Updated: Oct 5
During the month of September, Bonsie will feature a brave baby and family who has triumphed in the midst of frightening medical challenges. In honor of NICU Awareness month, we are also giving back to our local hospital, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, and donating our babywear to other NICUs and medically complex babies.
Our mission at Bonsie is to educate parents on the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and encourage this healing practice. The design of our babywear is uniquely crafted to make skin-to-skin contact easy for babies in and out of the NICU; we make babywear with a PURPOSE. Skin-to-skin contact is particularly crucial for NICU babies, which is why we are grateful for the opportunity to share these inspiring stories with our readers.
Sara and her husband, Lee, live in Massachusetts with their toddler, Oliver, and newborn baby, Lochlann. Twenty-six hours after Lochlann was born, his breathing rate spiked. He was taken to the NICU for an internal respiratory infection after blood work showed elevated immature white blood cells.
“My first son was rushed to NICU at birth due to several complications, and my one hope this time was that I would have a healthy baby that could stay with me instead of being rushed away. Lochlann, to my huge relief, was able to have a golden hour and stay with me for the first 24 hours. Around the 26 hour mark he started breathing really fast. Normal newborn breaths per minute is 40-60 and he was spiking 90-120. They treated him for an internal respiratory infection after blood work showed elevated immature white blood cells.”
Lochlann was in the NICU for one week, and like any NICU parent understands, that is one week too long.
“He was in NICU for a total of seven days. I am completely aware that by NICU standards that is an extremely short stay and I intend to take nothing away from other families who endure the separation for far longer. But being discharged and sent home without your baby is an experience that no mother should have to endure. I had prepared myself for the empty swing in the living room, but the empty bassinet in our bedroom sent me reeling into despair. Thankfully, my parents kept Oliver longer than planned, so we were able to visit Lochlann as much as possible. I would pump at home and bring milk in and nurse while there once he came off the C-PAP machine. Before that the pumped milk was given through a feeding tube. We were very fortunate that his nurses were incredible and made us feel that he was safe and well loved in our absence. He also had a livestream camera over him 24/7 that we were able to log into to check on him when we couldn’t be there, which made the situation easier for not just us but also our family and friends who could check on him that way too.”
Sarah regularly practiced skin-to-skin contact with Lochlann during his NICU stay.
“Whenever we were visiting we would practice skin-to-skin as much as possible to provide him comfort as well as bonding time. It was a huge relief for me as well, being able to hold him against me was the only time I felt I could take a deep breath during that week.”
Bonsie Skin to Skin Babywear has changed the way parents dress medically complex babies in the NICU setting. Bonsie's unique design allows doctors and nurses to easily place sensitive medical equipment on babies while keeping them warm, while also allowing for skin-to-skin contact without removing clothing. We offer a range of sizes from preemie to size 6-9 months, as well as footless options, short sleeves, and rompers to accommodate various needs. Bonsie is honored to have played a small part in keeping Lochlann more comfortable and giving his parents extra peace of mind.
“The Bonsies (that I had bought selfishly just for cuddles) ended up being a game changer while he was admitted."
"He was able to wear comfy clothes while still being hooked to half a dozen tubes and sensors with wires. We could do skin-to-skin without disrupting any of it and the nurses were able to come check his sensors without having to strip him down. We actually had several nurses request the brand info to recommend to other parents because it really made him more comfortable without being cumbersome for them to provide care.”
Sarah has some loving words for fellow and future NICU parents:
“Having a NICU baby, whether premature or ill, can be traumatic beyond comprehension for parents (consider postpartum therapy to help process it all). But your baby is in a good place and is being treated and cared for so they can start their life as healthy as possible. A week feels like ages while you’re in it, but one day you’ll have a vibrant four-year-old who never stops talking and the NICU will seem like a lifetime ago.”
It is a privilege to meet these remarkable NICU families and share their stories with you. Working with moms and babies, such as Sarah and Lochlann, is at the heart of everything we do at Bonsie. We hope to provide knowledge and encouragement to new families everywhere and help as many babies as we can in the process.