Our son Hayden was born at 31 weeks, due to a placental abruption. He spent 27 days in the NICU at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. We are going to be celebrating his 2nd birthday this month, and I’m finally ready share my thoughts with the AMAZING nurses that we met along the way.
Dear Labor & Deliver and NICU Nurses,
There’s no way for a parent to be prepared when their little one is forced to enter this world earlier than they should. I knew as a soon as I began hemorrhaging that we’d be seeing Hayden sooner than we thought. I still replay that evening over and over, and it overwhelms me knowing that for all that you’ve done for us, I can’t seem to recall any of your names. For that I am truly sorry.
To the L&D nurse, who took charge and directed everyone around to prepare for the emergency c-section, thank you! The strength in your voice gave me hope. My body began to tremble uncontrollably due to the loss of blood and my own fears. You would connect with a squeeze of your warm hand and get up close to encourage me that everything was going to be okay. As I was wheeled away from my best friend, my husband I said “I love you,” not knowing for sure if it would be my last. You held my hand tighter giving me strength.
The team in the operating room fell into their places awaiting the arrival of my doctor, while you made sure to bring the love of my life to my side. Thank you! How does one person create so much calm in a whirlwind of chaos? I still don’t know, but you my incredible L&D nurse, you did.
It took only a few minutes for the doctor to arrive and the OR bustled with voices and sounds that seem like a blur to me now. I just remember the moment I held my breath for, the moment that I heard my baby cry. It was beautiful! I knew, my dear nurse, that he’d be in good hands. Thanks to you!
I can barely remember the recovery room, as I was in and out, but I remember talking to my husband as he reassured me Hayden was doing great. The protector that he is, hid his own fears. The doctors and NICU nurses were stabilizing Hayden, and my husband wished he’d develop the super power to split himself to be in both rooms at the same time.
As I was moved to my room, the nurse let me stop by Hayden’s room. I was so nervous and groggy, but the NICU nurse laid my warrior of a son on my chest. Although it would be a week until I’d get a chance to hold him again, the moment meant the world to me. Thank you!
As the days went by and I headed home, it was all of you that watched over our precious son. You changed him, monitored him and kept him safe. We’d visit, speak to the doctor for the daily update, but it was you who became his voice. In so many other professions, you see people doing their “job.” But, when we watched you and spoke with you, we saw a person who passionately cared for our baby boy. We saw a person who loved our Hayden. We love all of you for your dedication and strength.
We have only a glimpse of your day to day life in the NICU, we’ve heard the other families receive devastating news. In fact, when the doctor did his rounds, we’d have days with such positive updates, but the next family got a list of setbacks. How you maintain your professionalism in so many different scenarios is beyond my understanding. Your strength amazes me, your compassion inspires me.
So thank you to all the nurses because it was you who made the process manageable. It was you who bridged the the gap that comes from not being able to bond in the normal setting. You made the machines and the numbers that flashed on the monitors have meaning. You educated, loved and supported all of us through our journey.
We thank you!
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