TechMom Tuesday: The Lifesaving Impact of Technology
I write a monthly column over at AlliOSNews. It’s a techie site – extolling all the goodies and gunpowder on the Apple OS. (SHINY TOY!) I’m TechMom. And these are my stories on how technology is really used. This month I couldn’t resist the opportunity to step up on my soap box.
(I’m well aware it’s Wednesday. If you want TechMom Tuesday on Tuesdays, head on over to AlliOSNews for all things Apple. TechMom Tuesday is typically published the first Tuesday of every month. I reserve the right to rant more or less as the technical goings-on, well…go on.)
Did you miss me? (Oh, who am I kidding, of COURSE you missed me.) I missed you too. (Oh, who am I kidding, I’ve been dealing with travel, tantrums and the newfound ability of my toddler to proclaim, “Mommy, phone AWAY.” You can go ahead and drop off my Mother of the Year award at any time.)
Don’t worry, there are plenty of TechMom stories to share. Because here’s the thing – today’s chitlins have grown up surrounded by technology. My sons – literally from the second they were born.
I am a mom. Because of technology.
November is prematurity awareness month. (Stay with me here. We’re coming back around to the TechMom tie-in.)
Search and Destroy (the TechMom toddlers) were born 13 weeks too soon (because who needs a third trimester when you have technology). I did not get to meet my sons the day they were born. A team of doctors immediately surrounded them, gently placing them in computerized incubators. A team of nurses hooked them up to sensors – the critical results to be displayed on the monitors above their isolettes.
It was technology keeping them alive from their first breath of air.
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was expecting their arrival. Because all of my medical records as well as the developing status of the new tiny babies was stored on the hospital computer system. My and their results monitored from afar.
Their nurses – a surrogate family during the months I had to return home every night alone – tracked even the tiniest of details on the computer next to each patient bed. Grams of weight gain, milligrams of nutritional ingestion. Every doctor and specialist knew the plan of attack. We were all on the same page.
My children were swaddled in wires, not their mother’s arms. Their first lullabies were the beeping alarms of computerized monitors. But it was the data delivered from those wires that reassured me that their hearts continued to beat and they remembered to breathe. In. Out. Repeatedly. Forever. (Granted, this did not occur without the occasional reminder.
Premature babies can’t take stimulation. The NICU is a quiet environment – not necessarily always somber, but quiet. No parent wants to be annoyed by the phone conversation of another. Nor do they likely want to broadcast the day’s medical update to fellow preemie parents – whose own children may be doing better or worse.
I spent approximately six hours a day in the NICU while my twins took their leisurely time developing. (My first parental “I told you so”: In such a hurry to enter the big wide world – didn’t work out for you so well now did it? Didn’t think so.) I took pictures, I texted, and abused my Internet access for potential medical complications until the doctors revoked my Google privilege. My iOS devices allowed me to maintain a seriously skewed sense of “normalcy” during this adventure. And they connected to the blogs and stories of so many others who’d been unceremoniously thrust into the secret society of prematurity.
Clearly, you’re all well aware I’m a Mac girl. SHINY TOY! Obviously, this is an Apple focused site. And I am more than happy to share our adventures with the multitude of iOS devices my family continues to accumulate.
Some of the computers (such as my iPhone) from our journey through prematurity were certainly powered by innovations out of One Infinite Loop. Plenty others were Microsoft or Linux. Some were likely medically proprietary. That’s not my point.
You see, neonatology is a relatively recent field. It is the marriage of recent technology and medical research. The technology is what assisted my children’s fight for life. Remember that next time someone calls you a tech nerd.
Embrace those geekery stripes! They’re a lifesaver. Literally.
November is prematurity awareness month. And it’s my own iOS system that allows me to share this with you. With photos and video taken from my Little iPhone that Could, statistics pulled from research off my iPad, and created via iMovie on my Macbook Air – this is prematurity.