Together, our community cared for baby Alice

When Janet and Scott’s first baby, Ben, made his entrance at Guelph General in 2018, they were home the next day. With their second baby, Alice, born in March last year, the experience was totally different.

Alice was premature by a month. Although she weighed a healthy 7 pounds, 2 ounces, her delivery date came unexpectedly and she was not quite ready to breathe independently. A respiratory therapist, pediatrician, nurse and midwife all greeted her arrival. She was whisked off to spend twenty-four hours in an incubator connected to an oxygen CPAP machine. Over the next week, Alice was treated with UV lights to address her jaundice, had bloodwork done to assess her progress, and was given intravenous sugars as she couldn’t feed independently. It wasn’t until she had regained her birth weight and was breathing without assistance that she was ready to go home, a whole week after her debut.  

Janet recalls how worried she and Scott were through that first week but also how much they were reassured and supported by the GGH staff. “Even though it was really scary, everyone was incredible. The nurses were amazing; they worked so quickly and explained everything they were doing.”  “Calm and efficient” are the words she uses to describe them. “They encouraged me to do a lot of the care and were very helpful in showing me what to do. I always felt at ease with them.”

Scott and Janet are aware of the changes planned for the Special Care Nursery and applaud the renovations that will be possible because of the Together, We Care community campaign that just went over its $34-million fundraising goal. Once the ward is remodelled, there will be more room for each family; partners like Scott will be able to stay next to their baby and mother overnight. The parents also expressed their appreciation for the many different pieces of equipment — from the incubator to the UV “spa” to the CPAP machine — all used to help Alice and funded by the generous community of Guelph and Wellington. 

Alice is home now and fine; she just celebrated her first birthday. Janet credits GGH with saving her baby’s life. “Alice wouldn’t be the healthy, vibrant baby she is today if it weren’t for our hospital’s incredible skills and top-notch technologies. How lucky we are!”.