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A Tribute to Labor and Delivery and NICU Nurses

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By Kristen Smith, R.N.

You may not remember my name, but I remember yours. I remember a lot of things, despite the number of drugs given to me during labor, and finally, an emergency C-section. I remember the confusion, anger, frustration, and fear. So many doctors, neonatologists, specialists, respiratory therapists and, best of all, you, nurses.

I knew the signs of pre-eclampsia. And I knew 34 weeks was too early for my baby boy to enter this world. I entered the hospital scared and very sick. There were so many doctors, but I watched you, calm and collected. I trusted you. You held my hand when the doctor told me that they would need to take my baby, that neither of us was healthy.

You were gentle and kind. You used numbing spray before starting my IV and reassured me that I would be okay. I clung to those words. You made sure I had my flavored ice chips and extra pillows. You assigned me the best nurses for the oncoming shift.

When the pain got so bad, you explained every procedure to me twice so that I would understand, because I wasn’t thinking clearly. You helped me through every contraction and repositioned my pillows at least 40 times. You provided me with an endless supply of ice packs for when I couldn’t stand the heat of the mag drip. You never left my side during my 30 hours of labor or my C-section.

You were there to assist my son to take his first breath and start his IV when his blood sugar was too low. You kept him warm for me when I wouldn’t wake up after surgery. You fed him when I couldn’t. You celebrated his first holiday with us and made us an Easter card with his footprints. And you watched over him 24/7 in NICU until he was ready to go home.

You came to visit us after delivery, just to make sure we were okay. And you told me I would be. And I believed you because you were right the first time. Not everyone can do what you do. It is a gift, what you do. There are no words to thank you enough. You may not remember my name, but I will never forget yours.

Thank you, L&D/NICU nurses, from the bottom of our hearts!

I am a full-time registered nurse, wife and new mom. I've recently started writing part-time and I love it! My family is my life. I enjoy spending time with them in my free time.

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