Dear NICU Nurse,
Until today we knew nothing about each other. Now we are friends. Now we are family. Every day I leave my child in your hands and trust you to look after her and keep her safe. Your job is ever changing, and sometimes you may think the things you do go unnoticed.
I notice how look into my baby’s eyes with compassion and hope. I notice how you don’t just go through the motions, but take time to really look at my baby, not just take her vitals. I notice how you are super careful not to spill my precious milk, our liquid gold. I notice that despite being tired, you still have a smile on your face. I notice the tears when you sit with a family whose baby didn’t make it. I notice how you advocate for all moms and their babies.
I appreciate you. I appreciate how you sat with me while I worried that my daughter might need surgery. I appreciate how you took time to explain things as you did them. I appreciate you taking pictures of us as a family. I appreciate that you told me everything you could about my daughter, since I was under general anesthesia and not able to see her. I appreciate that you rejoiced with us at every milestone and encouraged us even through the setbacks.
Behind every baby is a family, a family who is worried and scared. Thank you for not only caring for our baby, but for caring for us.
A NICU Mom
• • • • •
This letter is dedicated to 3 very special people: Michelle, Val and Christy.
Michelle was our first nurse in the NICU. She was present at delivery and told us so much about our daughter’s status. She was there when our daughter, at 3 weeks old, took all of her tubes out and all of her leads off. She stayed with her that way until we arrived that night so we could see her. I’ll never forget seeing my baby girl looking like a “real” newborn.
Val was so amazing. She was always advocating for our baby, and for us. She took the time to educate us as much as she could, so we were ready when it came time to go home. She is a compassionate and wonderful nurse.
And Christy. Christy was our Family Support Specialist. She was with us every step of the way. She thought about things we didn’t. She made sure our older son was included as much as possible. She provided educational classes for us, including CPR. She provided mirrors so we could see our baby while kagarooing.
These three amazing ladies made a huge impact on our time in the NICU, and I will forever be grateful they are a part of our lives!
To all the NICU nurses, doctors and support staff from all of us NICU parents, thank you for all you do for our precious little ones.
September 15 is Neonatal Nurse Appreciation Day. From the staff at Hand to Hold and all of the contributors here at Preemie Babies 101, thank you to all of the nurses who have made such an impact on the lives of so many NICU families.