At the bedside of her baby at Christmas

News 23 December, 2017
  • Elisa Cloutier

    Saturday, 23rd December 2017 00:00

    Saturday, 23rd December 2017 00:00

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    The Holiday season will be a lot less festive this year for parents who did not expect to celebrate, between the walls of the neonatal Unit of the centre hospitalier de l’université Laval, at the bedside of their infant born prematurely.


    The birth of the little Olivier Lacelle has not been any rest for her mother Marie-Claude, who tells of being passed by a ” roller coaster of emotions. Today, it is in the day-to-day, I take every new small “, tells the story of the one who will spend Christmas at the bedside of her baby boy, born on the 28 October, 28 weeks of pregnancy.

    Photo courtesy

    Olivier Lacelle, born 28 October, 28 weeks of pregnancy.

    “The Holiday season, it’s happy, it’s family, it is a meeting, but this year this will not be the case. This will be a day like any other, ” said Marie-Claude Lacelle, mother of 30-year-old who made the world his little Olivier to 28 weeks, on October 28. At his birth, Olivier is not weighed 1390 grams, a weight that requires several weeks of hospitalization and close medical attention. “I’ve decided that I don fêtais’t Christmas in December, I would be too emotional. My family and I are going to celebrate in January, ” she continued.

    The stork is also passed much earlier than expected for Cynthia Cantin Bilodeau, aged 28, who gave birth Tamira-Lee Ouellet at 25 weeks of pregnancy, the 20th September last, so that she only weighed 730 grams. “And this, it was with all its appliances upon it,” says the mom, who has not the heart to the feast this year. “Usually I decorate early, I love Christmas, but this year, it is something else. I know that I will have to force myself to my other daughter, but this is not obvious, ” indicates the one for whom it was difficult not being able to take his child in the days that followed his birth.


    Tamira-Lee, born on 20 September to 25 weeks of pregnancy, has recently been transferred to the ” intermediate care “, which is the last step before the return to the house. “We’re really looking forward that she returns to the house,” said his mom, Cynthia Cantin-Bilodeau, who will also wish Merry Christmas to his little hospital.

    Photo courtesy

    Tamira-Lee, born on the 20 September, 25 weeks of pregnancy.

    “From the empty hands “

    “At the beginning, I could not flatter him, nor touch him because his skin was not quite yet formed. I was afraid that she recognizes me not or she doesn’t know that I was her mom, I found it very difficult, ” she says with emotion.

    With one voice they say that the hardest test is to leave the hospital each night, the ” empty hands “. “At the beginning, I cried every night, especially when I saw parents leaving with their baby. From an empty belly and empty handed, this is not in the order of things, “said Ms. Lacelle, who likens his experience to a” rollercoaster of emotions “. “Despite everything, it fits everything. It is certain that it was a big mourning period, this was not what I had imagined, but life goes on and it wears well, ” she continued.

    Fortunately, Tamara-Lee and Olivier are better, and the weight, quietly. They should be able to go home, when they have reached a minimum weight of 5.5 pounds, which should correspond to the date that was originally scheduled for their arrival, respectively, on 3 and 19 January 2018.

    The neonatal Unit of the CHUL

    ♦ The Unit can accommodate 56 patients

    ♦ The most common Pathologies

    • preterm babies
    • malformations of the heart or intestinal
    • various neurological problems

    ♦ In 2017, there has been a 1600 admissions

    ♦ The ratio is one nurse for one to three babies, depending on the needs

    Welcome to the “department of miracles”


    For the past eight years, Véronique Pouliot accompanies the parents of premature children at the neonatal Unit of the CHUL during the Holiday season

    The nurses in the neonatal unit of the CHUL, known as the “department of miracles” by many parents do the best they can to make the Holiday season a little more joyful.

    “We try to put a little atmosphere with wreaths, we have Christmas trees, we put our uniforms Christmas and some arrive with ears of reindeer to make you smile “, said Véronique Pouliot, night nurse to the unit, which celebrated its eight last Holiday season with his ” little patients “. “We try to be there as much as possible to the families, to put a little joy in their day, but sometimes just the silence, be at their side, this is all it takes “, she adds, speaking of “vocation” to describe his work.

    The kiss of midnight

    On the 24th of December at midnight, the nurses of the department move into each room to kiss their parents present with their ” little fighter “. “The unit is like our second family. I give of my time for these small babies, who are like my little babies “, she says, knowing the names of the 43 infants present in the unit.

    “The 31st of December at midnight, one takes the intercom and wish a good new year to all the world,” says the nurse, who takes advantage of his 30 minute break to celebrate with half of his colleagues, while the others remain at the bedside of the children.

    “I thank heaven “

    For Marie-Claude Lacelle and Cynthia Cantin-Bilodeau, there is no doubt that the staff of the neonatal unit makes real ” small miracles “. “I am grateful that this unit exists. When I go home in the evening, I leave with peace of mind, and it has no price. I know that they will well, I see it in the way that they look at the children, ” said Ms. Lacelle.