A Middle Tennessee family who went through one of the toughest experiences parents can go through is hoping to bring awareness about life in the NICU.
The Baileys say that while the care for their child was incredible, accommodations are lacking.
Their daughter was born four months premature back in December. Since then, they've been renting an apartment they say they can't afford across the street from the hospital. The family says there was no other way to be close to their daughter, Adalyn.
She was barely over 1 pound when she was born and was one of the smallest babies the hospital had seen.
Adalyn is doing much better now, and her parents say the care she received at TriStar Centennial Medical Center was remarkable.
The Baileys say they wish there were more accommodations for them to stay there with her as much as they could.
"You want to be there in those early days, even if it's difficult, and even if they're hooked up to different machines," said mother Lona Bailey. "There's no substitute for being there in person."
Unfortunately, overnight accommodations for NICU parents just don't exist.
However, one local hospital is connecting parents to their babies in a new way to help bridge that gap.
Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital is the first hospital in Middle Tennessee to install NICView webcams. With this new technology, parents and their extended family can check in on their baby 24/7.
One mother said when she wakes up in the middle of the night it's easier for her to check the webcam for peace of mind instead of calling her child's nurse.
"As a mom of a NICU baby myself, it was really really hard to leave, but hospitals are not built to where parents can stay in 24/7 for extended periods of time," said Kristen Toth, VP of Women’s and Children’s Services at Saint Thomas Health. "We wanted to see how we could make that less traumatic or less stressful for families."
The cameras are funded by the Saint Thomas Health Foundation and the supporters of Rock the Cradle.
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