Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I attended an Association of Critical Care Nurses dinner meeting tonight sponsored by a drug representative speaking about a new drug to be used in intensive care units at a nice hotel here in Greensboro.  It was a nice dinner and a well designed presentation with good information.  But, my biggest takeaway from the meeting was nothing that the speaker said tonight ...

When I got to the meeting, I spotted a nurse who works on my unit who I hadn't seen in a while (since she only works weekends), so I went over to her to say hello.  She asked me how Jack was, and as I told her how great and wonderful he is, the nurse sitting next to her piped in and said, "Do you remember me?  I took care of you after your son was born."  I stood there stunned for a minute, but after looking at her for a moment, it all came rushing back to me. 

She was the nurse who cared for me in the recovery room after my C-section with Jack.  She was the nurse who monitored my vital signs during the immediate period after my surgery.  She was the nurse who answered my questions about my spinal anesthesia wearing off and about how soon I could have some ice chips or water to drink.  She was the nurse who called the nursery when I asked her what was taking them so long to bring me my baby.  She was the nurse who was with me when I first held Jack in my arms.  She was the nurse who was with me when I first found out Jack might have Down Syndrome.

She was also the nurse who (after Jack was whisked away for more tests with Robert) pulled the curtain around us for privacy, although I was the only patient in the recovery room that morning.  She was the one who sat down with me and hugged me while I cried, only to then cry with me.  She then told me about her own daughter who was born 13 years earlier with six heart defects, requiring two separate heart surgeries.  She also told me that all children are blessings, no matter what form they come in, and that everything was going to be okay.

As this nurse and I reconnected and tears filled both our eyes for just a few moments tonight, I was overwhelmed by all the people who have influenced my life over the past 16 months.  While I think about how remarkably different my life is now than it was before, I am equally surprised at how incredibly better it is because of Jack and because of the kind of people like this nurse ... this nurse who I only encountered for fewer than two hours out of my entire life.  But, during those brief two hours, she had been a tremendous source of strength and support, marking the beginning of our wonderfully frightening journey.

And to think that she was just the first of many we would encounter in this new world of ours ...

1 comment:

  1. ah, it's amazing isn't it? most of the wonderful people in my life now are a direct result of rachel having down syndrome. i am very thankful for that.