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I heard the phrase (or was it one word?) for weeks, not knowing what it meant. The doctors would gather around a baby’s incubator to discuss their condition, their progress, and the plan for treatment, and at some point someone would say it: “On rumare.” Or was it “enrumere”? It sounded French, like perhaps there was an accent over an e, like in médecin. It was said matter-of-factly, without urgency, but with weighted regularity.
I try to respect the privacy of other patients and families at the NICU, but my daughter shares a room with three to seven other babies, so these conversations are part of the atmosphere to which we’re always acclimating. When the doctors talk about Fiona, my partner and I ask questions about everything we don’t understand. There is so much to learn, so much to digest. But I kept hearing this phrase in other conversations, at bedsides behind our backs. The consonants and cadence were becoming familiar… she’s stable on rumare… but I still didn’t know what it meant.
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