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29.07.2015
I had always known that my last pregnancy wasn't going to be an easy ride, I was just hoping that everything would end up ok. I want to share my experience of SCBU with others as I didn't know anything about it until I had my premature baby and I think it would of really helped me if I had known a little about it. Today is the third Mother's day I have celebrated, as my son Harry was born just over a week before Mother's Day in 2006, which was lovely for me!
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With honest, informative, well researched Product Reviews you can now buy your new baby products online with absolute confidence. In the end we were in the SCBU for 3 weeks in the Royal Shrewsbury Hspital.You see I have A rhesus neg blood and all my babies have had A positive blood thus causing mine to attack the babies. SCBU stands for special care baby unit, it is also called NNU - neonatal unit or NICU - neonatal intensive care unit. However, I shall always remember it because of Harry being in the Special Care Baby Unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, and wishing he could have been downstairs in the ward with me at my bedside like all the other babies and mums. Thus, when trying to feel or taste flavors an item, they will put objects into your mouth and start sucking (chew). Period of baby learn to crawl, your baby begins to explore around by hand to observe and take hold objects.
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It is a unit within a hospital which caters for mainly premature babies who are born too early (before 37 weeks is classed as premature) but also babies who may have been born full term but have any problems.
But this made me think about the Special Care Unit so I thought I would share my experience of having Harry in the Special Care unit for the first 12 days of his little life!As I have written about in a previous review, Harry was born by Caesarean Section on March 17th 2006, at 3.18am.
So, try calling the name of the baby, encouraging baby steps for parents to sit and gave the baby a bonus round arms of the mother. The SCBU unit we were in has four 'wards' the intensive care the humid and cold rooms and the nersary or 'going home' room there is also a expressing room and two parent 'flats'.
These can range from something quite common like jaundice to serious conditions such as heart problems. He wasn't a full-term baby though, I spontaneously went into labour at 33 weeks and 4 days pregnant, quite a scary experience for a pregnant woman.
I create my blog that I want to bring useful information, the quality reviews, the good tips to help parents share parenting tips , family story and method to guide the children to grow up. There is also two double doors with CCTV like monitors and speakers on so you can enter, one thing i will say is that thereis brilliant security in the ward.By the time I was out of recovery it was gone 9pm, but there was no way that I wasn't seeing him that night, come hell or high water I was going!!!! Was a bit annoying, especially if the staff are busy as you can be left standing at the door for a long time but im glad that my baby was safe in that room without me. If your baby is premature you are usually told to aim for your due date as the day you will take them home if they keep improving and progress normally.SCBU runs 24 hours a day and is always full of doctors and nurses who are specialised in the care of neonates. The doctors decided that since I was dilated and in established labour, there was no alternative but to deliver our baby boy prematurely. Being wheeled down there I was terrified I didn't know what to expect or what I would see.My son was in the intensive care unit awaiting a full blood transfusion he was on CPAP (constant positive airway pressure) under 4 UV lights (for jaundice) and generally feeling pants I imagine.
There are usually different degrees of care within the unit, Intensive care is for the most unwell babies, some may be on ventilators and the care is one to one so each nurse cares for one baby.
We didn't understand the complications that could arise because of this, and none were made that clear to us. From travel systems to room thermometers, if you want to get a feel for an item before you buy it, check out out products pages.Baby Advice Everything a new parent needs to know, from how to top and tail to sleeping advice and developmental milestones.
To be honest I had to get out of there, I just couldn't process the information that my body had done this to him. All that we knew was that our son could get taken to Special Care at birth, and that was what happened to us. I suppose it was only a survival instinct in that I was wishing for all the luck for him to be ok yet I didn't believe it would.The next day I was ready mentally to visit again for longer so off I went trying to walk but struggling slightly.
He was taken out of me, given a quick cuddle with Daddy and whisked off to the Special Care Unit, all by himself in an incubator (oh no, I'm welling up writing this now!). Going through the buzzer door (which had a camera microphone etc)I admit I had to stop and get myself together, walking in I was taken down to the intensive care room by my son's designated nurse.
