Tag Archives: nursing

National Nurses Week: A Patient Says Thank You

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.01 Charlie's Birth

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.

nurses3_editedI 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.

river2


Mixed Signals: My Experience Reading Medical Professionals

Whether a relationship is professional, personal, or something a little more unusual such as a doctor – patient relationship, communication is key. Many people make the mistake of believing that words are enough or all that matters. However, sometimes what is not said can provide more information than the words spoken.

For example, I was surprised to see the look of fear on a doctor’s face. The first time I saw it on a doctor’s face occurred during my pregnancy with Charlie. I had the miserable experience of having a cold while I was pregnant. A few days into the cold, I woke up and felt more tightness in my chest than usual. The feeling steadily increased throughout the day. I sent a text to my husband that read, “I must be really sick. Can you take me to the doctor? I’m having a hard time breathing.” By the time he hurried home, I found it difficult to talk.

There was no way we could have made it to the nearest hospital through northern Virginia rush hour traffic. We opted to go to the urgent care center a block away. We needed a doctor quickly and had no idea what was wrong with me. After arriving at the urgent care center, I was taken back immediately. The doctor hurried in and started treatment. I remember seeing the look on his face. His wide eyes and panicked expression conveyed his fear. He called out to the nurse, “Call 911!”

The ambulance came quickly and had everything necessary on board. I was treated on the way to the hospital. It was the first time I had a life threatening asthma attack. Up until then, my asthma had been more of a seasonal allergy nuisance.

Next, I received ambiguous answers on a few occasions. This way of saying something without actually saying anything is the most frustrating to me. The morning Charlie was delivered, the nurse told me to call my husband. I asked the nurse, “Are we having the baby today?” while my husband was on the phone. She answered, “If it were me, I would want my husband here.” I wanted to yell, “What the hell does that mean?”

As it turns out, that morning we were dealing with reversed end diastolic flow (more was coming out of Charlie than was going in) in the umbilical artery. The situation has a respectable perinatal mortality percentage.  I am not sure what I would have wanted to hear but being told a lot of nothing was not helpful.

Now, I grow suspicious and wonder what I’m not being told whenever a health professional avoids answering a question. The words “I don’t know” are perfectly acceptable for me to hear. I need it to be followed by who does know or how it will be figured out. I am more at ease with information… even unpleasant information. Bad outcomes are easier for me to deal with if I know it is a possibility. It is better than being blind sided with bad news.

Similarly, I find the look of quiet concern to be distressing. I saw this look many times when I first knew Charlie was significantly delayed. She had trouble moving, was rigid, and missed every motor milestone. Each time she had an appointment with a medical professional I voiced my concerns and asked questions. I had no idea what was wrong but I knew something was not right.

Each time, a doctor wore the same expression after examining her. Invariably, the expression was a mix of thought and concern with a slight narrowing of the eyes. I knew they were seeing what I was seeing. Yet, they did not say anything helpful to address it. Repeatedly seeing this expression is one reason why I did not stop asking questions until I found a doctor who could talk about it and guide me in how to help my baby.

Additionally, nervous habits can be equally as revealing. When I was hospitalized on the high risk perinatal floor, I noticed a pattern in my OB/GYN’s behavior. If there was no news, he would flutter around my room while fidgeting with his coffee and occasionally glance out the window as he spoke. If there was bad news, he pulled a chair up to my bedside and sat down to deliver it. I loathed seeing that chair approach my bedside. However, I was able to gauge the seriousness of my situation moment by moment via his nervous habits.

Finally, I’ve learned to communicate through indirect phrasing. For example, Charlie had an amazing nurse she regularly saw during her first year. As a first time mom, I had many questions. When I had questions concerning Charlie’s delays, issues, or developmental concerns, the nurse would answer with the phrase “If it were my child, I would…”. From one mother to another, it was code for “This is what you should do…”

Her responses were precious pieces of guidance during a time when so few people were willing to provide definitive answers. While I respect the option of self determination, sometimes I really just want to be told what I should do to help my child. Despite the wealth of health information available on the web, I need the expertise of health professionals to guide me and educate me.

