Babies need TLC

My wife and I have been helping one of our sons move house.

The division of labour is not our ideal but there seemed no other way: today Helen stayed with the 2½ old toddler and his 5 month old brother while our son, his wife and I cleaned the old house and carried the boxes and furniture being moved.

When we all got back to Helen and the little boys, we found the 5 month old had been hankering for a drink and had snuggled into her cleavage as the second-best option – and fallen soundly asleep.  Helen said there had been no other way to pacify our ravenous grandson – and it worked a treat.

This reminded me in no small way of one of those “enjoy and send on” emails a friend sent me last week…

Twin girls, Brielle and Kyrie, were born 12 weeks ahead of their due date.  Needing intensive care, they were placed in separate incubators.

Kyrie began to gain weight and her health stabilized.  But Brielle, born only 2 pounds in weight, had trouble breathing, heart problems and other complications.  She was not expected to live.

Their nurse did everything she could to make Brielle’s health better, but nothing she did was helping her. With nothing else to do, their nurse went against hospital policy and decided to place both babies in the same incubator.

She left the twin girls to sleep and when she returned she found a sight she could not believe.  She called all the nurses and doctors and this is what they saw.

Twins w maternal deprivation

As Brielle got closer to her sister, Kyrie put her small little arm around her, as if to hug and support her sister.  From that moment on, Brielle’s breathing and heart rate stabilized and her health became normal.

Share the pic [and why not this post?] to show the world how a little bit of tender love and affection can save someone’s life.

When I had surgery to remedy pyloric stenosis in 1945, I was separated from my mother for two weeks.  Until the hospital world learnt how to combat cross-infection, that was the rule for all babies after surgery.  The damaging and ongoing effects of this separation on both baby and mother have been studied and reported on, and although I now recognize these long-term effects, they caused both my mother and me much grief as I was growing up.

It’s when I arrive home to see my snuggling grandson, and read a story like that of Brielle and Kyrie, that I am reminded of just one of the effects of my early surgery.

How glad I am that maternal deprivation and separation of mothers and sick infants are now very rare, and that their effects are well-understood and carefully managed.

1 thought on “Babies need TLC

  1. Wendy

    How moving! Kudos to that nurse who risked all to save another. And thankfully, the medical world has moved forward in its thinking about babies, moms, and family. Relationship is the key to healthy life–knowing that we are not alone and that we are in relation to others.


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