That was the last I saw of my little man for 4 hours, so it was a shock when 4 hours later he was hooked up to machine and things looking poorly in the baby unit.So, what is exactly is Special Care? This time round was a lot better the CPAP had gone and the transfusion was a success but it was still going to be a long road, but the nurses were always on hand to answer questions and sooth fears.
The units, which are in most hospitals up and down the country, look after babies who are born prematurely (usually born before 37 weeks gestation) or those who are born with breathing or other difficulties which mean that they need extra care and medicine before they can go home. My son was in the room with 3 other babies - word of warning you may be asked not to look at other babies and NEVER ask anything that isn't your baby related- I made good friends with their parents and we did all become a kind of family. My daughter was taken into room 1 soon after birth but did so well within hours was moved into room 2.


Some babies are very, very poorly, some just need a little help with breathing or something basic like jaundice (a common illness for newborns). There are 'quiet' times in the day so babies can sleep etc.My son was also fitted with a 'long line' going from is ankle to his groin through I large vein to supply nutrition as his gut was still too immature this was later changed to a NGT (nasal gastric tube)and also IV's for anti-biotics and fluids, as well as heart monitors and blood pressure bands so BE PREPARED for lots of wires and monitors etc. The nurse said i had to wash my hands with 2 types of gel which i must do everytime i walk in. The unit is often abbreviated to SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) and you quickly get used to calling it by its abbreviated name once you've been there a while!So back to mine and Harry's story.
I remember a nurse telling me that they are all there for the nurses and not parents and that you shouldn't stare at them (I did A LOT) as you will become insane at every blip, noise alarm etc. I wasnt aloud to get my daughter out but they have these windows in the side that can be opened so you can touch your baby. Luckily for me, the SCBU was only 4 floors away from my ward, just a short jaunt in the lift and I was there.
I remember the intensive care room as the most noisy alarms were always going off, i did find when i used to come home i could still hear them.
I think this is very important to do because you cant cuddle your baby so you should do the best to bond with them anyway you can.
I was taken in my partner and taken to a little room at the back of the unit, where there was a huge warming incubator with my tiny baby lying inside, sound asleep and hooked up to monitors on his chest, hands and feet.
As my son was taken out from under the lights and tubes and wires removed I finally got to hold him he was 7 days old, and that in all honesty was the most terrifing thing i have EVER done yet also the best i thought i was going to burst with pride, instead i cried.
The nurses came in and told me he was really strong, that he didn't need any breathing assistance, he just needed to be kept warm because he was quite tiny (4lbs 8oz) and needed an NGT (Nasal-Gastric Tube) for his feeding as he didn't have much sucking reflexes. When i was eventually released from hospital after being there for 3 weeks it was awful i ended up sobbing in the reception i live 40 miles away from the hospital i just didnt think i would survive, the first night was awful i rang the hospital every hour that night but the nurses didnt mind, some days i was there for 14 hours i would leave the house at7 and return at 9 it made it worse as i have 2 older children and they needed their mummy too, i dont think i could have felt like a worse parent.The routine stayed roughly the same stats(temp ,oxygen levels, blood pressure) were checked every hour and the tube feeds were done 3 hourly. It was a shock to see the feeding tube in his nose, but it soon becomes normal to see!The nurse realised how desperate I was to cuddle Harry so she got him all dressed in some hospital baby clothes (everything I had packed was too big!) and wrapped him in 3 blankets and a hat, and placed my little man in my arms. A nurse then informed me he was in the nursery or 'going home' room I was happy I nearly cried. It hurt so much to leave him there, all alone without mummy and daddy but I knew it was for the best. From there on he truly became my little boy as i could do all the parenting myself I fed bathed and changed him and began to feel like a proper parent to him, after nearly of 2 weeks of feeling like a failure I instead starting to feel like a parent, I had decided to breastfeed but as he had been so ill expressing was the only option luckily the SCBU unit had a dedicated room for this and also loaned me a breast pump while he was there.Before we came home we had to undergo a course in CPR and first aid and also learn how to administer medicines as he would be on Abidec for a year, I also spent the night before in one of the special 'flats' where he was in with me and I went for meals on the maternity ward. This time i was aloud to take her out, its quite scary so make yourself comfy in a chair and get your baby passed to you.
