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Babies in hospital

(11 Posts)
shirleym Mon 03-Oct-11 16:16:32

My youngest grandchild who is 4 months old has been in a hospital intensive care unit which is about 30 minutes from where we live since birth with complications associated with Downs Syndrome.She has a sister and two brothers so we are trying to support not only the children but our daughter and her partner too.
I would be interested to hear of any other grandparents who have experience of very ill children in hospital who may have any advice which will help us, thanks

Annobel Mon 03-Oct-11 16:43:53

shirleym, what an anxious situation for your family. When my younger son was in hospital at the age of 2, I believe it was his older brother who suffered the more in terms of feeling deprived. The grandparents lived too far away to be any use and I had to live at the hospital. Although my ex-H did his best, he had to be at work and DS1 wasn't yet of school age. He was able to go to the creche at ex's college and sometimes was farmed out to friends. Your GC are very lucky to have you around. They will need lots of reassurance because they will be feeling anxious about the baby even if they can't always express this. They will also be missing the security of their parents' presence if they have to spend a lot of time at the hospital. I suspect you are already doing all you can for your family - just be there for them, offering security and reassurance.

jogginggirl Mon 03-Oct-11 22:45:33

Oh shirleym.....I'm so sorry, it sounds like you have a very tough job.....I'm afraid I can't offer any relevant experience - I can only offer you good wishes and to re-iterate Annobel"s advice....................offering security and reassurance.........good luck.....xx

Carol Sat 29-Oct-11 11:52:44

Hi shirleym. I hope things are improving for you and the family has been able to organise a routine that enables everyone to share the burden until your grandaughter can come home. I don't have any advice - I imagine you've become the experts on what your family needs by now, I'll be thinking about you and wishing you well xx

Faye Sat 29-Oct-11 12:58:30

Shirleym I must have missed this thread and would have replied if I had have seen it. I too have had a grandchild in the ICU.
It is a worrying time with a sick baby in hospital and I hope she is home by now!

gracesmum Sat 29-Oct-11 13:24:57

Dear ShirleyM all I can offer is my sympathy and hopes that this will soon be behind you all and your DD and GC can all be at home together. I remember very clearly the "unreal" feeling about leaving our baby behind in hospital 38 years ago and also having DH in hospital for weeks at a stretch over the last few years you put "normal" life on hold. Your GC will need as much normality as you can manage and your D will welcome an undisturbed night or even afternoon when possible. You are doing wonderfully at present - don't forget to allow yourself time and space to recharge your own batteries,

goldengirl Sat 29-Oct-11 17:04:24

Our GS was in intensive care when he contracted meningitis last year. So that his parents could remain with him - as the outcome was very uncertain at the time although thankfully he recovered - we looked after his older sister. We answered her questions as honestly as possible and she was allowed to visit him. In fact she was encouraged to be part of his rehabilitation. For me, it made me concentrate on her welfare although it wasn't easy as we were so worried and we were pleased to be able to provide support. The parents could be with their little boy knowing that their daughter was being well cared for. We were lucky that both his nursery and her school were also supportive.
In my view shirleym you are supporting the parents by looking after the other children and providing them with the security they need at such a difficult time. You are giving the parents time both to be with their baby and to support each other.

nanimoo Fri 04-Nov-11 21:12:27

Dear ShirleyMI know only too well what it is like to have a baby in hospital. My youngest daughter was born with Noonans Syndrome which is similar to Downs Syndrome. She was in hospital until she was 6 months old having tests etc. She had open heart surgery when she was 3 and is now 26. She still has many health problems but she is still here. She has two older sisters who when we told them that their little sister was very poorly said that they would look after her they were then 4 and 7. They have kept their word and still look after her. I am her full time carer as her sisters are both married with children of their own but they still take turns in taking her out at the weekends. Her sister who is now 30 has always been very protective of her and now her husband does the same. My grandchildren just look at her and say she is Auntie Laura and treat her no different. I hope that everything works out for your granddaughter and I know from first hand what you and your family are going through.

grannyactivist Fri 04-Nov-11 22:49:40

My second child was in and out of hospital from the age of four months until she was five years old. I lived hundreds of miles from family, and my (then) husband worked away from home for months at a time.
The very worst occasion was when my eldest daughter (aged 6) became ill and needed to be admitted to hospital; my husband was abroad and I had no one else to turn to, being newly arrived in the town, so had to ask the local vicar's wife to come and babysit my youngest daughter (aged 3) who was feeling poorly. As they were doing a lumbar puncture on my eldest daughter the ward sister came hurrying to ask me to take a phone call from the vicar's wife; she was calling to tell me that my youngest daughter had slipped into a coma and the doctor had been called.
At that point I was the loneliest I had ever felt in my life. Believe me, if a grandparent had turned up it would have been manna from heaven.
shirleym I am quite certain that whatever help you can offer will be a lifeline for your daughter and her family. The only word of caution I would offer is to remind you to give yourself a bit of space and time to process your own emotions and to get a little support for yourself too. brewcupcake

grannyactivist Fri 04-Nov-11 22:51:46

I should say that both daughters recovered well and now my sickly little girl is a senior ward sister - in keeping with a pledge to be a nurse that she made when she was five years old. smile

Hunt Sat 25-Feb-12 23:25:29

grannyactivist, you must be very proud of her. I do like a happy ending, so let us all pray for a good outcome for ShirleyM