Maybe I'm crazy...

  1. I have kind of a strange question. As I have posted before, my son was in an NICU and recently died there. I am in nursing school, and I plan to go into NICU nursing. My son was in the NICU for 5 weeks, and I feel I became pretty close to some of his nurses. I have not seen them or spoken to them since he died, but I did send them cards. The thing is, I really miss them. They were really wonderful, amazing people, and I miss talking with them. I am wondering if I should or could try to contact them, whether it be writing a letter or going to visit, or if I should assume they would contact me if they wanted to keep in touch and I should just leave them alone.

    What do you think? Have you had any former parents of babies who have died come back to visit? Or contact you? How did you feel about it? Have you kept in touch with any NICU parents?

    I feel like I am crazy just for thinking about this, but I really do miss them.

    Heidi
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   renerian
    I love to see former patients and family members. Meant alot to me. I think it would be nice if you went, IF you are ready to walk onto the unit again.

    I am sorry your child passed away,

    renerian
  4. by   Mimi2RN
    I have had parents come to the nursery looking for me, sometimes months or even a couple of years after d/c. I love to have them visit, but don't always remember names.......so just give me a little info. We see so many babies.
  5. by   StacyC417
    I have actually been back to the nicu twice since Zoe died (In Feb.) Once to pick up breastmilk (I donated it to the milk bank ), and once because my other daughter had a pediatrician appt right next door. I became quite close to some of the nurses seeing as I was there everyday for over two months! I have actually went out to lunch a couple of times with one of my "favorite" nurses. I think that they appreciate keeping in touch. I know that they loved my Zoe, too, and it seems that they are the only ones that I feel really comfortable talking about her to. A lot of them went to her memorial service and I think that means something. I think that the nurses would appreciate a visit from you!!!

    Stacy
  6. by   NICU_Nurse
    Please don't assume that they would get in touch with *you* and just because they don't means they don't want to hear from you! You couldn't be more wrong! I know that I would give ANYTHING to hear from some of the moms' I felt I bonded with when I was caring for their babies, but so far, none of them have come back for reasons I can only begin to guess at.

    If you'd really like to try to keep in touch with them, why don't you write them a letter telling them how much they meant to you and offering them a way they can contact you? Of course, it's up to them if they decide to or not, and even if they don't, you shouldn't take it personally. Nurses become attached to the babies and families we deal with, and we grieve for your baby also. Different people deal with grief different ways, and it may be to painful for them to write you back or call you (sometimes, sad as it is, it's "easier" to forget...easier on our hearts sometimes to not deal with the reminder that maybe you couldn't save the baby, or have to face the loss, you know?).

    Either way, I'm sure they would be touched by a letter from you telling them how much they impacted your life.

    Just remember- we don't forget, just like you don't forget. I know I fall in love with the babies I take care of like they were my own children. I worry about them after they leave the unit, and I worry about their families when something happens to them. I just don't talk about it out loud very often. We sometimes have to keep a brave face at work, but my husband has seen me cry for these babies and cry for parents just like you, and I know in my heart that those nurses are the same way. Let us know what happens, okay? And good luck in nursing school! Your ability to be compassionate and relate to the other families you'll come into contact with one day will make you a very special nurse.
  7. by   Anna57
    You should never feel like you are "Crazy" for wanting to reach out to the ones that reached out to you and took care or your sick child. This obviously is part of your healing process. I can only imagine that after 5 months, the nurses became very attached to your baby and often wonder how you are doing.

    I had a baby in NICU for only 2 weeks and she is healthy now, but during her time there, the nurses were wonderful. I KNOW what a difference they can and do make. Just as you know this. Tell them what a difference they made if you want to. I am sure that it will be GREATLY appreciated and welcomed.

    By the way.... I too went to nursing school after my NICU experience and my plan is to go into NICU Nursing. I want to help make a difference for parents, just as my nurses made for me.

    Good luck and you are in my thoughts and prayers....
  8. by   karenelizabeth
    as a NICU nurse yes we do wonder how some parents who have lost a child are doing and like to see them.