While in the flat a nurse is always around to help out or for a chat, which was usefull as that night there was a fire alarm and the whole neo natal ward was rushed into the c section theatres as a safety precaution- talk about a send off!!!Well it all depended on whether he had put on enough weight and the moment of truth came at 6am that Monday 7th march he weighed 4lb 10oz enough to come home, words cannot describe how I felt I was on the phone arranging to be picked up!!!!Going home I realised that there wouldn't be any monitors or nurses and this I found hard they had become my security blanket- but now we were on our own I felt like a new mum all over again.
He spent a few days in that small room in the warming incubator but one morning, I came up and found he wasn't there anymore!We were led to the main nursery room where the majority of the babies were, and there he was!!
The nurses in here were encouraging us to be more cuddly with him, although we weren't allowed him out of the incubator too long as he got cold. But we had much more interaction with him, and the nurses kept coming by and chatting with us about him and us in general, they were so friendly and kept us so up-to-date with everything. We were a bit surprised though to find one morning he was under what looked like a sunbed, so when the nurse came over to say he was jaundiced and would have to spend a day under the UV lights, we were gutted as we weren't allowed to have him out, which is so hard as a parent as you just want to cuddle your baby!
I'll be honest and say I was at points quite cross with the nurses for stopping me hugging my baby, but it was mainly my hormones being all over the show!One of the best bits for me was going up one morning and finding the incubator gone, and my Harry in a normal cot! She was in an incubator with no lid and i was aloud more space with my daughter as she was the only one in that room. He looked like a much healthier baby, and it was from this point I started to take on his cares much more! I was allowed to change his nappy, dress and undress him when required, and take him out a bit more! This made me feel so much more of a mum after 3 or 4 days of feeling left out and upset, and the nurses really encouraged me to do everything for him, and as many tube feeds as well.The final stage for Harry in SCBU was about 9 days into his stay when he went to Nursery 3, which is the room in which they prepare the babies for going home, it gives you so much hope that your baby will soon be completely yours! She had a heated mattress, vest, baby grow, jumper, hat and 3 blankets folded over and over and placed on top. In this room, all the babies are pretty well, all feeding well and not poorly, and is a really fun and upbeat room. I was really worried she would over heat but it was explained that she wasnt controlling her temperature and that she needed these.
Harry was always out of his cot here, and we were starting to be much more confident with our tiny son as well! It was very scary seeing my daughter with a tube down her nose and i had to look away when they removed it. We were able to give him his first bath at about 10 days old, with the help of the nurse and it was so memorable and so much fun!
The nurse kept a big book about my daughter and wrote everything down in it, she also wrote down who my daughter was fed and changed by. I felt almost threatened by this as i was worried if i didnt change my daughter enough i would get told off or be told i was a bad mum.
But this book was just so they could make sure she had her feed on time and keep en eye on her stools and urine.
The nurse was bottle-feeding him and told me he would be going with me downstairs that day! All the staff were very friendly and helped me alot as it was my first baby and no-one really gets prepared for a prem baby. I would've jumped for joy if I wasn't scared of bursting my caesarean stitches lol, but I was over the moon.


This was an amazing day for us as we had open access to our baby and could pick her up as often as we liked, dress her and play with her.
It was quite teary as you get quite attached to the nurses but you can how pleased they are for you, so it is a great feeling!As you can see, Harry wasn't too poorly in SCBU at all, he just needed a little bit of help with his feeding and keeping his temperature up but when you don't know what is going on, the experience can be scary.
But just remember that being in scbu is a very important part of a prem babies life.After 3 days of being in scbu she was moved to transitional care with me. We only spent a week in the nursery as she was a great feeder and was putting on weight well.
