Nurses are Human

Not every labor nurse can care for a mother who will have a stillbirth. Some nurses just can’t do it, some just don’t want to do it, and some just aren’t good at it. Frequently, the same nurses are chosen over and over again to care for a mother who will not get to take their baby home. I knew early on that I would be one of the nurses chosen to care for these families. The first time I ever triaged a woman whose baby did not have a heartbeat, so many things happened at once. My hands trembled a bit. It wasn’t that I was afraid, they trembled because I wanted that bad to find her baby’s heartbeat. Disappointment, injustice, and heartbreak were immediate feelings that bubbled up from my stomach and washed over me. It took me a few moments to say anything. It wasn’t because I didn’t know what to say, but because I didn’t know what I was allowed to say. Over the years I’ve realized that waiting those few moments to speak confirms what the mother already knows, and somehow that is also part of the process. But then I felt this overwhelming motherly surge come over me. It strengthened my hands and gave me back my voice. I knew I had to be strong for the woman in front of me. I knew I had to guide her through the process, because I knew what was coming and I knew what would happen next and no matter how much support she had around her, I knew she would need me. The privilege to care for her felt like my responsibility. So I always knew I would be one the nurses that would frequently be called on to care for these families. And I have always been okay with that.

But I will never forget the last woman I took care of that had a stillbirth. It was while I was pregnant with my son that I took care of this woman, and although I did take good care of her, I suddenly found myself as one of those “other” nurses. When I was pregnant, I was blindsided at a routine ultrasound appointment when I was told my baby had a brain bleed while inside of me. I spent every day after that wondering if it would happen again, or if he would succumb to complications from the bleed. Every moment of every single day I wondered if I would become one of those mothers…if I would go to the hospital and be told that my baby no longer had a heartbeat.

When I put her on the monitor, my hands shook so violently my knuckles turned white from holding the monitors so hard. Panic and fear and embarrassment bubbled up inside of me, so fast and sudden and unexpected that I was afraid I would break down right there in front of her. I bit my lip and focused on her belly, moving the monitors around, pleading to God in my head to provide us a heartbeat. I brought an ultrasound to the bedside, and a physician on the unit offered to do the ultrasound so she wouldn’t have to wait for her own provider to get there. None of us wanted to delay her unknowing. And as we all visualized the still and stagnant heartbeat, the patient let out a cry that I can still hear if I close my eyes and think back to that day. Staffing didn’t allow me the option to say “I don’t want to do it this time.” Unable to hide my own pregnancy, every time I walked into her room I felt as if my swollen belly tortured her, taunting her of everything she was losing with each centimeter of progression. Staffing didn’t allow me the option to say “this time, I can’t handle this.” Anxiety weakened the support I normally provided. I guarded my emotions that day, crippled by the fear that I would be in her place the next day.

My patient and her family did not seem to notice that I was handicapped that day by my insecurities. They didn’t seem to notice how uncomfortable I was in my pregnant body as I cared for someone that was losing theirs. When I left at the end of my shift, I was so thankful she had still not delivered. For the first time ever, I did not stay past my shift to be with my patient that was so close to delivering. I hugged her goodbye, kissed her head, and told her I would pray for her family. I remember her looking at my scrubs, tight over my belly, as I shamefully tried to pull them down. And when she asked me when I was due, I pretended that I didn’t hear her, because I couldn’t answer her. I couldn’t tell her that we were due on the same day.

Driving home, I thought my scrubs were strangling me. I couldn’t catch my breath. My heart thumped so loud and my head pounded so hard that I thought I might pass out. That night, I climbed into the bathtub and cried enough tears to fill the entire tub. I kept hearing her cries over and over in my head, giving voice to my own inner struggles. Now, almost two years later, I still think of her and wonder about her delivery. I wish I would have been strong enough to stay and help deliver her baby. And although I delivered five week early, I still think about that family when my son’s given due date approaches. I’m so thankful my baby survived, and my heart still hurts that hers didn’t.

For any family out there that has suffered, for any family out there who did not get to take their child home, know that nurses and physicians and midwives and all of us hurt for you. Every single one of us wants to hear the strong beat of a baby’s heart every time monitors are placed on your belly. But sometimes everyone forgets, sometimes we forget that we’re not invincible to what’s before us.  The truth is, nurses are human. Some days we’re better at dealing with things than others.  Not all of us know what words to say when “sorry” doesn’t even begin to describe how bad we feel for you. Please forgive us. And to the mother who I took care of almost two years ago who did not get to take her baby home, I still think of you. And I’m sorry that my hands shook, and that my voice wavered, and that I acted like I didn’t hear you when I was trying to hide my own pregnancy because I was so sad that yours was ending so suddenly . If I could go back, if things had been different—I would hug you, and kiss your head, and I would tell you: October 10th. I think of you all the time.

