HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - Any parent can imagine how difficult it would be if you were separated from your newborn.
That’s the reality for Dustin and Christine Williamson. Their son, Tanner, was born January 6, more than two months premature. He’s in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center in Homewood. According to his mother, Tanner has had no major issues, and he’s gaining weight.
“He is currently 2 pounds, 9 ounces. He started out as 2, 1," said Christine. "He’s doing really, really good.”
Christine and her husband live more than 30 minutes away and have pets at home. That limits the amount of time they can spend at the hospital, but they can see Tanner anytime. NICVIEW is a closed circuit camera over the incubator. Parents are given a code they use to login, allowing them to see a live feed of their baby. According to Christine, they can zoom in and see their son clearly.
“It’s nice to be able to whenever you want, before you go to bed, wake up in the morning, be able to look at him and see that he is OK,” said Christine.
“With me working 12-hour shifts, and I’m only off ever few days, having the camera, I’m able to see him when I’m at work,” said Dustin. “It’s really nice.”
Parents can share the code, allowing other family members, including grandparents, to see the baby.
“We have 10 to 15 people using it besides us. It gets used a lot,” said Christine.
“We have families that are in the military, and a lot of times they are unable to come in here to see their babies,” explained Annette Ingle, the NICU Nurse Manager. “So, it just kind of makes them feel comfortable being able to view their baby when they can’t be here.”
The cameras are not just great for parents and family. According to Ingle, they also help nurses who take care of the newborns.
“Nurses are able to set the camera. They can control the camera from their computer outside the patient’s room,” Ingle said. “They can put cute little sayings on the screen, like first bath, first bottle, just kind of give messages to the moms and dads to let them know how the babies are doing.”
Christine said she and her husband have been told Tanner could be in the hospital until April.
“We’re both very excited to be able to take him home, spend time with him, and our family actually be able to hold him,” said Christine. “So far, we’re the only two people who have held him.”