Thursday, November 17, 2011

November- National Prematurity Awareness Month

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
November is national prematurity awareness month. As many of you know this touches extremely close to home for me as I am NICU RN. When I was in nursing school I had always dreamed of working on the newborn ICU and when I shadowed there I knew I had found my "home". In all of my "dreams" I never realized how challenging and how rewarding the job would be. Naively I thought I would be holding babies all day. And yes on the quiet days at work a lot of baby holding, feeding and rocking goes on. But a majority of the days are BUSY, the last thing on my mind is holding the baby as we are busy with IV's, blood draws, procedures, vitals, assessments, feedings, more assessments, letting parents hold, truly trying to make the baby feel better. The atmosphere is quiet (minus all the beeping), the babies are SICK, some so close to death I feel extremely inadequate to be taking care of them. How could God entrust this tiny vulnerable creature to me in my job? I will admit it is scary, sometimes I don't feel worthy and so scared I am doing something wrong. This is a person's CHILD...I often have to remind myself to trust in my knowledge, my co-workers and doctors. I have also learned to trust (most) parents...they know their child better then I do. My number one goal on any given day is to make the baby the most comfortable I can and make the parents feel the same. I want the parents to trust me, trust I truly care about their baby, and I want to do everything in my power to make them feel competent in caring for their baby and try to relieve as much stress as possible. It is hard job. I have held a baby and fed them a bottle in the morning and then turned around performed CPR on them later in the shift...these "preemies" are delicate, vulnerable, but yet oh so strong. I feel defeated a lot...I feel helpless a lot...some weeks I feel depressed about the job...BUT the good days renew your spirit every time. Feeling you helped a baby and a family is truly one of the best feelings in my life. I have had the privilege of taking care of so many special babies and families...see them be born and see them go home with their families...that is truly a miracle. Thank God for your healthy babies and thank God for the preemies who are resilient and strong. Please continue to pray for us all!

A tiny list of the "miracle babies" I have taken care of
- A 28 week baby girl, my first primary, 4 years old now!
- A 26 week boy, did his delivery and took care of him everyday I worked until he went home. Here is Andrew's Story
- A set of quadruplets who were amazingly healthy
- A set of twin boys 30weeks...Lots of feeding issues, got in many arguments discussions with physicians. Learned how to be better patient advocate.

- A set of triplets whose parents got to take these 3 beautiful girls went home with them. These babies and parents really helped me during a challenging time when I was feeling burned out. Check their story out HERE

- A set of triplets ( I have multiple fever!) born at 30 weeks...I ended up primary on the sickest of the 3...He was on death's doorstep multiple times. I remember praying so hard for him, feeling helpless for him, feeling helpless for the parents...BUT my little man turned it around and I became so attached to him. I felt heavy loss when he went home, but also an extreme amount of happiness. Those parents saved me as much as I tried to save their son. Some of my closest friends to this day.

-A 30 week boy who was so sick and we never learned why...we called the parents in and told them this was it...He went home eating, breathing on his own, and is so chubby now! MIRACLE!

-30 week twin boys who were so stinking cute...I loved loving on them all day!!!

Here are all my "favorites" The best part about all of these stories is that I still remain in touch with all of these families. I get to enjoy watching these babies grow up and get stronger and stronger. Talk about rewarding.

Here is another post from my friend Kathy, who is Andrew's mom about how to support families while their babies are in the NICU. How to Help!

FYI- I was granted permission for all the pictures I used by the parents( Don't worry no HIPPA violations!)


  1. Don't forget those special deliveries you go on and get those preemies the best start for a long road as well as keeping a close eye on them! You are wonderful!

  2. look at all these little babies you've helped to save!