My Family

Until my next delivery ❤


51 thoughts on “Nurses are Human

  • April 30, 2015 at 6:55 pm
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    The anguished cry of a mother is one you will never forget. We remember all these patients and we carry them with us as we care for others. One patient I cared for particularly stays with me… I think of them on that baby’s birthday, several days later on the day of his death and every holiday that I celebrate with my young son. I’ve cried tears of sadness with them and I cried tears of you joy upon learning she had delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl and I’m sure I will cry again this summer when she delivers her second son… so, so close to the date of her first beautiful son. God Bless these parents and God give us the strength to continue to care for them. Thanks for your blog! You keep our L&D unit laughing and crying with your stories

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  • April 30, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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    I am so sorry you had to deal with that while pregnant. You are right, there are always some nurses who are more able to help grieving families. Every where I have worked there is an unwritten rule that pregnant nurses are exempt from that duty.

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  • April 30, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    The way you write is so powerful, emotional and moving. I am a new RN to my dream area of L&D, and even through the agony I’ve felt in caring for women who experience this loss, I wouldn’t want to be working anywhere else. I too understand and feel that is a privilege to be the best support I can be in this situation where nothing makes the pain go away. Thank you for writing this, as I know it will never get easier to see this happen, but it helps in knowing I am not alone and the difficulty is understood. To all the women who have experienced this loss, I feel deeply for you and will continue to work to be the best that I can to support and be there and to possibly take away even just an ounce of pain.

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  • April 30, 2015 at 7:16 pm
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    I am shocked your workplace didn’t allow you to bow out of that assignment while you were pregnant. I’ve been a OB nurse for 11 years, and not once was a pregnant nurse expected to care for patient who lost or was losing their baby. Seems cruel for both parties.

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    • April 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm
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      It was once of those days… You know the kind. There just wasn’t anyone. Lol I still remember who the charge nurse was ;)

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    • May 1, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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      Totally agree, I can’t believe that you had to take care of this patient. While it is very hard on the pregnant nurse being nervous for her own pregnancy, I think it is cruel to the patient and her family. We all know and understand staffing issues for sure. Our unit switches nurse assignments on these instances and no one complains because we know and agree it is in the best interests for all involved. Bravo to you though for being a compassionate nurse who is willing to care for these patients!

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  • April 30, 2015 at 7:18 pm
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    I couldn’t be one of those nurses- and that is why I never wished to have a career in healthcare. I know that I am not emotionally strong enough to handle those situations. Heck- I can’t even stop myself from crying when reading these blogs. I feel like I can close my eyes and hear that mother’s cry. It makes me feel guilty- like survivor’s guilt-guilty that I have carried and delivered 2 healthy screaming pink babies, while other mothers had just the crushing sound of nothing when they deliver their stillborn babies. I just cannot bear the thought. I am thankful that there are nurses and other healthcare professionals like you, that CAN be supportive to these patient’s and their families.

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  • April 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm
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    When I was still on L&D orientation, my pregnant preceptor almost had a break down during the shift that she and her orientee were assigned the patient with a 27-week demise. My preceptor was also 27 weeks, but I was oblivious to all this and so many other things, as a nervous, mentally overloaded new nurse. All I could think was, “Well, I guess she’s super empathetic or something…” but I just didn’t understand. Finally, when I was holding that red baby with translucent skin and examining its perfect fingernails and fluid-filled torso, it clicked why my preceptor was in such agony. To lose this baby–this not-yet-completed perfection–was such a deep loss. But I don’t think I ever would have understood her unless I had been in her (or your) shoes. So sorry you experienced that. So thankful that woman still had a nurse with such a beautiful heart that day. We never forget a woman in mourning. I, too, became one of those nurses who is called on to take care of these women and their families, and I never understood how I got into that place, but was honored to be there and be able to do that most heart-heavy and important work. Thanks for writing so beautifully about it.

