It’s Nurse Appreciation Week and I’m ready to honor them. I’ve been re-tweeting and sharing statements on Facebook and Twitter about how much nurses are super heroes. So I decided to share my personal experience with nurses and why they’re not just empty shares and tweets.
On April 24, 1998 at 10:11 and 10:13 pm I gave birth to two beautiful little girls. My daughter Stephanie was born first, and after fertility issues, a miserable pregnancy and a long labor, Stephanie was delivered. And when my daughter didn’t move or make a sound, my first thought was, “Now What?”
Kayla came into the world two minutes later crying and screaming, healthy and alive. Stephanie, fragile with an unknown disorder, was transferred to a neo natal unit at a different hospital as the doctors and nurses did all they could to keep my daughter alive, where she lived the first three months of her life.
It was heartbreaking, bittersweet and I was scared. And every time I went to the hospital, it was awful, watching the monitors drop and beep and not understand at that time that what was happening.
Unsure and tentative, I remember one day talking to my baby over her crib, she looking up at me best she could as her muscles degenerated, becoming weaker. The nurse saw my apprehension to pick up my child, came over and lifted Stephanie’s head and in a tiny voice, the nurse spoke for my daughter and said, “But mommy, I’m only a baby.”
I will never forget that turning point moment when I realized I could do this. I could care for my child. With the nurses support, I learned the medical and that she was a baby and holding her, kissing her and cuddling, might not be as easy but it was doable and necessary.
I have stories, so many of them; the time the nurse encouraged me to record my voice for my daughter while she was at the hospital, or the nurse who helped me make calls to find my daughter a car seat because there were none that a child could lie down in, or the pediatric hospice nurse, who listened to things I couldn’t tell another soul but that I needed to say to someone, only she understood, who also came to the house when my daughter died even though we no longer had hospice care.
Angels Here on Earth
They are angels on earth, give of themselves, supportive to families in the confusing, frustrating world of medicine. I will never forget and I owe them a great deal of gratitude. Thank you to the nurses who are on the front lines. We families in our time of need appreciate the love, care and support you give.