Dear NICU Nurse,
I know you’re busy.
I know you’ve been on your feet all day.
I know you haven’t had your lunch break yet, and your bladder is filled to the max.
I know this is day three of three 12-hour shifts in a row, and you’re exhausted.
I know it seems like all of your patients’ alarms are blaring at the same time.
I know you’re focused on giving the right meds at the right times.
I know you’re waiting on lab results, x-rays, and doctor’s orders.
I know you have to get caught up on charting.
I know you have to keep your eyes on the monitors.
I know you have to call that other patient’s mom back for the fifth time today.
I know you have a lot going on a home and are feeling stressed.
I know you’re wondering how you are going to get enough sleep before your next work day.
And I know you’re highly trained to take care of tiny babies.
But, I need you to take care of me, too.
I need you to be my best friend today even if today is the only day you’ll care for my baby.
I need you to greet me with kindness when I arrive so I feel welcome in this foreign place.
I need you to be understanding because since I left last night the only thing on my mind was getting back here.
I need you to remind me to go eat lunch, and ensure me that you’ll look after my baby while I take a break.
I need you to tell me about the best spot at the hospital to go sit outside and soak in some sunshine.
I need you to distract me by telling me about something funny that happened to you last night.
I need you to translate what the doctor said during rounds, so I can understand what’s happening.
I need you to be honest; don’t sugar-coat the truth, but tell me gently.
I need you to ask how I’m doing. And when I say, “Good,” I need you to ask, “How are you really doing?”
I need you to teach me how to care for my miracle.
I need you to be patient as I take my baby’s temperature, change his diaper, dress him, and swab his mouth with one of those pink sponges because it empowers me to be involved in his care.
I need you to help me advocate for my baby when I’m nervous or can’t find the right words.
I need you to hand me a tissue and listen when I’m feeling emotional.
I need you to help me make the most of every moment, just in case this is all I get.
I know you did not sign up to take care of mamas.
I know we add to your workload each day.
But dear NICU nurse, we need you, too.
Every NICU Mama Ever
P.S. We appreciate you more than you will ever know.
We Love Our NICU Nurses!
Shout out to our primary NICU nurses, BJ, Lorrie, Sara, Maghan, Lauren, and Sally! You made the most challenging part of our lives better in so many ways. The only reason I know what NICU mamas need from their nurses is because of the phenomenal care I received without even asking for it.
All the pictures in the post are of our nurses’ hands working with Rowan or teaching me how to care for him (first bath and diaper change). The last picture is from Rowan’s first Halloween. Our heroes wear scrubs, and that’s exactly what he wanted to be! Who knows? Maybe he’ll be a nurse himself one day!!
You might also enjoy reading What Does A NICU Mama Need?
If you are a NICU mama, share something awesome about your NICU nurses below in the comments section!