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  • April 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm
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    So many of your posts aare about sad outcomes. I was going to post this awhile back, but thought I would give the benefit of waiting for more posts. Now another one. Why not some stories about sharing the joy of being part of a birth, the beautiful birth that is satisfying and gratifying and joy filled and tears of happiness filled for the parents and for the staff. As a nurse-midwife of 35 years, I still tear up many times the moment the babe is placed in the mother’s arms. I tell fathers “it’s ok to cry” (those that are trying to hold back). Your blog would have us believe that there are so many tragedies (I know there are) but the joy far outweighs the sad each and every day.

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    • May 1, 2015 at 12:14 am
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      I, too, notice the sad posts but there are just as many hilarious ones. The sad ones stand out for me because after over
      40 years as a labor and delivery nurse, I realize that I and my colleagues failed to acknowledge the emotional and physical stress of our profession. There was never time to debrief or decompress from the chaos and drama of the job. I am sad to realize that I remember most the tragedy of my work when I am sure all of the happy births and outcomes far outweigh the sad. The best career ever. Thank you for getting it just right, once again.

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      • May 1, 2015 at 12:22 am
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        I love that she writes so beautifully about the sad ones. I’ve been a sad one (fetal demise at 18 weeks), and it’s so comforting to know that she cares. She writes about it from so many facets and so thoughtfully. It’s one of the reasons I follow this blog. She’s doing a great job!

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    • May 1, 2015 at 12:40 am
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      It is evident to me in the short time I’ve been a reader that she loves her job, loves her patients, and enjoys many of the mostly very happy outcomes. I think it’s rather brave of her to take on such a vulnerable and sad story. Too frequently these late-term loss moms do not have helpful, understanding people to walk them through such a tragedy. To know how empathetic and caring these labor and delivery nurses are validates their pain and brings comfort. So, I’m totally fine with these stories.

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      • May 6, 2015 at 3:24 am
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        And I am so glad you do. This post was beautifully written. We recently completed a study at my facility on perinatal loss and the impact on the caregiver. We know how loss affects the patient and family, but it was long overdue in the other regard. I lost a baby last year to trisomy 13. I still cringe most days I walk into L&D, but I am still healing. These stories remind me that I have a gift…to give these mothers and families the best support I can regardless of a live birth or a stillbirth. Thank you for the stories. I love them all!

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  • May 1, 2015 at 1:11 am
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    I have had my very own experience of losing my firstborn! I was 32 weeks and my water broke, that was 34 years ago and to this day on his birthday I still mourn that baby boy. He was born premature and lived 18 hours, it was the longest 18 hours of mine and my husbands life. The Dr.s and nurses were so awesome. My OB-GYN Dr, not so much! He told us that there was nothing wrong with that baby and he was “going to be fine”. I am a nurse and I knew my baby was not going to be fine! I thought it was the worst experience of my life, until my beautiful daughter in law delivered our grandbaby girl,stillborn. Its a horrible thing to see your child in so much pain. I am happy to say that I went on to have 2 beautiful healthy boys and I now have 3 beautiful grandbabies! One of the reasons I did not ever want to go into L&D is because I lost that precious little boy. I had to go home empty handed and I stayed in the shower and cried and cried and cried over my loss. I applaud the nurses that do this on a daily basis. Thank you so much for what you do! It truly is supposed to be a happy occasion but sometimes it just does not turn out that way. Thanks so much for your blog, it is always so beautifully written. People really and truly do not realize as nurses we are human and we grieve and cry like everyone else when we lose a patient!

