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Forever greatful parents

NICU   (2,093 Views 13 Comments)
by krltdy krltdy (New Member) New Member

krltdy specializes in none yet!.

3,755 Visitors; 134 Posts

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How do you NICU nurses feel when parents tell you how eternally grateful they are to you for taking such good care of their little ones? There is not 1 day that goes by that I don't thank God for my daughter's nurses. She was there for 4 months. Three of her nurses even came to see her at another hospital after she was discharged from her primary hospital. I felt like they really cared for her. They bought her little gifts, and even bought me a mother's day gift for my first Mother's Day. Anyhow, when I convey this to them, it seems to make them uncomfortable. Why is this? I'm not freakishly abnormal, just very grateful my 490 gram miracle has had a wonderful outcome.

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hikernurse has 8 years experience and specializes in NICU.

10,010 Visitors; 1,302 Posts

Maybe a little uncomfortable, I'm not always sure what to say, but I'm grinning inside when parents feel that way. It's what we do though :). We do get thank you gifts from time to time; but it's the cards I really treasure. I am grateful when I can be a positive light at a time when a family is completely stressed.

We have a lot of kiddos who don't make it and we love the ones who succeed--although success is rather a broad term, happy baby and happy parents does it for me.

When you care for a baby for weeks/months, you do feel a bond to them and to their families. I don't know how you could avoid it. Honestly, we're probably almost as happy as you are that you're little one is doing so well :D.

Thank you.

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littleneoRN has 6 years experience and specializes in NICU.

6,950 Visitors; 459 Posts

I know sometimes I'm not sure what to say, mainly because I'm not the best at taking compliments. It's what I do, and I know my work is important so I give it 110%. It warms my heart to hear that what we do makes some difference in a family's experience. So I don't always know what to say back, but it's wonderful to get that positive feedback. I would say the times that are a little harder are when people will say..."We really loved having you...you're so much better about such and such than most of the other nurses." Let's face it, different families click with different nurses, and that's ok. But first, it's sad for me to hear that families struggled with certain nurses, and second I want to support my co-workers. So that's the one time I would say I feel a little more uncomfortable, but it's not uncomfortable about being appreciated. I'm glad to hear your little one is doing so well!

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UTVOL3 has 6 years experience and specializes in NICU, adult med-tele.

9,098 Visitors; 270 Posts

I agree with the others. It's not so much discomfort as...Aw, shucks...KWIM?

I love being thanked. Because you really can't imagine the number of negative comments we hear on a daily basis. When you are the nurse you are the first person that fields the complaints. I like to see pictures more than anything, or in person visits. Even if it is a kid I don't remember it makes me feel great to see their gestational age/weight and a picture of them looking great and happy!:redpinkhe

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krltdy specializes in none yet!.

3,755 Visitors; 134 Posts

Thanks everyone for your replies! I don't know if my daughter's nurses will ever really know just how much they mean to our family. I've thought, and thought about how to show my appreciation, but nothing I've thought of comes anywhere close to being good enough! If I ever win the lottery, they will be well taken care of...lol!

AjaRN, you are right, I couldn't imagine the number of negative comments! I could've never been that way towards my daughter's nurses!

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TiffyRN has 26 years experience as a ADN, BSN and specializes in NICU.

15,629 Visitors; 2,251 Posts

I love getting occasional pictures of previous graduates with their name, birthdate and birth weight.

My favorite favorite thank you note our unit ever got was from a former 24 week twin, the other twin unfortunately didn't make it. He couldn't pass his hearing screen, eyes weren't doing well, spent forever on the vent then CPAP.

On his first birthday his mom sent a picture of him with blue cake icing smeared all over his huge smiling face. A short note on the back said he was doing well, eyes were good now and his hearing was perfect. She continues to send us a family pictures every Christmas. The mom had an uneventful pregnancy a couple of years later and the little man now has beautiful twin sisters.

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Imafloat has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1 Article; 11,251 Visitors; 1,289 Posts

It makes me uncomfortable too. I appreciate that the parents feel that way, but there is way more at work than the care I gave their child. I am at my job 40 hours a week, there are lots of other people caring for the baby while I'm not there doing just as good of a job. I agree with the other posters, certain people click, I think that when you click with someone, you are less likely to see their weaknesses.

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hikernurse has 8 years experience and specializes in NICU.

10,010 Visitors; 1,302 Posts

It makes me uncomfortable too. I appreciate that the parents feel that way, but there is way more at work than the care I gave their child. I am at my job 40 hours a week, there are lots of other people caring for the baby while I'm not there doing just as good of a job. I agree with the other posters, certain people click, I think that when you click with someone, you are less likely to see their weaknesses.

But, I do think the work we do is very important as members of the team caring for these babies, knowing that without everyone's expertise most of these babies would do less well.

