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. They are a blended family, so Ruby has two 10-year-old sisters to dote on her, Emily Becenko and Adysen 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

Letter: One Dump Truck Too Many!

There is something going on in our town (oh! I mean, just… Continue reading

Fraser Health patients to see 23% more knee, hip replacement surgeries

First-available surgeon approach will reduce waitlists, B.C. health minister says

Proper engagement needed for quarry development: expert

Impact on residents, species should be communicated, evaluated

Wildlife centre operator concerned about leg-hold traps

Elizabeth Melnick of Abbotsford says contraptions are injuring innocent animals

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP members named to Alexa’s Team

Team honours officers working to keep drunk drivers off the roads, in honour of girl killed in 2008

VIDEO: Harrison gets uncorked at wine festival

Locally prepared food was paired with a wide variety of wines at the Saturday fundraiser

Cat found stuffed in box in Dumpster in northeastern B.C.

Still alive, cat was found near Dawson Creek restrained with zip ties, legs forced behind neck

Fears prompt feds to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Wire-bristle safety fears prompt Ottawa to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Don’t forget about women left to sweep up shards of glass ceiling, W7 urges G7

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau champions gender equality at the G7 he is being asked to raise the concerns of marginalized women

Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

B.C. man charged with litany of drug charges in cross-border smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Saanich faces multiple charges

Sky-high farmland prices ‘ruinous’ for B.C. agriculture: UFV ag professor

Fraser Valley-based Tom Baumann says $80K-per-acre in area threatens food security

Passersby nab alleged purse snatcher in Vancouver crime spree

Police say a 23-year-old Calgary man has been charged with theft and assault

Political heavyweights hit Washington in hunt for NAFTA deal

Officials from Prime Minister’s office, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland part of talks

Most Read