Delilah made her entrance into this world this spring 10 weeks premature and weighing just 3 lbs 6 oz. She was born at the military hospital on Joint Base Elmendorf/Richardson but needed to be transported to The Children’s Hospital at Providence’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit immediately. Providence’s NICU transport team was on hand for the birth and had Delilah moved within the hour.
Delilah’s first feeding was with donor milk because her mom Tracy was not able to join her at Providence until she was discharged eight hours later. As soon as Tracy arrived the nurses and respiratory therapist were able to assist her with kangaroo care, a skin-to-skin contact technique which helps premature babies develop and bond with their parents. During her early days in the NICU Delilah needed respiratory and feeding support, which meant she had a feeding tube, was connected to a ventilator and spent most of her time in a neonatal incubator.
After three weeks Delilah was able to feed on her own and move out of the incubator. She was gaining weight steadily until the following week when she was diagnosed with severe anemia. This set back put her back on a feeding tube, but not for long. After making great improvements she was eventually discharged. Delilah spent a total of 45 days in the NICU.
During her stay in the NICU Delilah was the only member of her family who was a patient, but her whole family was cared for by Providence’s NICU team. The entire unit was designed to accommodate families, from the private parent sleep area in each room, to the parent dining and lounge areas, to the numerous family support staff on hand.
“The nurses and staff go above and beyond to help manage the stress and take some weight off your shoulders” – Traci
Donations to the Children’s Hospital at Providence had a wonderful impact on Delilah’s family during their time here. Donated funds provide staffing for six child life specialists across the hospital, and the NICU child life specialist Michelle eased the way of the whole family. Michelle often visited the family to play with big sister Magnolia. She helped Magnolia understand why her sister was in the hospital and Michelle would take Magnolia off to play when her mom and dad needed a break. Magnolia had so much fun with Michelle that she asked to come back to the NICU and visit after her sister was discharged and sent home.
“It’s hard to believe that we could look back on such a scary time but be left with so many amazing and fun memories” - Traci
Donated funds also provided the Nicview webcam system which is in every room in the NICU. Delilah’s father Marques is in the service and had to travel for a week during her hospitalization. Nicview allowed him to log on and see streaming video of his daughter whenever he needed to be reassured of her well-being during his time away from the hospital. This system also allowed her grandparents in Washington and California to stream video of Delilah as well.
Delilah is now months out of the hospital and doing well. Her family is grateful to the whole Children’s Hospital at Providence NICU team for providing excellent medical care and making them feel at home during their time here.
“After all the hurdles we went through we were left with a happy healthy baby and lifelong friends”-Traci
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