Ever since we lost Zoe, I knew that I wanted to be there for parents dealing with their own loss in whatever capacity I could. I had some amazing care when my lost babies were born, but I know of others that were not so lucky. One friend in particular was told that her placenta was “normal” when the pathology report said that it was not. She wasn’t even given a follow-up appointment with her OB-GYN after her full-term loss. I was appalled when she told me these things and my heart broke for her. I can’t imagine going through such pain without the support of my wonderful doctors (I had different physicians with Heath and Zoe) and the nurses that kept me going.
The Nurse Manager for the Mother-Baby units at the hospital where I work and had my children has been invaluable to me. She has checked in with me periodically and has been there to dry my tears and calm my hysteria. I spoke with her and told her that I wanted to move to her unit (mother-baby/ nursery) when a position was available because that’s where my heart is.
She, in her ever-present wisdom, was concerned that it may be too much, too fast since losing Heath less than a year ago. I was also worried (and told her so) but I knew that I wanted (and perhaps, needed a change). She suggested that I come and observe the in the nursery and see what I thought. I’ve tried very hard to be honest with myself and went in with an open mind that now might not be the time. I shadowed another nurse and was able to attend a delivery. I followed her as she checked supplies, watched her as she drew labs and assessed and charted on each of her little patients.
But there was a moment that I’m almost positive I will never forget. I was watching the L&D and Nursery nurses get everything ready for the impending birth. Mom was pushing, with Dad and Grandma very close by. The baby was born. And it was a very profound moment.
You know when you see something that you’ve seen several times but something new becomes clear? This was mine: This is the very first moment that this little person will ever have in her WHOLE life; This is one of the most memorable moments in these parents’ lives; I will never have another of my own moments like this again.
It was a lot for me to process all at once, but that’s when I knew that this is where I wanted to be. My question now was could I handle it?
I talked to a few friends over the next couple days. One person was my mother-in-law. I told her all this and that I wanted to be there, but I was worried about it. She said, “I heard once that the best way to deal with your crap is to help someone else with theirs.” I knew she was smart.
I talked to the Manager, and as usual, she put me at ease. I told her that my concern was that if there were a traumatic birth (like Heath’s) I may have trouble with it. She understood my concerns and said that she would be gentle with me. Thank goodness for understanding people.
So, I’m super excited and very nervous to start this new chapter.
Even with the fear and anxiety I have, I know this is where I’m supposed to be, as much as it might hurt. I’m excited to be a part of this amazing team that helped bring my own children into the world. I watched my son slip from this world and I will do anything I can to keep that from happening to another parent. I know there is so much that I can learn from these amazing nurses and I look forward to it.