The team also helped Quinaya and Jamie move across the street to the newly opened NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns, where they are now enjoying their own room while being cared for in the Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) center, a designation which marks the highest level of care for neonatal patients.
On August 2, Jamie was one of the first babies who moved to the new NICU unit at NYP Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns. Transported across the street via ambulance, “he slept through the whole thing! No hiccups, no bumps, or anything,” says Quinaya. “It’s been a smooth transition for him.”
And an even better transition for Mom. With individual rooms available to all NICU babies and their families and amenities such as pull-out couches, linens, and showers, “I can stay the night,” says Quinaya, who was commuting one hour each way to see her son every day. “It’s easier for me to be able to sleep on a pull-out couch instead of trying to get a car service to go all the way home and then try to find my way back.”
Soon, both mom and son hope to make that journey home together. Now 4 1/2 months old, Jamie has been growing steadily and weighs a healthy 9 pounds. Still, “he’s not taking all of his feeds consistently,” Quinaya says. “Some days he’ll finish, some days he won’t.”
To remedy that, Jamie is due to have surgery to insert a G tube, a device that will give Quinaya the ability to give her son supplemental feedings directly through his stomach. With a G tube in place, Quinaya will not only be able to closely monitor her son’s calorie intake; she will also finally be able to bring Jamie home where her mom, Arnette, will help care for him.
With all the emotional ups and downs of Jamie’s stay in the NICU, Quinaya admits that mentally “it got really overwhelming,” she says. “It’s a whole different story being a NICU mom. This day he was getting this tube. This day it was an IV. It was so much. At first I felt really alone because I’m not the type to ask for help.”
Then Quinaya touched base with a hospital social worker who connected her with Dr. Georgina Hartzell, an infant psychiatry fellow at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and an instructor in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. “I’ve been talking to her once a week ever since, and she’s been really helpful,” says Quinaya.
Along with the nurses, doctors, and Jamie’s entire care team, Quinaya says, “it’s been good to have that support” over the past four months. And now as she prepares to bring her son home, Quinaya says, “Our outlook is looking bright.”