It seems like every profession and cause has a day, week, or month dedicated to it. One could go crazy trying to observe all of them. Today is the beginning of National Nurses Week… a week I will make note of for the rest of my life.
If you don’t know why nurses deserved to be honored, consider yourself fortunate. There are many ways I can describe how incredible nurses are.
I could tell you about Sarah. The nurse who welcomed a frightened and saddened me to the High Risk Perinatal unit. Her demeanor made it seem like I was meeting up with an old friend rather than being admitted to the hospital. She let me know that my dog could visit as she detailed the unit rules. Her friendliness and compassion was something I desperately needed at the beginning of this long journey.
I could tell you about Ingrine. After several days in the hospital, different doctors were relaying varying information. My husband and I were confused. Was I going home or was the baby coming soon? One night, Ingrine came in my room to introduce herself at the beginning of her shift. She asked if I needed anything. I said, “I need to understand what is happening to me and my baby.”
She sat down on the edge of my bed and spent half an hour providing an explanation. She displayed diagrams as she described how my placenta was failing and my preeclampsia was increasing in severity. She told me what she had seen happen in similar cases. I asked if I was going home. She took my hand and said, “Not until you have your baby.” I needed the honesty and clarity more than I needed hope. I had to prepare for what was to come.
I could tell you about the OR nurse. When it was decided, at the very last moment, general anesthesia was to be used for my emergency C-section, an OR nurse asked my husband for his cell phone. Because of her quick thinking, we have mementos of Charlie’s birth. A birth my husband and I, both, missed.
I could tell you about Jackie and Eileen. They were the NICU nurses who helped me survive Charlie’s first two months in the NICU. They taught me how to care for her and encouraged me to hold her. They made me laugh when I only felt like crying. They took the few pictures I have of Charlie and I together in the NICU. Their care saved my baby.
I could tell you about Marie. She was the nurse that mostly cared for Charlie during her last month in the NICU. We chatted every day like good friends. We trouble shot feeding issues. If I had a question for the doctor, she made sure it got answered… even if I wasn’t there. Marie discharged Charlie and sent us out the door.
I could tell you about, Michelle, Charlie’s home health nurse for the first year. She guided me when I knew there was an issue with Charlie’s delays. She answered my questions and directed me to the right specialist with specific concerns. She rooted for us and introduced me to special needs parenting.
In my daily life, I meet many people. Most come and go with out a name. However, it is almost two years later and I remember their names like it was yesterday.
To all nurses, thank you for everything you do. This life and others would not have been possible without you.