She was still in an incubator but i was in a big room alone with a kitchen and tv so it was like being home.What helped me through was my partner and family visiting me every day. I 'roomed in' for 2 nights which is when you get given a small room to share with your baby so you can get used to their routine and being alone with them before you go home.
I felt helpless because I couldn't do much because he was stuck in the incubator and I was sore from my surgery, it made me so emotional and the nurses tried to keep you upbeat and really did let me hold my son as much as they could.The nurses I cannot fault at all.
As i had to stay in the hospital with my daughter but in a different room i got very bored and emotional and wouldnt of been able to do it without them. They do an incredible job and look after all the children with the highest amount of care I have ever seen inside a hospital.
I can still remember how it felt walking out of the hospital that day with her in her car seat thinking she was 4 weeks old and this was the first time she had ever been outside! Having a baby in SCBU is a very scary experience and something it is very hard to come to terms with.
They really are so nice, they sat to chat with me, thoroughly explained what was going on with Harry at all stages and just made sure I knew my precious boy was in good hands.
I still feel jealous of other people who have normal births and get to take their baby straight home with them and hold them straight away but its slowly getting better.
I felt okay about leaving him with them because they did such a good job, and I will forever be grateful to them for what they did for me and Harry.As for the SCBU, well as you can imagine there are quite a few rules you have to stick to. I am forever grateful to the skills and expertise of the doctors and nurses as without them my little girl wouldn't be here.
There is an intercom and monitor to allow the nurses to view the visitor, and then you have to say who you are. She does have asthma and suffers from a lot of coughs and colds but her development has been amazing and she was walking at 11 months despite being 2 months early!
She really is the light of our lives and I would go through all that again to have her here with us. Mums have to wear their hospital bracelet if staying in the hospital at all times, and the babie have their mothers surnames to match the records. I am happy to answer any questions anyone might have or if anyone wants to talk please send me a message.
One thing I found is that you feel very alone as no one else can understand what its like unless they have gone through it themselves. There was a lovely family room with a big soft sofa, a TV, and hot drink making facilties as well as lockers for your bags as these aren't allowed in the rooms with the babies because of germs. It was the hardest thing i have ever done in my life to leave my baby every night in the hospital with strangers and go home, my heart felt like it was being wrenched out of my chest every single time.I hope my story hasn't been too long and boring! I wanted to share this poem which really touched me, i have been unable to find out the author though despite searching on the internet. Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. If I couldn't sleep in the ward (which I often couldn't because of the babies in the ward crying, which made me miss Harry!), I often popped to the lift and went up to SCBU and sat with my little boy for a while, usually around feed time so I could have him out for a cuddle lol! The night nurse was elderly and not as friendly as the younger ones, but never mind, I just didn't talk to her much!
Dads and siblings were allowed most of the time, although it was just mums and dads at quiet time between 1 and 2.30pm, just to give you a bit of peace and quiet which was nice.
Other visitors were allowed from 9-5 (and the quiet times) but only 3 at a time at a cot, so it didn't get too busy.I think I went through a huge change when Harry was in there too.
I went through so many emotions: sadness, helplessness, guilt because I wanted him home with me, anger at the nurses not letting me cuddle him enough (although I know now it was for the best) , joy and elation when he came out of there and worry he was going to be in there ages. I was told he could be in there up until his real due date which was April 30th, so a maximum of 6 weeks! I was scared he'd be in there alone most of the time as I lived a bit away from the Royal Berkshire hospital but luckily for me, 12 days later he was big, strong and ready to leave! I was so proud and the nurses kept saying how well he had done, so I was chuffed to bits!I think any parents fear when their baby is born is that there is going to be something wrong and that they are going to need to stay in hospital. We didn't really know much about SCBU before we went in, but let me tell you, your child will be so, so well looked after. They can arrange for you to have privacy for skin-to-skin contact (a lady next to me had blinds put up so she could have that with her son) and you can pretty much do what you want there within reason. When her child says 'mama' for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see - ignorance, cruelty, prejudice - and allow her to rise above them.



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