A year ago we brought Lexie home from the NICU. She spent 6 weeks there healing and growing. When she was there, we stayed informed of her status and the minor procedures she underwent, but I didn't get too deep into the details. I just mentally couldn't go there. That's why I don't know for sure about what happened to her in the hours after her birth, and I didn't know for sure what the possibilities were for complications in the weeks after her birth, and I didn't know specific details about how procedures like feeding tube insertions were performed.
A couple of months ago the (in)famous Duggars welcomed a preemie into their gigantic family. I never thought I'd watch that show, but since the arrival of 19th child Josie at 25 weeks gestation, I've been tuning in. I'm not so interested in the family's activities, but I've been watching the NICU footage carefully. I've now seen a feeding tube insertion on TV, and I know how far down it goes (far -- to the small intestine). I've seen this little TV preemie encounter complications that we avoided, but now I understand how they occur, and I realize how lucky we were that nothing serious befell Lexie during her time in the hospital. I now understand that when the nurses said "we're giving her .4 ml an hour of milk, and we'll see how she does," they were watching for a bowel perforation or necrotizing enterocolitis, in which the intestine begins to die. We didn't dig any deeper and just happily accepted it each day when Lexie did well and her feeds were increased.
I'm glad I didn't know that much about it at the time.