On Oct 18, 2015 I was not a healthy girl. My blood pressure had skyrocketed and I was about to give birth to a son 11 weeks early; who’s heart was showing signs of strain. I was scared, weepy, and in pain. The whole day and up to the c-section that night I was confused and in disbelief. I kept thinking: “my doctor will change her mind. This won’t happen to me. It just can’t.”. It did: I gave birth to a three pound boy at 6:23 that night.
Then the hard part started. I had been on the MAG all day and was really starting to feel it’s effects by the time the night nurse, Nancy, started her shift. I was getting a loading dose of Zofran to stop my vomiting. I had a severe reaction to the meds and my throat closed up. Nancy’s quick thinking and a call to the doctor probably saved my life. That night she was there for me as the doctor ordered blood test, after blood test. Once every 45 mins I got a needle stick and words of encouragement from Nancy. Who gave me updates on my child and his first night alone in the NICU. Nancy was more than just a nurse. She was the kindest person I have ever met. An angel.
My first day after discharge and the horrible recovery from my son’s traumatic birth I was in the NICU weeping over finding a child connected to tubes and wires. My son’s nurse Emma came in and I asked, timidly, could I please touch my son. Another nurse had just finished yelling at me the day before for being 3 minutes late for Kangaroo time. In my drug-addled state I really thought that by being late I had somehow hurt my child. Emma had a lot of experience with the NICU and NICU parents. She was so great to say. “Oh hon, never ask my permission to touch him, he’s yours. if there was some reason not to, I would be responsible for letting you know.” I finally bonded with my daughter by touching her as Emma watched us, grinning from ear-to-ear.
Then there was Stacey. The first nurse to talk to me like a real human. To make me feel “normal”. To help me laugh again. And Vance, who trusted my parents enough a month later to hold my son during Kangaroo time. So I could have a much needed break.
And Margret who stayed up nights with me, talking about anything and everything. Seema who brought me tea and let me sit at the nurses table with her.
Of course, there was Olivia who saved my son from choking on his own vomit! Keeping her cool as his heart rate dropped and dropped. And Abigail who was there to care for him when his heart rate was soaring above 200.
A year later I still see these people’s faces and wonder how many other children and moms they have helped in the interim. I can’t thank them enough!!