Monday, October 3, 2011

A Bunch of Nurses

When Adrian arrived on the 7th floor at Medical City, we were terrified. How would we handle Tate being premature? How would we handle her being stuck here, and me having to handle the house and work? How would we handle sonograms and monitors and blood tests? How would we handle the food? Could we both keep it together long enough to do what was best for Tate? Starting with that first night, a large portion of our question started being answered, and those answers would continue coming every day for two solid months.
Way back on August 4th, I had to go home to take care of Mags and try to get some things in order while leaving my shy, terrified wife alone here in the hospital. She took some medicine to help her sleep, but it had the opposite effect. She was alert and alone. A patient, caring nurse whose name A didn’t remember in the morning stayed here in the room with her for a long time to keep her company and assure her that everything would be ok. Now after all this time, Tracie still comes in every night she’s here, whether she is A’s nurse or not, just to see how things are going and keep us entertained.
On the morning of A’s first sonogram here, we were again scared. We didn’t know the doctor past a quick meeting on the day she was admitted. We were worried that the sonogram might reveal after a couple of bad ones in a row. A spunky, redheaded nurse came to take A to that first sonogram. She kept the mood light with a great sense of humor. She picked on the doctor a bit, and things didn’t seem so scary. Tara gets the award for best wheelchair picker even though she lost to A in today’s day long water drinking contest.
On the first couple of weekends we were there, we were still adjusting. Those were definitely some rough days. There was no routine and nothing good on tv. A chatty, fun nurse would come and visit far more than she had to. She spent tons of time getting to know us and helping us get adjusted. I specifically remember a tough time early one Saturday night. I got back to the hospital after a quick run out, and there was a nurse sitting in a chair next to my wife’s bed, holding her hand; showing empathy that I didn’t know existed. In the last week, she has made it her mission to toughen us up and prepare us for parenthood. Mostly, Deeanna has succeeded in reminding us that you can’t make up truly caring for people.
Aside from a select few, the nights of sitting at the hospital run together. The monotony of the nights always begs for something different. TV can’t make up for some great stories. One nurse has always has some great ones to tell. Her first reminder has always been for A to take her vitamins, but after that, she always sticks around to make us laugh. We’ll always remember Patty for being a lot of fun, and we won’t forget our vitamins.
One Sunday night a couple of weeks ago, we had a bit of a scare. A was having some contractions that were more intense than any she had experienced. A nurse that is particularly calm was assigned to A that night. She hooked A and Tate up to the monitors, and assured us that no matter what was happening, they’d be ok. Even though we were terrified, she didn’t show one bit of panic. Diana was the perfect nurse for that night.
We had been there a while before A was assigned to one of the nurses. Once she was, we quickly struck up a conversation of a place near and dear to both of us, College Station. Her kids are about our age and are Aggies. She made sure we were comfortable and had everything we could possibly need. She is quite the crafty lady as well. Tate will be well decked out in the awesome striped shoes and bib she made for him. Thanks to Caryl for her craftiness and kindness.
I could go on for pages about these and the other nurses and assistants of the Antepartum unit. These words don't do them justice. They will hold a special place in our hearts for the rest of our lives. We couldn't have made it this far without all of them. They've made it possible for me to go to work in the mornings and go home at night. I have known that A is being well cared for by a group of people that aren't just good at the clinical side of their job, they care about and love my wife and son.

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