Pampers announced the winners of their Thank You Nurses Awards Program this week and I basically want to cry while even thinking about my incredible nurses I had in the hospital because it made all the difference for me in my experience. I had never given birth before or had babies in the NICU, and it’s very intimidating because every woman has a different experience so I could only prepare so much, so I turned to the nurses to help me get through it. So much of my experience was a surprise, like the babies being born at 32 weeks. Their kind, caring hearts were so incredible to me and I have such a deep respect for their profession after being cared for so personally by them.
As the #1 Choice of U.S. hospitals*, Pampers Swaddlers wants to recognize and show their appreciation for these exceptional nurses. In collaboration with the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), Pampers has launched the second annual Pampers Swaddlers Thank You Nurses Awards to honor Labor & Delivery nurses, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses and Postpartum nurses around the country. They received thousands of submissions and the stories were incredibly heartwarming, The winners were Laurie Milliken (Labor & Delivery), Elizabeth Giambrone (NICU), and Billie Warren (Postpartum).
There are several nurses that I think about often when looking back on the week that I gave birth to the twins, and in the 5 weeks that they stayed in the NICU. First was Angela. She had short, black hair in pixie haircut and she seemed to know everything about pumping, and everything about giving birth and everything about babies. She was the calm in the storm in the morning after the babies were born. I felt like I had just gotten run over by a train and I was doing everything just to survive. My eyes were so swollen that I couldn’t get my contacts in so I could hardly see anything until the afternoon when my mom was able to bring my glasses. Pumping was so confusing to me at first because I felt that I was being given an unbearable load of information all at the same time. I had so many people talking to me and my body was a wreck. I was so incredibly exhausted because I had hardly gotten any sleep, I had just pushed out twins and my body was in shock. I had just been taken off the Magnesium that helped prevent me from having seizures, which gives flu-like symptoms. Looking back, Angela probably answered the same questions multiple times. She didn’t make me feel like I was annoying, she just gently answered all of my questions and walked me through how to pump and what to do with the pumping supplies when I was done. She literally saw me at my absolute worst. I was swollen in places I didn’t even know could be swollen! My body was unrecognizable to me. Whew…I won’t go into any more detail than that but she brought me the ice packs when I needed them and she brought some comfort to me when I needed that most!
The next nurse I want to talk about is Danielle. She was one of the NICU nurses and she immediately fell in love with Harris and Goldie. She called herself “Auntie Danielle” and she made them little tiny swaddling blankets because they were so small that the regular blankets didn’t fit them. On their one month birthday, she made each of them a scrapbook page and wrote sweet quotes and a note on them with a place to put their picture. She acted like she was family, and really helped me get nursing down with the twins. She helped me to feel successful which is so important. She wasn’t afraid to be hands-on (literally) and helped me out which I really appreciated. I mean, I didn’t know what I was doing; I’d never done it before!
Mary was like the NICU “mom.” She had been there a long time and trained many of the other nurses. Her daughter worked in the NICU as well, and she asked her to take Harris and Goldie’s footprints print them on little sheets of paper with their birthdates, names and weights. It was a sweet touch. She had a lot of knowledge and experience which I loved.
Then there is Karin Marie. She has the kindest heart and I will never in my whole life forget standing next to Goldie’s small bed and having her help me get ready to change her diaper. She rubbed the wipe between her hands so that it would be warm for Goldie and I loved that she cared enough to do that extra touch for my sweet girl’s comfort. I will also never forget when she told me about bathing Harris. She said that she rolled the little bath into the corner so that it would be darker and the NICU lights wouldn’t bother him. She bathed him slowly and poured the warm water over his precious body and took extra time. She said that it was his spa day and that he enjoyed every second and didn’t make a peep. She always had the night shift and I felt at peace knowing that someone so loving was watching over them when I couldn’t be with them.
These are the nurses that I will never forget! I will always have the deepest gratitude for their kind hearts in dealing with me and my fragile situation. Being a nurse is not just a job to them, it’s investing their hearts and their souls into caring for these innocent, tiny babies and these new mothers who are in recovery. Harris and Goldie weighed around 4 pounds when they were born and these nurses protected their lives.
Thank you, nurses! Thank you from a mama who did everything she could to safely bring her babies into this world. Thank you from a mama who trusted you when she couldn’t be there. Thank for from a mama who just wanted to know that her babies were being loved, and knew that they were because of you.
This post is in partnership with and sponsored by Pampers, a brand that I absolutely love and use daily.
Meeting my babies after they got settled into the NICU. I hardly remember this and could hardly keep my eyes open!