To all the health professionals, I want you to know that sometimes what you don’t say resonates louder than what is said. To all the parents, ask direct questions if you feel you are receiving mixed signals. Information is power.


Meanwhile, On Capitol Hill…

It is easy for me to get wrapped up in the chaos of our daily lives. I am so busy trying to survive the ups and downs that I sometimes forget about happenings that occur outside of our bubble.

Thankfully, I was informed last week that there are two pieces of legislation currently in front of Congress that concern premature birth and newborns.

One piece is the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act (S. 252/H.R. 541). According to the March of Dimes website:

“If enacted, the bill will authorize enhanced research, education and intervention activities aimed at improving pregnancy outcomes.”

More can be found about the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act here.

The other piece is Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act (S.1417/H.1281). Once again, the March of Dimes Website provides a concise description of the bill:

“The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act reauthorizes critical federal activities that assist states in improving and expanding their newborn screening programs, supporting parent and provider newborn screening education, and ensuring laboratory quality and surveillance.”

More about the Newborn Screening Save Lives Reauthorization Act is located here.

What can you do?

Advocating for these bills from the comfort of your home is simple. The March of Dimes Advocacy Action Center has made it easy to write your representative in support of this legislation.

Let’s get behind helping all babies.

Photo Credit: Monica DeMariano

Photo Credit: Monica DeMariano


My Heroes Wear Scrubs

There are many things about having a preemie that are unknowable until it happens. No one can really prepare a parent for what NICU life entails. I will be forever grateful to the nurses that helped me get through it. This post is dedicated to those nurses on today, Neonatal Nurses Day.

To begin with, I did not know that I would not be allowed to hold my baby. While I was hospitalized, I would visit the NICU, gently press my hands 387106_10100713621538589_913105605_nagainst Charlie’s isolette, silently cry, and stare at her in disbelief. After a few days of this, one of the nurses sensed that I ached to hold or touch my baby. She showed me how to open the portholes on the isolette and demonstrated how to carefully cup my hands around Charlie.

After I was discharged, I sat by Charlie’s bedside each day. That was how I met a specific nurse that cared for Charlie most often. She explained how to rub Charlie’s back when she would forget to breathe. Later on, the nurse instructed me as I learned to change Charlie’s diaper while maneuvering around the PICC line. She helped me with kangaroo care. The nurse told me what each of the alarms meant, how my baby was doing, and what options we had in Charlie’s care.

We talked quite a bit during the many days that I sat with Charlie. She comforted me on Charlie’s bad days, reassured me that I was doing a great job, and consoled me when my milk failed to come in.

Through our discussions, I was able to understand that we would be all right if Charlie was disabled.193457_10100713623135389_338072771_o Sometimes, we joked and had a good laugh. Most importantly, she helped me to find the strength and courage to be the mom Charlie needed.

Later, it was that same nurse that alerted the physical therapist of Charlie’s rotated leg so it could be corrected with positioning. Another nurse noticed that the replogle was suctioning milk from Charlie’s stomach. Later, she pointed out that the CPAP was blowing air into Charlie’s stomach once the replogle was removed.

Most of the nurses got to know Charlie well and relayed any suspicious changes to the doctors. I feel like they loved my baby almost as much as I do. I was comforted to know that Charlie was in good hands each night that I had to leave her.

NICU bathThe nurses answered my questions and assuaged my fears. They encouraged me to take the infant massage class, taught us how to bathe our baby, and helped us troubleshoot her feeding difficulties.

They even saved odds and ends for me to add to my scrap book.

As Charlie got closer to going home, one of the nurses would delight in helping me dress Charlie. The NICU nurses bestowed upon her the title of “The Best Dressed Baby In The NICU” during her stay at the second NICU.