I wonder if the reason we feel uncomfortable with thanks is that we see all that we can't do. I have 2-assignment days where I spend the majority of the day with the sicker baby and I go home feeling awful that I didn't do more for the baby who is less sick, but may have higher developmental needs. I feel that what I couldn't do sometimes outweighs what I did do and maybe I should change my thinking a bit on that. Plus, we see all the babies who didn't go home or who were discharged with huge disabilities and that always lurks somewhere in the back of our minds.

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3,131 Visitors; 91 Posts

Parents like you are the reason I'm a NICU nurse.

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krltdy specializes in none yet!.

3,755 Visitors; 134 Posts

Thanks NICU RNC! I do realize there's a whole team of folks that take care of these little ones, but the nurses are the ones on the front lines of care. I didn't care if I "clicked" with anyone, as long as my daughter was being taken care of.

I did see some parents stressing out about silly things like not wanting an IV placed in their baby's heads. It horrified them. Meanwhile my baby's in the isolette right next to theirs with multiple lines, vent, weighing 490grams. I honestly wanted to shake some sense into some of the folks!

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3,131 Visitors; 91 Posts

I know what you mean. I get frustrated with moms who freak out when their baby is in NICU for 2 days. I want to tell them to look around them.

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621 Visitors; 1 Post

How Ironic!

I stumbled upon this thread as I was doing an internet search for gift ideas for our NICU Nurses. I'm so happy to find this website to help with ideas!

Last year, my wife and I were given the greatest gifts that any two people could be given; our first pregnancy...and twins...a boy and a girl ( we named them Madeleine and William). While we were so excited to get that news, it was shortlived as we went into preterm labor at only 24 weeks 6 days. Thus began an amazingly long journey filled with both joy and tragedy. We lost our dear Son at only 18 days of age and if it hadn't been for the care and compassion of our wonderful Angels (some people call them nurses) I don't know what we would have done. Our beautiful daughter has been and continues to be a living miracle. She has overcome so many obstacles with the help of Our Lord and some instruments that he uses daily in the form of our NICU Staff of Doctors, NNP's, Nurses, Therapists, and support staff. We spent 117 days in our NICU and ran the gauntlet of complications from low birth weight (750 grams) to Grade 4 Bi-lateral IVH, to BPD, to PDA, to ROP, to club foot, and just the stress of being on the vent for 2 months. My wife even went through Hurricanes Gustav and Ike without power for a short time in the NICU...sleeping in the waiting area like the Nurses! I was away on Hurricane Duty as I am a member of the National Guard. After all of that, our baby girl came home while I was away and still on duty. (I thankfully got a short pass to drive her home from the hospital).

Anyway...its been a long rode...but it has been full of miracles...ALL because of an exceptional group of true Angels. I cannot express...nor will I ever be able to adequately do so...my sincere, heartfelt gratitude and indebtedness to the wonderful people of our NICU. We've tried...and everytime we do something like bring food, or gifts, or just go up there for a visit...we feel so unable to repay our debt.

There is no way that I could ever sit here and type into sentences what my heart feels. Every moment that we have with Maddy from birth...to now...and in the future...every laugh...every tear...every late night feeding....watching her sit up...watching her hold her own bottle...and every single milestone, is because the people that God placed in our lives to provide care for our children...TRULY CARED! We can get medical procedures, medications, and advice anywhere....but we received something so much more valuable and effective at our NICU. We received Love. I felt it when our babies were delivered...every evening when I arrived at the NICU to visit my children... It was never more powerful to me than when I raced to the hospital to hold my dying Son for the first time...only to arrive too late. I saw the tears...felt the emotion...of all of the people in the room who pour their passion and life into a "job" that I know is more about love than a paycheck. Most importantly...we felt it and saw it everytime Maddy made another step towards coming home. When she came off of the vent, when her PDA cleared up...when her ROP cleared up...when she drank her first ounce of milk by mouth...when her neurologist said her IVH stabilized...and finally when she came home! Even since we have been home these last 6 months...she's made remarkable progress. She's a Happy, Beautiful, Little Girl...and it's all because of Angels (nurses) just like you! We know that y'all feel things the same way that we do...that you develope bonds...and that you have the same ups and downs that we have...I wish I knew how you guys do it day after day...

We have been so blessed to have had a group of people as wonderful as the Staff we had at the Baton Rouge General on Bluebonnet's NICU. We try to go by regularly and keep in touch with our Nurses to let them know how Maddy is doing...we even update our caringbridge blog pretty regularly (another healing tool that they told us about).

If you guys can think of any way that we could truly show our guys and gals how much we appreciate them...and all of the moments they have given us...please let me know! You can e-mail me or visit our website to let us know what would be special to you.

And by the way, THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO!

The Saint Family

Baton Rouge, LA

www.caringbridge.org/visit/madeleinesaint

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