**From now through January 27, 2017, we are joining Pampers in inviting parents, co-workers, family members and friends to nominate and share the story of an extraordinary NICU nurse who provides babies and their families with special touches of love – stories like the ones shared here. You can nominate your preemie’s favorite nurses at www.pampers.com/thankyounurses**
To say I had the best pregnancy ever would be like saying I had the best vacation when meanwhile I spent a good part of it sick as a dog from the food poisoning I got from that quaint, off the grid restaurant I just HAD to try – despite my known daily struggle with spicy foods. Neither of my pregnancies were perfect, but my twin pregnancy takes the cake.
I had my first pre-labor scare at my 28-week ultrasound and was sent to the hospital with contractions. After two rounds of steroid injections and a bout of magnesium I was sent home on bedrest. You would think bed rest would be a dream. Laying around in my pajamas watching Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU all day long – now with two 4-year old’s and a 2-year-old that sounds like a dream vacation, but then I was terrified: terrified somehow in my motionless state I would someone screw up and go into labor early which is exactly what happened that fateful Thursday back in January of 2013.
At first I thought I peed myself, which to be honest, wouldn’t be a first so I wasn’t too concerned. I cleaned up and went back to bed. Then it happened again! Once, ok that could be acceptable for a 32 week and 1 day pregnant lady, but twice!? Something was wrong. The best way I can describe it was a leaky faucet that just kept dripping no matter what I did. I called the covering doctor (my doctor was unfortunately away) and was told to go to the hospital and get checked out.
My mom happened to be coming over that Thursday after work as she always did and was bringing over a pizza, which I didn’t eat but really should have had I known that I wouldn’t be allowed to eat a thing until the next day! When she arrived I was hysterical. This couldn’t be happening. I did everything I was supposed to do and somehow I still managed to mess up. I cried the whole way to the hospital, sitting on a towel and replaying what I could have done to make my water break. I had an emergency Cesarean Section due to two breach babies and at 9:18pm and again at 9:20pm I became a Mom.
I met Alyssa about a week into our stay and Claudia a little later. Alyssa was our day nurse and Claudia our night nurse. They chose to be our daughters’ primary care nurses, meaning that if they were on duty, my kids would always be on their schedule. To say that we were lucky to have had Alyssa and Claudia as our primary nurses is an understatement. I feel like we were genuinely touched by angels when we were blessed with them. They kindness and compassion and pure love they showed to our girls was undeniable. It was so genuine and so natural and I truly believe the girls prospered and soared from that love and care.
Alyssa’s kind and gentle nature and how easy she made everything look was always so calming and reassuring to me. She also had a nurse who she was training with her most of the time and the care and patience she had when educating her I truly admired. She never made me feel like any question or concern I had was foolish. She always answered with such care and consideration for my current feelings and I am so thankful to her for that.
If it wasn’t for Claudia’s determination overnight to have Avery take all her feedings by mouth rather than NG tube, she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to prove that she was strong and enough and capable to bottle feed a full twenty-four hours to be discharged the same day as her sister. The thought of leaving her there alone was tearing me apart, and thanks to Claudia, we didn’t have to. She believed in Avery and trusted in me and I am so grateful for that. Claudia’s sweet and fun nature always made me smile when we spoke briefly before I went home during shift change. She made the overnight shift look like cake and never once let that smile and fun loving nature disappear. I will always remember coming in the morning to the sweet smell of lavender and knew that Claudia had given the girls her famous bath!
February 13th will mark four full years since our departure from the NICU, however the memories and mixed emotions will forever remain buried inside me. But that won’t be all that remains there. My sincere gratitude and appreciation for the team that took special care of our daughters will remain as well and I just want to say, “Thank you” to each one of you. Those words may sound small, but they are as big as they come. A special “Thank you” to Alyssa and Claudia, for all you did and continue to do to support Skylar and Avery – you are my true heroes and I will always have a place for you in my heart and I am so happy you can see our girls continue to grow and prosper.