three sets of hands hold a tiny blue knit hat

To the Nurse Who Was There for the Birth and Death of My Son


Dear labor and delivery nurse,

Four years ago we met under some terrible circumstances. You were my nurse the day I delivered my son at 23 weeks gestation.

That is a day I will never forget, and you are someone I will never forget. It cannot be easy to be the labor and delivery nurse taking care of someone you know is about to lose her baby.

You were kind to me on the worst day of my life. You cleaned our son up, swaddled him in a blanket and gave him to us to hold. You held our precious little boy like he mattered. You silently stood in the background during the two hours he was alive. You had to check every once in a while to see if his heart was still beating. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for you to do that. After his tiny heart stopped beating, you gently carried him over to weigh him and measure him. You waited to do all of that until after his heart stopped beating so we could hold him while he was alive, and for that time you gave to us, I will be forever grateful.

You went out of your way to find a hat that might come close to fitting our tiny little boy. In fact, you went out of your way to find two. They were still entirely too big, but you tried the best you could with the supply that was available. You let us take our time saying goodbye to Robby. You did not rush us. When our family was done saying goodbye to Robby, you took him in your arms like he was a baby who was still alive, and carefully carried him away. The moment I handed him over to you was one of the hardest moments of my life, but your kindness helped. You handed me the first hat he wore so I could hold onto it. That hat is the only physical evidence I have of him and for that, I will be forever grateful. Then you took the second little hat that was identical and placed it on his head as you took him away.

After we handed Robby over to you, you made sure I was moved to a different floor. Being on the labor and delivery floor and in a labor and delivery room was too hard. I did not even have to ask – you just moved me to a completely different floor, a floor where there were no sounds of all the joyous others who were delivering full-term babies to take home. A floor far away from the room I had just painfully lost my little boy in and for that, I will be forever grateful.

The next day you came up to my new room and  brought me a fresh chocolate chip cookie from the cafeteria. You wanted to check on me to see how I was doing. You helped me on the hardest day of my life and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Thank you kind nurse for being so thoughtful, understanding and caring during that terrible time.

TOPICS
,
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Prematurity

mom and baby smiling

When a Man at the Pizza Parlor Said I 'Needed a Do-over' After My Son's Premature Birth

Dear sir at the pizza parlor, What you thought was a joke was in fact an insensitive comment. I don’t need to be reminded by a complete stranger that I might have missed out on a few experiences by giving birth 17 weeks early. But to imply my son’s life should not be celebrated and almost dismissed is [...]
Stacey Skrysak's premature baby

When Doctors Saved the Life of My Premature Baby Who Wasn't Considered Viable

Something just didn’t feel right. My stomach churned and the nausea set in as I realized the unimaginable: I was going into labor. Nurses rushed to my hospital room as a flurry of chaos surrounded me. I tried to stay calm, but as I looked at my husband, the tears and sobs set in. I [...]
Kaleena with Jharid smiling

You Can Do Everything Right and Still Have a Premature Baby

Fact: You can do everything right during your pregnancy and still have a preemie. Kaleena with her son, Jharid. I have never smoked a cigarette a day in my life. I have never used drugs of any kind. My life was not filled with stress. I eat a balanced diet, and I am a fairly [...]

8 Things I Learned During My Crash Course in the NICU

The NICU is an overwhelming place. The crash course happens so fast, especially when you go into premature labor.  You will immediately realize the NICU is home to many babies, each battling their own uphill battles. But from the onset, you’ll also realize NICU babies are the strongest, most resilient tiny creatures you ever laid your eyes upon, and they will [...]