I’m going to send this out into the world and hope it finds it’s way to you. Yesterday was National Nurses Day and I thought of you. I see your face clearly so clearly although I don’t remember your name. You told me several times and I’m so sorry I can’t remember it.
We met on a September evening 8 1/2 years ago and spent the next two days together. There I was big as a house, bigger than usual because we stopped at Red Lobster for one last pregnancy craving on the way to you. It was 7:37 pm and I was probably your millionth patient to check in to be induced. You treated me like I was your first, that big welcoming smile and greeting I’ll always remember. You got the process started very professionally while my husband and I nervously and excitedly waited to greet the little boy we had been waiting for. It never occurred to me just how long you and I would spend together.
Two days of labor would crawl by. Me bearly progressing, you continuing on with your job to care for me. I got less and less cheerful. You never did. 40 hours in and the doctor made the decision he would have to deliver me via c-section. I was exhausted, in pain, scared. You were soothing, encouraging and continued to stay with me. 8 more hours would pass. It never crossed my mind you had a family somewhere that wanted you home. They probably wanted to see mommy. They probably wanted to tell you about their day.
As I was wheeled into the Operating Room I didn’t see you there. I didn’t see you come in the room and join me. It wasn’t until just before I delivered that I heard your voice. You told me you weren’t, couldn’t leave without meeting this boy. We were going to meet him together. You were amazing and still I don’t know your name. You stayed. We heard his first cries together. You told me he was beautiful and perfect. In a flurry you were gone. You probably went home to your family after 2 days apart. You were probably exhausted too. I don’t remember even thanking you. I don’t know what I could have said that would have seemed enough. 48 hours you and I shared, you never left.
Wherever you are I want you to know how much I appreciate you dear labor and delivery nurse with the soothing voice and beautiful smile. Maybe no patients tell you this. Maybe they forgot your name too. When we meet our child for the first time we forget everything that came before in that moment. Our lives change. But you know this because you are there every day for this experience. You are there for our most important day. You are there in the many moments before this one helping us get there. You will do it again tomorrow.
I’m sure there have been countless women and babies since us that you’ve been there for. You were right, he has continued to steal my heart each year. You said he would. I had a little girl too..she’s also a heart thief.
How lucky we are that you do what you do. You were there on one of my most nervous, worst pain of my life, happiest day. I hope this finds you and somehow honors what you do. I hope someone is there for you when you get home with a hug and a warm dinner. I hope you kiss your kids and rest up. For you will do amazing things when you wake! Thank you, thank you wonderful lady!
For every nurse out there-thank you! A special shout out to two incredible friends of mine Jenny and Jaime. You two are not only great friends and wonderful mothers but also nurses who deserve thanks. For everything you do no one may see, for your sacrifices and your yawns that you stifle because you’re being mom I applaud you!