For those of you familiar with the MTV show “Cribs,” please enjoy today’s installment of “Cribs: NICU” (ha ha). Please feel free to read the following with a Robin Leach English accent.
While most babies are quickly bundled into their mother’s arms and shuttled out of the hospital mere days after birth, the small and premature enjoy luxury private accommodations where teams of qualified medical staff cater to their every whim.
Think that’s impressive? Well, consider Caden and Logan Stream. Not content to live alone in a Giraffe isolette, the twins have moved into a two-person pedi crib mansion. The crib looks far more like a typical crib than any kind of hospital equipment.
The small and premature are encouraged to relax. The only work required is breathing. And even then, oxygen tubes are provided to any who want to chill out to the point of forgetting to breathe. These nasal cannulas are available 24/7. Adults are required to pay big money at trendy oxygen bars for mere minutes of the same pleasure.
Day and night, these small and premature babies adhere to a strict schedule to ensure no want goes unanswered to. Hungry? Every three hours Caden and Logan receive a bottle of milk. But not just any milk. These small and premature miracles receive two parts growth formula with every feeding. Aimed to plump them up quickly, these children are not burdened with the term babies task of taking only as much as they want. Too tired to eat? Not a problem in the NICU. Here, babies can simply lie back and experience the thrill of a full tummy via a feeding tube.
Without asking, a team of nurses make sure that the babies home is always the perfect temperature and a fresh diaper awaits their cute little tushies. Interested in furthering development? The small and premature have a developmental care coordinator who recommends a weekly plan that will make the little ones the most comfortable. In the interim, physical therapists massage their muscles and work on toning their cute little bodies. Again, something adults continue to pay thousands of dollars a year for in prosperous gyms and spas. And finally, a social worker imparts this and more information to parents to ensure the preemies comfort upon departure.
Remember Caden and Logan’s crib? These preemies are spoiled and pampered. In addition to ditching anything resembling medical supplies, the twins cuddle in personally assembled nests – swaddled in warmed blankets topped with fuzzy stuffed bear blankets. Their bedding arrangements lay atop a handmade quilt. The quilt boasts a primary red background with bright yellow chicks to stimulate the imagination. They look up at a blanket of royal blue with rubber ducks of the same bright yellow to color their dreams. Tired? Their fuzzy bear blankets are a pastel blue and green to calm them.
In honor of the giraffe isolette they left behind, a stuffed giraffe watches over the two of them. In each corner sits a turtle reminding them that slow and steady wins the race. Rattling bumblebees attached to the back of the crib entertain them should they wake up before their next feeding. Still sound mild and pedestrian? A musical jungle mobile swings above their heads – entertaining them with lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
No wonder they’re still camping out in the NICU after eight weeks. This is paradise compared to the cramped conditions in my tummy or the cold glare of the operating room where they were ripped out into the world.
Thus far their lifelong adventure has taken them down the hall of the hospital’s third floor. I can tell they’re getting more adventurous as they get older and bigger (hence the new need for the musical mobile entertainment). This tells me the muppets will be home soon – just think what adventures await them once they breech the barriers of the NICU and actually get to experience the world.