Throughout the last week, the NICU nurses assisted me in tackling the overwhelming list of discharge requirements. Finally, it was time for Charlie to go home.

I want to say thank you NICU nurses for saving my baby and, in the process, saving me.

This life would not have been possible without you.

Cocoally2

This picture was taken by Monica DeMariano. The Cocoally shirt was given to Charlie by my friend Ally Burguieres.


10 Things Having A Preemie Has Taught Me About Life

From the moment I was hospitalized with pre-eclampsia at twenty four weeks, I found that I had much to learn rather quickly. It started when I had to learn what pre-eclampsia was and continued through out preemie life. Even now, I am still learning. Here are ten things that I learned about life from having a preemie born at twenty six weeks.

1) Frequently, things just happen. I used to think that less than ideal outcomes had a cause. After my time spent on the High Risk Perinatal floor and in the NICU, I realize that many times there is no rhyme or reason to how things play out. Now, I understand the meaning of “C’est la vie!”

2) Heroes don’t always wear capes. Sometimes they wear scrubs (as is the case of NICU nurses) and other times they are disguised in street clothes (like Charlie’s therapists or other people who show unexpected kindness).

3) Perfect does not always mean flawless… especially when used in the context of people. Quality of life is independent of ability.

4) Fight and fight like hell. Do not give up. Whether I’m advocating for Charlie or struggling with limitations forced upon us, most battles can be won in some way. If I lose, at least, I tried.

5) Be selective in choosing disputes and people. Caring for Charlie, managing her appointment schedule, running the household, and recreation time exhausts me. Many days, I feel like I’m barely keeping up. I have to be selective in where and with whom I invest my time and energy. I prefer to be with people and do things that rejuvenate me rather than those that further drain me.

6) My definition of “important” has changed significantly. Most of what was important to me before having a preemie is now trivial. 2013-06-09T21-07-37_6

7) Other than matters of life and death, most things can be managed or fixed. Some things just take more time than others.

8) Remember to breathe. There is nothing wrong or shameful in saying, “I need alone time.”

9) Laugh often… particularly at myself.

10) People can (and will) surprise and amaze me… that includes myself.


Meeting Charlie

I met Charlie two days following her birth. The two days prior to our reunion are a blur in my memory. I remember being confused and disoriented. The vein my PCA pump ran into blew, I had an allergic reaction to the tape on my IV sites, the magnesium sulfate felt like a punishment for Charlie’s early arrival, and my back ached from the numerous failed epidural attempts. After everything settled down, I was deemed well enough to see my baby.

My wheel chair ride down to the NICU is a hazy memory. My husband expertly rolled my chair through a maze of hallways and elevators. Once we reached the NICU, I had to fill out a questionnaire and scrub up for the first of thousands of times. Even now, the smell of the hospital soap reminds me of that first hand washing. Finally, I was permitted to pass through the heavy doors into the NICU.

My husband pushed my chair past one isolette after another. With the constant sound of alarms, rhythmic hum of the respirators, and rows of glowing isolettes, the NICU did not look or feel like a nursery. Instead, it appeared as something out of a sci-fi story. My wheel chair ride ended beside a glowing isolette. Within it, Charlie slumbered.

I rose from my wheel chair, gingerly lifted the blanket draped over her isolette, and anxiously peered in. Through all the tubes and wires, I could see she was beautiful and perfect. Gently, I placed both of my hands on her isolette. It was the closest I could come to holding her. We were not allowed to touch her yet. Afterwards, I slumped into my wheel chair, placed my head in my hands, and sobbed.

I was overcome and inconsolable. That was not how things were supposed to be. I was heartbroken at the loss of our expected birth experience. I was grief stricken that my baby now had to fight for survival. I ached to hold her or touch her. I was frightened for my baby. I was angry at the numerous strangers in the room for being present for a very private moment. I felt robbed of the pure excitement and joy that I expected to feel when meeting my baby. I was devastated.

