To all of the special NICU nurses who took care of Nathan – Rondah, Elizabeth, Beth, Nicole, Sheila, Chris, Vanessa, Natalie, Lisa, Teresa, Kristi, Richard, Luc, Jayce, Melissa and many, many more.
You all will forever hold a special place in my heart. How do I say thank you to the women, and men, who vigilantly watched over my newborn baby only hours after his birth, stood guard by the beeping monitors intently watching for any sign of distress, rushed to his bedside to run code on him when he started crashing?
You are the ones who witnessed him opening his eyes for the first time, provided a means for giving him nutrition when I, his mother, could not. Religiously you changed diapers, took temperatures, administered medications, gave baths, and perhaps most importantly, held him when he cried.
There was so much that I missed in those first two months of his little life. You all helped make my NICU experience better than it would have been. You asked me how I was doing. Held my hand when I cried. Gave me something to laugh about from time to time. Handled my breast milk with extreme care. Cheered for me when I tried to nurse him. Taught me how to put on leads and pulse ox wires as if it was completely normal. Made up his bed with blankets from home. Scoured the neonatal floor to find a mobile you thought he might enjoy. Encouraged us to take a walk in the hospital courtyard off monitors and pretend like we had escaped jail. Ultimately, you prepared me for what it would be like to go home when you wouldn’t be there anymore to counsel and care for us.
Even though Mac was a preemie, I never knew NICU Nurse Appreciation Day existed until Nathan came along. I’m glad it does. Nathan’s birth really immersed us into the world of fragile babies behind secure doors. You have a very special and important job. We are deeply grateful. Because of you Nathan is still with us. Because of you we were able to learn how to feed our baby. Because of you we left the “NICU Nest” with confidence and hope for things to come.
Thank you. Thank you very, very much.
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!