B.C.’s ‘micro-preemie’ Ruby doing well at home

After four-and-a-half months in hospital, Salmon Arm infant growing, moving, smiling

Being asked how old her baby Ruby is can be a complicated question for Ali Becenko.

Corrected age or actual age?

Ruby was born at 24 weeks and six days gestation, termed a ‘micro-preemie.’

Her birth was a shock. Ali had experienced some complications during her pregnancy that led them to go to the hospital.

“I just thought I was there for an ultrasound.”

Instead, Ruby was born a day-and-a-half later at BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver.

One hundred and 39 days after that – about four-and-a-half months, they were able to bring her home.

“It was a long time. It was a roller coaster,” she says. “It was definitely a whole world to be involved in, in one day.”

Ruby is the daughter of Ali and Rod Gollan.

Ruby wasn’t stable enough to be held when she was born so it was about 11 days before Ali could hold her for the first time.

Then the type of ventilator was changed to one where Ruby couldn’t be held at all.

“It’s quite a delicate thing having a breathing tube with a baby that size,” she explains, adding that tiny babies don’t actually like to be touched too much.

Ali went for a month-and-a-half without holding Ruby. Instead, she says, the hospital has found that ‘hand hugging’ is comforting to them. One hand went on her head while the other cupped her feet.

“That was all I could do.”

Related: Family rallies around ‘micro-preemie’

One of the biggest hurdles was diaper changing, which had to be done in an incubator, hands in, only so far, working with a tiny baby who is distressed because she doesn’t want to be touched.

Ali left it to the nurses for a while who were skilled doing it.

Worry was a familiar companion. The night before Ruby was born, Ali remembers a woman coming in with all kinds of information about what was next, and lots of statistics.

“I remember her saying babies born at 27 weeks have a better outlook than babies at 24 weeks. That frightened me.”

She says the medical professionals are forthright about what’s going on.

“But they don’t have a crystal ball. Even with a normal baby, it can be two years.”

It was a happy day when she and Rod could take Ruby home, both of them full of gratitude for their medical team.

“I was just glad I could leave with her. Some people had to leave the hospital without their baby.”

Ruby had a NG (nasogastric) tube for feeding when she left and she has chronic lung disease, accompanied by a bit of a grunt and a raspiness to her breathing. She will move out of that diagnosis when her lungs grow to normal size, Ali explains.

Just last week she had the feeding tube removed, she weighs 9 lbs 4 ozs and has been doing fine.

“Rod and I are beyond happy that she has reached this milestone.”

Before Ruby made her appearance, her parents had chosen a couple of names. Her dad chose Ruby, her mom Claire.

However, when she saw the baby, Ali thought Claire was just too plain for her. Not to mention, her skin was ruby-coloured.

So Ruby Claire she is.

Ruby sleeps well at night, she’s not a fussy baby, she loves staring at her dad’s beard – in fact she loves beards in general – she kicks her little feet, she likes lying on her play mat, she loves her little swing, and she can smile.

“It’s all worth it when they smile.”

Ali and Rod would like to thank their family members for all of the help fundraising, as well as the community’s incredible support, which enabled them to spend as much time as possible together in Vancouver as a family while their daughter was in hospital.

“We are so grateful for the help we received.”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

North Cowichan taxpayers could face a one-time 133% increase in ‘worst case’ VIMC lawsuit

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

LAKE FLASHBACK: Remember swine flu? Bosnian conflict? Moving St. Christopher’s? It’s been a while

From worldwide stories to those close to home, we’ve a real cross-section this week

Mary Lowther column: Making your own supplements from garden plants

Health food stores offer powdered green supplements to augment deficiencies of commercial vegetables

Lake Cowichan fire department back with annual toy and food drive on Dec. 13-14

As Lake area gets ready to fill Christmas hampers, firefighters call for donations of toys and food

Chargers in every match at provincial tourney

DCS finishes 12th after competitive tournament

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Carriageworks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read