A nurse walked over and explained how Charlie was doing. My thoughts were distant. I did not really hear or understand anything she said. However, the moment was important. It was my introduction to the nurse that was among a handful of people that were key to my NICU survival.

Charlie’s first few weeks are foggy. During that time, I did a great deal of crying and functioned on auto pilot. Several days later, I was discharged from the hospital. I decided that I was going to do the only thing I could do for Charlie… be with her. I wanted her to know that she did not have to battle on her own. Nor, did I want her to die alone.

Every day, I held my breath and watched as Charlie grew. Luckily, I had an unexpected cast of characters (such as the nurse) that provided much needed emotional support.

I find it remarkable that I had lived my life without knowing what it meant to be overwhelmed with emotion until the day I first met Charlie. The sights, sounds, and smells from the NICU often act as a reminder.

2012-06-01 001 001

I took this picture the first time I saw Charlie. She weighed 708 grams.


Silent Night or Why Charlie’s Second NICU Rocked

Tonight, is an extremely quiet night. My husband went camping with Kaia (our dog), Charlie has fallen asleep, and the cat is curled up downstairs. The silence infused with Charlie’s rhythmic snoring reminds me of late nights in the NICU a year ago. I spent many nights with Charlie at the second NICU. It was an amazing place.

After two months of begging each morning, “Please don’t let anything bad happen today”, Charlie was deemed a “feeder-grower”. I was reminded to “Never trust a preemie” but told it was no longer necessary for her to remain at the very large level IV NICU.

For her third month, we had her transfered to another hospital which was closer to our home and my husband’s work. The NICU at that hospital was incredible with many great features.

Most importantly, it had private rooms. I was able to sit with Charlie and did not feel like I was in the way. Nor was I crammed into a corner and sandwiched between Charlie’s and another baby’s isolette. Her room had its own (reclining) chair. Therefore, it was not necessary to scavenge for one each visit like in the open NICU. We were allowed to participate in kangaroo care as desired without interruption. Whatever else was going on in the NICU did not impact our visit like at the other NICU. At night, I had the option to sleep in the recliner beside her isolette. It was comforting to know that I did not have to leave her if I did not want to.

Charlie’s new room gave us our privacy back and we started to feel human again. We were no longer subjected to the prying eyes over other babies’ visitors nor hear painful thoughtless comments from the same people. I did not have to endure the horrible experience of a NICU waiting room with unattended children and inconsiderate individuals. It was much quieter in the second NICU.

We were encouraged and allowed to provide most of Charlie’s care. Because I was able to stay with her comfortably, I was present to perform most of the hands on care and feedings. My husband was able to give her a bath for his first time and he often read her stories.

At this NICU, she began to feel like OUR baby. We started to make memories. I felt involved in Charlie’s care.

There was more continuity of care at the second NICU. Charlie regularly saw the same neonatalogists. They knew which doctor was scheduled to see her next and they communicated adequately with one another. That was a big difference from the larger hospital where Charlie’s case was handed off frequently and they usually did not know to whom.

The physical and occupational therapists were phenomenal with Charlie. They saw her often, made suggestions, and took time to teach me skills. They provided a one on one infant massage class for me, showed me how to position her, provided a book on preemie development, and answered questions.

We got to know the small nursing staff well. They helped us prepare to take Charlie home. They taught us about using a car seat with a small baby, administering medications, infant CPR, feeding, and small baby care. They were amazing people. I still think about them quite a bit.

There were things that I did miss about the first NICU. I missed a few of the nurses and the March of Dimes NICU Family Support. However, I was pleased with our decision to have Charlie transferred. The second NICU was where we, as a family, began to heal.

Overall, Charlie’s admission to her second NICU was instrumental in empowering us to care for her. The experience there helped me to feel competent and become confident in my new role as Charlie’s mommy.

2012-08-07 001 005

My husband bathed Charlie for his first time.

