Dear Tara and Mary, it's national neonatal nurse day
This month is NICU awareness month, but today is extra special because it's NICU nurse day! So we are celebrating! The nurses are having a little potluck for each other and I'm going to dedicate this post to my 2 favorite NICU nurses....
I don't know how I got so lucky to have these 2 woman look after my sweet little boy. I can honestly say that I believe that Henry is thriving because of them. They are there to pick him up and dust him off if he makes a miss step. I love them both... here is a little bit more about each of them....
Mary was in the delivery room when Henry was born, she was one of the ones that saved his life in the first few minutes. She was the first nurse I met in the NICU, and while I don't remember that moment, I know that she explained things to me and Matt said she was great at putting me at ease. She was there the first 2-3 nights Henry was in the NICU and I felt a connection with her immediately. I remember her first day off all to well..... I walked in and there was another nurse with Henry, I knew from that moment that I needed Mary in our life. a couple of days later we found out that she would be one of his primary nurses, and we were thrilled. It's hard to describe the type of person that she is, but I will try... When she tells us about her kids you just know she is a good mom, when she talks about her friends you know she's a good friend and if you spend any amount of time with her in the NICU you know she is a good nurse! Plus, she's got jokes! She has these quirky sayings for everything.. for example, instead of WTF it's "what the devil" or "what the H.E.double hockey sticks" or "what the fudge crackers", if something happens that makes her sad she says "sad bears". She's very quick with comebacks and theres just something about all of this thats so endearing.
Here's an example of a good nurse... One afternoon Matt was holding Henry and he was very fussy. We couldn't figure it out. He looked fine and aside from a few extra desats he was acting pretty normal. When he went back to bed Mary knew right away that something was wrong. He wasn't full on sick yet, but she was able to tell something wasn't right by the way he looked and when she touched him, everything changed. That was the only time Henry has really been "sick" and if it wasn't for Mary's quick thinking and proactive nature, Henry might not have made it.
You are truly one of a kind, nurses/people like you are once in a lifetime and you light up my life! Seriously! I look forward to seeing your face and hearing your voice. I hate your days off. I love hearing about your boys, your husband and your life, I love that we can talk about life in and out of the NICU. I will be forever grateful for what you have done for my family, I know that you love Henry and that you would do anything to keep him safe, and I appreciate you more then you could know. I will never forget all of our firsts together... You were there to meet Henry first, you were the first one who let me hold Henry "like a baby", you were the one to put on his first onesie. You are exactly how I want to be as a mother and a friend! Thank you for being the black to my black and white cookie!
I love you- Nikki
If you have read this blog at all then you know about Tara. The first 2 times I met Tara I could not remember her name and when we talked about her at home I called her "the long haired one". It's funny to look back on that now that she is such a huge part of my life. Tara is a rockstar nurse. She knows so much about so many things. I like to watch her work. She watches 2-3 babies at a time and she knows what all of their cries mean. Nurses and doctors ask her opinion all the time, she is respected here and it makes me so happy. I've said it before and I'll say it again Tara is perfect for Henry and if there was such a thing as soulmate nurses, she is his. She is passionate about kangaroo care, and doing anything that will make Henry grow to be strong. Aside from being the perfect nurse, I am also proud to call her a friend. She listens, we talk and we joke. Everyday that she's here is just better. Every morning when I come in I hold my breath until I see her... I wish she never had days off. Thats not too much to ask.... right?
I wouldn't wish a micro preemie on anyone. this experience is the most difficult thing that I have ever done. In the beginning I would spend my time scared and worried, but I don't anymore. You are my NICU wubby. I feel safe with you here and I want to bring you everywhere with me :) (creepy?) I feel that Henry gets the best care when you are the one taking care of him, because you know him. I know that if something goes wrong, you are there to fix it. I know that you take pride in your work and that you give 100% of your self into everything that you do. While I don't wish the NICU on anyone, I do hope that every one has a Tara in their life. You are such a great person, and you are such a wonderful and loving mom. When you tell me stories about your kids they are all coated in love, and I hope to be the kind of mom that you are.
I will never forget that you were the first one to hand me my son, none of us will ever forget your hawk hold. Thank you for not being afraid of Henry's size and for allowing me to be skin to skin with him before anyone else would.
I have said many times that I am your number 1 fan, I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you as a nurse and a friend. I truly believe that I am a better person for knowing you!