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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For Parents on NICU, Trauma May Last | | Star News | Wilmington, NC

Kim Roscoe’s son, Jaxon, was born three months early, weighing two and a half pounds. But for nine days he did exceedingly well in the neonatal intensive care unit, and Ms. Roscoe felt little different from the other new mothers.
Her nightmare started on Day 10.
“I had left him late the night before, in my arms, tiny but perfect,” said Ms. Roscoe, now 30, of Monterey, Calif. But when she returned to the NICU the next day, Jaxon was in respiratory and kidney failure, and his body had swollen beyond recognition.
“He was hooked up to ventilators, his skin was turning black, the alarms kept dinging over and over,” Ms. Roscoe recalled.
Jaxon is 16 months old now, and home with his family. But he was in the NICU for 186 days, and his days and weeks were punctuated by near-death episodes.
During the six-month ordeal, Ms. Roscoe had constant nightmares. She slept with her shoes on, expecting a call from the hospital at any moment. She became angry at the world, and so jumpy she thought a supermarket scanner was one of Jaxon’s monitors going off. Her husband, Scott, immersed himself in projects, took care of their daughter, Logan, now 6, and held things together emotionally.
About three months after her son’s birth, Ms. Roscoe asked to see a psychiatrist. She was given a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, or P.T.S.D. — a mental illness more often associated with surviving war, car accidents and assaults, but now being recognized in parents of premature infants in prolonged intensive care…
For Parents on NICU, Trauma May Last | | Star News | Wilmington, NC

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