2012-08-18 001 001

This was taken a few weeks after the bath picture on the day Charlie turned five pounds.


Another Anniversary or How Charlie Lost Her PEEP

Today is Charlie’s CPAP removal anniversary. Last year, Charlie was taken off of CPAP and put on a high flow nasal cannula. There are so many things I remember about that day.  Mostly, I remember the emotions of excitement, joy, and even a little anger.

The day before she was removed from CPAP, I had spoken with a neonatalogist. He provided a time estimate for Charlie’s progress. He said that it would be about a week before an attempt was made to move Charlie to a nasal cannula. He wanted to be sure that she continued to gain weight and not waste calories on breathing. I left that evening with a plan to return late the next night for a short visit.

My husband and I avoided the other babies’ weekend visitors by visiting at odd hours. We had more privacy and the nurses were more available when we visited during off times. That Saturday, we arrived late in the evening to a nearly empty NICU.

After performing the scrubbing and sanitizing ritual, I marched up to Charlie’s isolette and threw back the blanket covering it. Her CPAPless face was peering back at me. Surprised, I jumped back. “They must have moved around the babies again”, I muttered to my husband. On a few past occasions, they had shuffled the babies around and did not mention it until I could not find my baby.

I looked around for a nurse to guide me to my baby’s new location. No one came hurrying over to show me where my baby was. Confused, I looked at the name plate on the wall and the charts. It was our name. However, I was sure this was not our baby. Our baby wore a CPAP mask and hat. I started to panic.

My husband placed his hand on my shoulder and quietly said, “I think she got her CPAP mask off today.” Finally, I realized that the mystery baby laying in front of me WAS Charlie. I put my head in my hands and started sobbing.

Up until then, it was too much to hope that she would make any forward progress. For two months, I had become accustomed to the simple wish for minimal backsliding. I was so used to complications that I had not dared to dream of the possibility of Charlie improving.

That evening was the first time that I felt there could be an end to Charlie’s NICU stay. It was the moment that it occurred to me that “this too will end”.  I felt a mix of relief and happiness. I was overwhelmed.

The float nurse made her way over to us. I asked her why nothing was mentioned to us concerning the cannula. She explained that often parents are not told that they are going to try such measures. Sometimes it is done to spare parents disappointment if the attempt fails and other times it is just an oversight.

Hearing the explanation made me angry. Who are these people who determine that I need to be treated like a child? Why do they get to decide what I can and can not handle? If the doctor forgets to mention something this big, what else are they not telling me? I did not feel as if I was a participant in Charlie’s care (something that NICU parents are constantly reminded to be). I felt like I was being pandered to or pacified.

Although the anger affected my future trust with some of Charlie’s health care team, I did not let it ruin our evening. We held Charlie, doted over her, and took pictures. That night was the beginning of the end. Ten days later, Charlie was transfered to a different NICU as a feeder-grower.

cpapoff

One of the nurses put the bow in Charlie’s hair. This is how I found her in the isolette.


About The Nurses

Yesterday, I was contacted by the hospital where Charlie was born. I was asked to write a short piece about the care Charlie received. I had a difficult time making it “short”. I think I may have rambled on too long and they will only end up using Charlie’s picture. When I think of Charlie’s NICU journey, I remember that there was a nurse helping us every step of the way.

I remember being rolled up from the ER to the High Risk Perinatal floor as if it happened this morning. I remember the nurse that greeted me. Her warm and caring demeanor made the difference that kept me from crumbling to pieces at that moment and during my stay.

Later during my stay, the nurses on the High Risk Perinatal floor were wonderful during our difficult situation. However, there is a particular nurse who stands out in my memory. She was able to explain to me what was happening in a way the doctors had not. It was the first time that I fully understood our situation. I asked the nurse if she would repeat the explanation for my husband. I remember the moment my husband heard the explanation very vividly. Until hearing it from the nurse, he clung to the false optimism that I would carry our baby to term. When the nurse finished speaking, he turned his back to me. He fidgeted with my flowers while I heard him fight back tears. It was only a few seconds before he turned around and said, “We can do this. We’ve got this.” It was the first time that I had seen so much strength in him. He went to tour the NICU the next day.

