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Visiting Ethan

2011 January 7
by bvoboril

Since Ethan is doing so well, we are happy to have visitors from time to time. We hate to make ‘rules’ about this, but there are a few rules of the NICU that we don’t have control over, then there are a few things that Ethan’s doctors have recommended.  I feel like crazy, overprotective parents even writing this post.  But for right now, that is what we are. :)


If you’d like to visit, please let us know in plenty of advance. We don’t want to have visitors every night/day, so we’ll try to space them apart and make sure they fit into our schedule. The best times will usually be during the day around 11am or in the evening around 7pm.

Other NICU Patients:
Be aware there are many other babies in the NICU. We try not to go anywhere near them, ask about them, or even look over at things going on around them. Also, if a very critical baby comes in, or an emergency is going on with a current NICU baby, the nurses may ask visitors (including parents) to leave. If something big is happening, we usually just leave anyway. This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

Monitors & Alarms:
Additionally, in the NICU all babies are constantly monitored for things like heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, and O2 levels. This means lots of wires and cords are connected to Ethan. The most sensitive one is his feeding tube in his nose, but it doesn’t hurt him. The others are just sensors that stick to his chest and/or back and can be easily removed. This does mean that there are lights, alarms, and computer screens telling us whether his levels are normal or not. And due to Apena (click here for a previous post with more information on Apnea), his alarms do go off sometimes.  But if nurses aren’t running in the door at the sound of an alarm, everything is OK. And nurses have NEVER run in the door yet. So to make things a little less stressful for everyone, we’ll probably just leave him in his incubator so visitors can get a good look in at him. It’s easier to see him this way anyway…when we hold him he gets pretty cuddled up
and you can only see half of his little face.

We ask that anyone who visits:

  • washes their hands on arrival (we’ll show you where)
  • doesn’t get too close
  • has not felt sick in the last 48 hours
  • make visits brief so we have some alone time with him
  • is over 15 (that’s an overall NICU rule)

While the nurses were friendly last night (and I snuck in from the pump room while my uncle was visiting…just a coincidence!) we are only supposed to have two visitors at the bedside at one time, including us. And we want to follow the rules. So if more then one person comes to visit at the same time, you will have to wait in the lobby and one of us will take you back, one at a time. The other one of us will hang out with whoever is left in the lobby!

Signing In:

When you arrive at the second floor desk of Children’s (Bridge Level), tell them you are there to see Ethan Voboril.  They will give you a badge.  Continue down the main hall to the elevators and go to the fifth floor.  The NICU front desk is right next to the elevators.  If someone is at the desk, tell them you are there to visit Ethan Voboril and give them your name.  You must be on the  list to visit (if you have a visit scheduled, we’ll make sure you are on the list).  They will announce you to us and we will come escort you back one at a time.  If there is no one at the desk, pick up the phone and wait for the operator.  Tell her the same information and she will announce you to us.


Park in the Children’s Hospital Parking garage off of Kingshigway.  It’s the 3rd right turn north of 40.  From the garage, take the elevator to the second floor, or Bridge Level.

Please call us with any questions.  Again, we know this is a lot of rules and they aren’t fun, but we’re just trying to follow what the doctors and nurses tell us.  We’re just thrilled we can have visitors at all!  We don’t mean to be over-protective, but since he is so small, his immune system can’t fight off illness as well as a full term baby’s.  Once he is home we look forward to family and friends giving him tons of lovin!


One Response leave one →
  1. Sandy Schon permalink
    January 8, 2011

    We loved the video!! The dinosaur outfit is adorable. He looks fabulous.

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