ROCKFORD (WREX) — 11 babies went on a very special journey through Swedish-American Hospital Tuesday morning.
Hospital staff moved babies from the main hospital's NICU over to the Level 3 facility at the new Women and Children's Hospital.
After breaking ground in 2018, the $55 million project finished and officially opened in March.
The NICU in this new building is quite the expansion to what is already offered in the main hospital.
"It's a 24 bed individual room NICU. We had created a 10 bed NICU space when we first opened in 2019 and now we can admit babies of high acuity to basically all the rooms," Neonatal ICU medical director Carol Castelino said.
Though this move happened within different parts of the same building, it was far from easy to coordniate.
Castelino looks back on countless meetings to get everyone organized to make the transfer to the new hospital wing as seemless as possible.
"It took a lot to staff the old unit, staff the new unit and have a moving team back and forth. So it really is like a team effort," Castelino said.
The first baby moved into the new NICU was Briggs Bicksler, the second born to his mom Mackenzie.
The little boy was born about five weeks early which was quite the surprise for his mom.
However, she is excited to have her son in a new facility that provides them some more space.
"The minute walking in here it was just nice seeing the brightness of it. It's so beautiful," Bicksler said.
"It's exiciting to have our own space and privacy."
The next milestone hospital staff are waiting on is the first baby to be born at the Women and Children's hospital.
That could happen as soon as Wednesday, April 7.