky, colicky babies who spent the majority of their infant days in tightly wrapped bundles. Now that they see how I swaddle, no one argues when I start swaddling. (Funny story – this morning the nurse pushed her way in and started swaddling the baby. Well, it wasn’t going well and by the end of her fumbling, there were limbs and corners falling all over the place. At the next delivery she went back to letting me do it). In my opinion, there is only one great way to swaddle: use two blankets separately, swaddle with arms down and legs bent, and swaddle tightly. Bonus points if everything is neatly tucked and folded at the end.
Once the babies are swaddled and content, I take my chance to cuddle: I pick them up and adore them and slowly – much slower than necessary – walk towards the parents, keeping baby close in my arms. Each and every time I do this, my uterus skips a little beat… and it skips two little beats when it’s a baby girl (oops, did I just say that?). There is nothing more enticing to me at this moment than a beautiful, content, little newborn girl 🙂
So, is it any surprise then, that every delivery I’ve attended this week so far has given little baby boys??? I don’t think so! (Regardless, they are still fun to swaddle and cuddle)