For the first time, St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital welcomed back babies who spent time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Saturday was a day spent giving doctors and nurses a chance to reconnect with these miracle patients and their families.
“The first time I saw them in there, they were just so small,” said Chris Olsen, reminiscing about the first time he saw his triplets in the NICU.
Beckett, Drew and Kipton were born eight weeks early, weighing around three pounds each. They spent a month in the hospital before they could make it home to join their other three siblings.
“I just cried, and I remember still that feeling like I should’ve kept them in a lot longer,” said Shea Olsen of her birth. “Why couldn’t I hold them in longer than I did?”
Chris and Shea say the care their family received while at the St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital put them at ease when they had to leave the twins for care.
“Without [the NICU] we couldn’t have done it because we had three big kids at home, three kids here and we had to divide our time,” said Shea.
Each year more than 1,200 infants are admitted to St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital’s NICU and stay anywhere from several days to several months depending on their medical condition.
The team members develop a special bond with the babies as patients in the NICU and don’t always have an opportunity to see them grow up, but that all changed on Saturday.
“Today we’re able to see how they’re doing, see their milestones and hear their success stories,” said NICU Nurse Manager Janessa Canals-Alonso. “This is the reason why many NICU nurses love their jobs.”