I’ve been trying to write this post for the past few weeks, but the tears and heartache continually get in the way. It’s been one month out, so hopefully, I can hold it together long enough to finally string together a few sentences to sum up where, exactly, I’ve disappeared to yet again.
As a blogger and writer that mainly focuses on baby and kids’ products, like some of my colleagues, I get to experience many of the latest products, sometimes even before they hit the shelves. And with Joshua’s birth earlier this year, getting a sneak peek at the latest baby gear was no exception. I had the pleasure of reviewing not one, but two great products from the forward-thinking company 4moms out of Pittsburgh. The mamaRoo and the Origami, both incredibly techy and sleek, are two baby products that not only change the baby product marketplace, but inevitably changed my family’s world, eerily foreshadowed in a piece I wrote for the family-centric tech site, Techlicious.
I reviewed the latest version of the tech-enabled infant seat over on Techlicious, revealing that “The new mamaRoo model ($200-$240 on 4moms.com) boasts faster speeds, new colors and patterns, a locking toy bar and a one year warranty.”
But in my original piece that was tightened for space/relevance, I touched upon how the mamaRoo has been used in hospitals to benefit babies. I wrote in my review about how the mamaRoo has been known to be used in hospitals in NICUs and other scenarios where sick babies need a little extra comfort.
The smartest aspect that I found about the mamaRoo, hands down, is that they’re being used in hospitals to comfort babies in the NICU and other situations. As stated on the 4moms’ site, according to Pam Schanwald,
RN and CEO of The Children’s Home and Pediatric Specialty Hospital of Pittsburgh, the mamaRoo’s “movements are therapeutic and calming for babies, particularly our Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome patients.The mamaRoo soothes them so they can spend their energy healing and growing instead of fussing and crying.”
While writing that piece, little did I know that I’d be finding out how important the mamaRoo truly is, when used in a hospital setting. And for those who didn’t already know, last month, at just 4 months old, Joshua suffered a series of seizures within a short time frame. Because of the nature and pattern of his seizures, it was, undoubtedly, one of the scariest times of our lives. And here’s how it all went down:
It was a sunny Saturday spent at a waterpark with the whole family. It was a seemingly happy family day, but one, that unfortunately, would end in tears and insurmountable fear. When anyone goes to the hospital for an unexplained illness, it’s always unsettling. But when an infant lands in an ER, emotions run rampant. I’ve replayed and retold the events of that Saturday through my head over and over. We were told it wasn’t anyone’s fault, nor could it be predicted. But it was a series of seizures that our then 4 month old suffered in a matter of 48 hours that would rattle us to our core.
It was the uncertainty; it was his size and young age; it was our family’s second major medical emergency this year.
Joshua’s seizures were terrifying; we couldn’t do anything to help him, aside from being by his side and making sure he had enough oxygen and to alert the nurses. Because of the pattern and manner of his seizures, our pediatric neurologist, admitted that he was afraid for our baby. He spewed words like, “catastrophic and turbulent;” words that I wanted to ignore, but instead they are still etched in my mind. Joshy’s seizures were finally stabilized after a duo of anti-epileptic drugs. And as much as it pains us to give our little baby so much medicine at such a young age, it’s ultimately about the quality of life. Afterall, his seizures weren’t being contained UNTIL he had the medication.
Test after test, day after day, our emergency room visit became a week-long stay in the pediatric neurology and epileptic wing. The first night, our oldest son didn’t want to part our sides. So, our family of four spent the night in the baby’s hospital room. My husband and the boy cuddled on the twin pull-out cot; I settled for sleeping hunched over on the table. And by sleeping, of course I meant staring at the baby’s arsenal of monitors that he was attached to. Because of the battery of tests that followed and the fact that he continued to have seizures, that hospital room became our makeshift apartment. My parents, who came up to help, would shuttle the big boy, as well as dinner and clean clothes.
Amid all the poking, prodding and all the treatment that followed Joshy’s episodes, I never once heard him cry for an extended period of time. He would squeal and whine to express moments of discomfort. I mean, who wouldn’t whine after having 25 electrodes GLUED to their head? It was close to impossible to comfort our poor baby. He was too young to sit and truly enjoy the awesome playroom, decked out courtesy of the Toys ‘R Us Starlight Foundation. And because he couldn’t be comforted by toys or games yet, being held by mom, dad and grandparents were his only source of distractions. That is until we brought the mamaRoo from home.
Once the mamaRoo came into play, Joshua was able to enjoy the comforts from home. Despite the massive amount of cords and machines in the hospital room, because of its small footprint, the mamaRoo was able to be squeezed in. Because of the mamaRoo, Joshua was able to enjoy gazing at the trees and get a break from just laying on his back in the crib. The nurses gawked at his cool setup, and of course, didn’t mind administering meds from the convenience of his seat. The mamaRoo aided in swaying and cradling our poor baby, especially at a time when all of these cords made it impossible to hold him for long periods of time. But beyond the comfort and ease of the mamaRoo during our hospital stay, we were able to see our sweet boy smile for longer periods of time.
We’re home now, adjusting to life after this latest medical scare. Although there hasn’t been an official diagnosis, we’re learning how to live with the baby’s special needs and demands. But of everything we experienced at the hospital, in addition to the hospital’s loving care, my family is also grateful for 4moms’ engineering expertise and innovation. And because of 4moms’ mamaRoo, we had a little less tears and a few more smiles, especially at a time we needed it most. And guys, these aren’t just words to satisfy a review; this, my friends, are straight from the heart.
- To read the entirety of my mamaRoo review, be sure to head over to Techlicious.
- This mamaRoo was provided as a sample to complete a review on a different site, but I have committed to donate this mamaRoo to St. Clare’s hospital, which will hopefully provide more families smiles and comfort one sway at a time.