    Parent cope very differently some parents come back because nurses know "their" story and thy don't have to keep explaining what happened, often they also feel that part of the child is still their and the nurses also have some connection to the child, and are people who can talk about them and are able to listen with out commenting you should be over it by now (from personal experience not sure you ever get over loosing a child). Some parents still have emotions/feelings/demons to put to put to rest. Other parents feel that going back it too painful and just cannot to it, or do not have that need.

    We have had quite a few parents come back one set has raised quite a lot of money for us too but best of all she brought her new son down to see us too after he was born. I think any parent who comes back to NICU after a traumatic time to be very brave.

    So you are by no means crazy.

    When you finally do it b prepared for extreme feelings both happy nd sad that you are not prepared for. These are not necessarily bad for you but can just take you a little by surprise.

    Good luck
    Karen
  9. by   neonatalRN
    Thank you all so much for your responses. I definitely want to go back and see them. My son't autopsy report should be back any day now, and then I am going to have a meeting with the doctors about it, so I think that would be a good time to also stop and see the nurses.

    Last week they sent me a book titled "Mommy Please Don't Cry" which they all signed, including two of his doctors. It was so sweet. They said they still think about him daily and miss him. One nurse said she has been there for 17 years and Ethan was one of the few she will never forget. That really touched my heart.

    KarenElizabeth, It is just like you said, I feel that they have a connection with Ethan, too, and it is like I feel part of him is still there. Maybe that is why I want to go back so badly.

    Kristi, what you said about loving the babies like your own children was so sweet, and I think some of Ethan's nurses felt that way about him.

    I will tell you about it when I do go. Also, I am going to go to a weekly support group at that hospital pretty soon, so that would also be a good time to visit.

    Heidi
  10. by   ?burntout
    Heidi,

    One thing I have decided to do is I am going to take a goodie basket to the NICU nurses and MDs that took care of Blake while he was in the NICU. It has been over a year since he died, but I just want to thank them for helping us during such a difficult time.

    I am also getting together some preemie outfits and blankets to donate to the NICU in memory of Blake.

    Ginger
  11. by   Mira
    I would love to see visiting parents like you.It would make a difference to see how you are coping and it gives reassurance that you might be in the last stage of the grieving process and you are wanting to come into terms of what happened to your beloved child.Some nurses grieve as well like the parents,there is a question like"have I done something wrong that lead to the death of their child?"sometimes this still hang around and to see you doing well would make it vanished.I hope you find the support group helpful.
  12. by   Gompers
    I know this is an old thread, but the weirdest thing happened to me! I came across it yesterday when I was hanging out on the boards here...and I thought about all the babies I've lost and how their parents are doing. Then, a few hours ago, one of their mothers called me! He passed away almost four years ago, and after the funeral I only heard from her once. She called me a year after the death, and told me it took her that long to call up to the unit and ask for me. This time, she had my home phone, and she said she had come across it in her address book and decided to call me. She just wanted me to know that they're doing alright, and had another little baby two years ago.

    She said how blessed she felt having me taking care of him, and that she never worried when he was with me. I took care of him for 6 months on the unit, and he died at home a few months after discharge. He was chronically ill, but it was still a surprise. The night it happened the paramedics brought him to our ER and luckily I was working when mom called upstairs to tell me. I went downstairs and they invited me to hold him and say good-bye. I told the mom that I had been reading this thread not 24 hours before she called me, and she said it was the Lord that made her open her address book and see my name tonight.

    I called my dad to tell him about this right after I talked to her...and as it turns out, he had been telling a coworker a story about that same mom and baby on Friday!!! And like I said, it was almost four years ago that we lost him!!!

    Just a whole lot of coincidences. Strange, eh?
  13. by   WalkingInTheRain
    I'm sorry for your loss. If I was a nurse and a patient wanted to give me some encouraging words of how I took care of there child in NICU it would be amazing and incredible to know that I made a difference in there lives for the better. I believe you should go for it and contact them I hope everything turns out well for you
  14. by   Freeda
    I too know this is an old thread but I just want to say thank you to those of you who posted on it. I am a prospective nursing student (still in prerequisites) and mom of a baby currently in the NICU. The nurses there will never no how much they mean. I have spent the past three months there and they have been such a support to me. I know that I will never be able to thank them enough for going above and beyond, especially since I can't really share this whole experience with my close friends, as they are not allowed in the NICU. They have helped to make the past three months a little easier to bear.

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