UTAH COUNTY -- A Lehi father is serving the United States overseas in the Air Force, but he's still able to see his newborn son in the NICU whenever he wants.
Timpanogos Regional Hospital has a “NicView” camera system, where families can log onto the hospital’s app, type in a password and look at their newborn whenever they want.
Staff Sgt. John Girtman and his wife Mary just gave birth to their now seven-week-old baby boy, John Carter Girtman. Their baby son was born two weeks early on January 29 and was in the NICU at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for three weeks.
He went home for a week, then caught pneumonia and was taken back to the NICU at Timpanogos Regional Hospital. Mary Girtman thought the NICU life would be the same as it was the first three weeks, but instead the new NIC View camera system changed her life.
“I found out when we got admitted,” she said. “And immediately, I was just ‘Oh my gosh, This is so cool,’ because it was really hard to try and coordinate everything with him.”
John has been deployed for six months. During the first three weeks their son was in the NICU it wasn't always easy for Mary to be at the hospital and connect John with their son.
The couple also has a 19-month-old daughter at home. Timpanogos does not allow children 12 or under in the NICU due to concerns about influenza, so that made it hard for Mary because she could not bring Maley with her to visit her son.
However, with the camera system, her life is a little easier.
“It takes the stress off of me to kind of be able to do things when I can,” Girtman said. “And just plan with my daughter and my mom versus trying to coordinate across the world.”
The nurses also leave notes for the parents to read whenever they log onto the camera system to view their NICU baby.
“They say ‘Hi mommy,’ ‘Hi daddy,’ ‘I have been doing really good with eating. I love you,’” Girtman described. “The first time I saw it, I was like, 'Oh that's so cute,’ just knowing the nurses care and are good enough to go the extra mile.”
Baby John Carter is on his way to recovery. Dad is expected to be home in Lehi in the next few months, and Mary hopes their son will be there waiting for him.