Charlie’s birth was not even close to what we envisioned when we discovered that I was pregnant. We encountered so many obstacles, I was terrified, and I lost my composure. A thoughtful nurse asked for my husband’s cell phone when the decision to use general anesthesia was reached. Because of her, we have a few photos of Charlie’s birth. To this day, I do not know who that nurse was. I am extremely grateful for the photos.

Next, we met the NICU nurses. I think they are amazing. I felt they loved Charlie as much as my husband and me. I knew when I left the NICU each evening that Charlie was in good hands. Each day, they would explain how Charlie was and answer my questions. They patiently taught us how to care for our baby (to nudge her when she forgot to breathe, to do hands on care, and how to touch her). The nurses encouraged, empathized, and helped me understand my new role. Because I spent so much time with the NICU nurses, some became to be like friends while a couple became like family. I have yet to find a way to express how much NICU nurses mean to me.

Finally, there is Charlie’s home health nurse. She was the first person to listen to (and not dismiss) my concerns when Charlie could not move. She helped us through Charlie’s ongoing feeding difficulties. It is like I had taken a NICU nurse home with me.

Charlie’s survival, growth, and development has been a team effort by doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, and volunteers. The nurses are vital members of that team. We would not have made it to where we are today with out them.

These pictures were taken by nurses during Charlie’s first few months.

nurses1 nurses2

nurses5 nurses3 nurses4


Another NICU Milestone

Today was overwhelming. Earlier today, Charlie and I attended her first NICU reunion. It is hard to imagine that a year ago she was in an isolette a couple floors up from where we were gathering and fighting for her life. It is hard to believe that a year ago the hospital had the very same feel. Maybe that is why today was so difficult.

Charlie and I picked up my friend (and emotional support), Evie, on our way to the reunion. Evie asked, “Are you excited about seeing everyone?” I told her that I was nervous. I was not really sure why.

After we parked in the hospital parking garage, we started the long walk to the reunion. “That is where I sat with another NICU mom when her baby was having heart surgery”, I said and pointed as we passed a waiting area. I continued on to say, “This is the hall way that we sat in while we waited to hear if Charlie had NEC.” I do not think that I was saying it for Evie’s benefit. I was piecing together the story for myself.

Just about every hall way and waiting area in the hospital had some memory that went with it. It was an attempt to make sense of those two and a half months (Charlie spent another month in a different NICU) that I spent almost every waking second in that hospital.

We passed the cafeteria right before reaching the conference center where the reunion was held. Every day for two and a half months, I had eaten at least one meal in that cafeteria. Once I smelled the cafeteria, I felt like I was going to be sick. It was the same kind of feeling that I felt the day we got to take Charlie home. The emotions were overwhelming so my body translated it into feeling sick.

However, I did not get sick. I may have cried a little but I did not get sick. Once inside the reunion, I saw some wonderful people. There was the woman from March of Dimes who led the scrap booking sessions, who listened to me when Charlie was sick, and helped me to begin to understand things. Charlie and I got to see the incredible nurse who officially took care of her (and unofficially me) during a large portion of our time at this NICU. I think we may end up on some hospital PR piece together. I saw another NICU mom from when our babies “did time” together.  It was nice to see that her family is well.

As hard as it was to go back, I’m really glad that I did. I am not sure how I should thank people for helping me through one of the most difficult times in my life. I do not think they will ever realize their significance to me. Visiting to say thank you, catch up, and show them that we are well was a small thing for me to do.

It turns out, that the experience was also healing for me. Hopefully, attending the reunion will seem easier for me next year.

evie

Evie holding Charlie at the NICU reunion.


%d bloggers like this: