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

PHOTOS: Canadian National Peony Show this weekend in Castlegar

A glimpse of what is happening at the Community Complex this weekend.

Students learn about making a difference

Girl’s leadership program bears fruit at Kinnaird Elementary

Three times the love: Identical triplets return home to Nelson

Katherine van der Veen gave birth to Ainsley, Olivia and Abigail last month

Pass Creek farmers encouraged to plan ahead to save animals

Firesmart info session planned for Monday, June 24 at Pass Creek Community Hall

RDCK chair: No comment on Castlegar Mayor’s FCM trip

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference costs about $3,600 per delegate

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read