A letter to my labor & delivery nurse-
You probably don’t remember me. I had my baby over three months ago, so you’ve had lots of moms and babies come through those doors since I had my little one, but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you.
There is not a day that goes by that i don’t remember the first time you walked into my room, no chit chat; all-business, and told me I was laying on my baby’s heart rate monitor, and asked me to move. I looked at my mom, with huge eyes, and whispered “it’s going to be a long night” after you left the room. Then I remember you coming in, in the wee hours of the morning, checking all my cords, and wires, and held my hand as I tried to breath through a contraction. When it was over, you put your hand on the side of my face, and asked me if I wanted a(nother) popsicle. I don’t know what it was about that gesture, but it made me love you.
You talked to me about your mom, and how you never take her necklace off, and I told you about my grandmother who gave my (now) husband my engagement ring right before she died. We talked about missing those very important women in our lives, and how we wished they could be here for special occasions.. I was terribly upset that my Gram would never meet my son. We cried together, and you told me she was with us, every minute of every day. And I know you’re right.
The third day I was there, you requested to be on my service, and I cried tears of relief when I heard that you would be my nurse. When I told you about my horrible epidural procedure, you smiled and said you already knew. Then you kissed me on the top of my head, said you were ready to meet Grayson. You were the third person to know his name, other than my husband and myself.
WhenI spiked a fever that day, and it became apparent that the baby was not descending- you told me i didn’t seem like myself. You’d only known me for 2 days, but you were right. I didn’t feel like myself. I was scared. Terrified. of being a mom; of delivery; of a possible c-section; but mostly- that something was wrong with my son. I asked if you’d call the chaplain, and ask her to pray with us. I didn’t want to be dramatic, but i was feeling overwhelmed, and felt like this would comfort me. You did it, immediately, and asked to stay with us while we prayed. We all cried. Tears of exhaustion, of nerves, but when we dried them, We were ready for this kid.
At 5 oclock, my Dr. came in and told me we’d start pushing at 7. You thought I’d be ready by 6, and knowing that there would be a shift change at 7, I BEGGED him to let me start pushing at 6. He agreed.. We only had one hour left.
At 6 pm, you came marching into my room like a drill seargent. “Let’s meet your son, mama.” I felt terrible for the two teeny nurses you brought in with you to hold my legs. After 56 hours of being on fluids and antibiotics, my legs easily weighed 85 lbs each. All of you assured me I was going to be doing the hard work; holding my legs wasn’t going to be a problem. You told me what to expect, and the correct way to push. You told me to try not to hold my breath, but to push like I was “taking the biggest dump of my life”. We laughed, but we were both nervous. I had such little energy left and my confidence in myself wasn’t particularly high. I felt self conscious. My husband, who I’d made leave when I had to pee for fear of him seeing my swollen
rear-end, was now fully exposed to me being… fully exposed. You promised you’d keep him up by my head, and you kept your promise.
I will never forget your sweet eyes willing me to push longer, harder, stronger. I will never forget when those same eyes filled with tears two hours later when my Dr. told me the baby wasn’t dropping, was in distress and we had to be rushed into surgery, knowing that was the last thing I wanted. I told you I was sorry you didn’t get to meet Grayson, I knew your shift was over an hour ago, and you needed to go home to your family. You squeezed my hand and told me you weren’t going anywhere.
I will never forget being in the operating room, and you standing next to me, promising you’d bring Tim in as soon as you could. and you did. You had him stand close enough to me so I could hold his hand, and you stood on the other side of him—probably holding his other hand.
I will never forget that you stroked my hair while Tim made sure the baby was breathing. You told me the cord was wrapped around his shoulder, and there was no way, no matter how hard I pushed, that he would have been able to drop. I did everything right.
I will never forget that once Grayson was breathing, and finally crying, you kissed me on the forehead and told me you’d see me in a few days when you were back on duty, but for now—to close my eyes and rest. It had been 58 hours of pure adrenaline. You said I was your hero. When I was leaving the hospital, after many visits from you, and finding out you went multiple times to the NICU to check on Grayson, I realized I never told you that you were mine.
I think about you everyday, and wonder if you’d remember me if I came to see you. And show you my little boy who has doubled in size since you’d seen him last. When I meet people who work at the same hospital I gush “do you know Lori?! She was sent to me from heaven”. Today, someone encouraged me to come visit you, that it would mean a lot to know how much you meant to me during delivery. But it’s more than that, you mean something to me everyday. My labor was the opposite of what I had planned, but having you there lessened the fear; the unknown; the pain even.