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    • May 6, 2015 at 3:27 am
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      Much love to you, Teri. It’s mind blowing how many people have stories of loss. I have been there myself. And I, like you, will always celebrate my baby girl until the day we meet again.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 1:30 am
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    As a woman who made it to the hospital as I was losing my unborn son, who had the nurse quick to see something was wrong, then unable to find the heartbeat to finally find it but knowing it was so very bad; know you too are remembered and loved. My son and I got lucky, we are both still here and healthy 5 years later, thanks to lucky timing, an amazing nurse and the entire team but the love, kindness and empathy I felt that night will never leave me. Love to every one of you.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 2:00 am
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    I am what we call a “Triple Threat”, meaning I work in L&D, postpartum,and the NICU. One night I was working in the NICU when I was called to an emergency delivery. There was too much artifact on the strip to tell if there was a heartbeat or not, but we pulled the crash cart and got everything ready for a code. Where I work the code team, especially on the night shift, would have been me and the neonatologist. There simply just wasn’t anyone else. I was 9 months pregnant with my second child, and actually having Braxton Hicks contractions as I waited, equipment at the ready, for this mother to deliver. As soon as the baby was born,it was clear that there was no hope for resuscitation. I, too, felt the agony of my stomach protruding against my scrubs as I helped this new mother hold her angel. I left the room as quickly as possible, both for her sake and my own. I think I cried more that night than any other night I have worked. I delivered my son, big and healthy, less than a week later. But I always remember that night, that mom, and that little angel.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 2:12 am
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    I am almost certain this is her blog and she chooses what she writes about. The joy of childbirth is a given. Joy is expected – the norm. She is giving insight into the tragic part of the job – the part where humans are expected to put their emotions aside – and it can be agonizing. Ultra agonizing when the situation hits so close to home. This story just reminds me of the sacrifices nurses make for their patients every day. Some days, no matter how much it hurts, you do whatever you need to do to care for that family. This woman is an amazing nurse who uses this blog as a platform to reflect upon her experiences (in my opinion), and I commend her for that. As a trauma ICU nurse, I cannot relate to fetal demise, but I have watched moms lose their babies of all ages, and those cries are haunting too. These stories tell the real raw side of nursing. Thanks for sharing.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 4:29 am
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    This is so beautifully said. Many people forget that labor and delivery is not always about happy times and easy deliveries. We get all sorts of issues and stillbirth being the biggest one. Many people do not realize in a unit full of life, there may be a mom at the end of the hallway saying goodbye to a life she had so little time to know. There are so many nurses out there that struggle with the loss of a newborn at any gestational age, and /or can not handle such a traumatic experience when helping a mom to deliver her lost child. Fortunately, I feel like I have been given a gift to be able to assist this type of mom. Fortunately, I do not know what these women are going through, but I can only imagine. The best thing to do is to just listen, to be there for the patient and the family and listen. thank you for sharing your experiences.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 1:04 pm
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    I also have been in this situation. Caring for a mom with 22 week stillborn twins while I myself was 36 weeks pregnant. I remember asking Mary if she wanted me to get her another nurse. I will never forget her throwing her arms around my neck and begging me to continue to care for her. It was that day that I knew God had asked me to be a labor and delivery nurse.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 1:05 pm
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    Hugs from someone who has walked in your shows. I also knew early on that this would be a role I would take as a nurse, it was something that was came naturally to me. However nothing prepared me for the patient that entered triage when I was around 30 weeks pg with no fetal movement. It too was one of those hellish nights where there were not enough hands and I already had a full pp assignment. There was simply no one else to take care of this patient. Her sobs will forever live in my mind. I admitted, induced and delivered her beautiful baby boy that night. The Dr who knew I was pg asked if he wanted me to find another nurse, but there was no one else to find, I was ment to be with her. I hid my belly throughout and luckly no one noticed until a family member bumped into my belly and looked at me with wide eyes. I shook my head and pleaded with her silently not to say a word. I could not speak of it in that room. I found my patient’s written story months later and she wrote about her experience and the nurse who was strong enough to provide amazing care and compassion even while pg herself. The vision of her and her baby haunted me throughout the rest of my pg. I sobbed when leaving that day and most days after that until my own child entered the world into my arms alive and safe. Yes, in an ideal world I never should have even been in her room, let alone acted as her nurse, but we know all too well the nature of l&d does not always allow for that. While I remember every loss family I have cared for, this one will always have a special place in my heart.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 2:01 pm
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    I, too, was one of those nurses who took care of women in these tragic situations. It was both the hardest and most fulfilling work I did. I have recently heard of an organization I want to recommend to my colleagues that I would have loved to use when I was practicing. It’s called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/. Volunteer photographers come to the hospital to make photographs of the baby and family when there is a fetal demise. I have seen many of the photographs which are so beautiful and immeasurably valuable for the family. Check to see if there is a chapter in your community.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 2:26 pm
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    I love reading your stories of life in L&D, much of which I see personally but not always…I am a NICU nurse and have been through many of the same issues. 38 years ago when I started at my hospital, things were quite different in terms of fetal demise and newborn death. The L&D team would not do much of anything because they honestly felt it was in the mom’s best interest not to see, touch or rock their infant. There were no family footprints, locks of hair, family pictures etc. Thank goodness for ‘enlightenment’! Now we have a great compassionate group who do everything they can to make beautiful memories for mom’s and families. I’m proud to say I was a part of this huge change in our practices though sad as to how it came about! I was one who started as a WB nurse, but soon we ‘birthed” our own NICU and it was an amazing time! Then the unexpected happened and I traveled a really rough road of my own. I had a horrendous pregnancy and an emergency CS birth, and only hours later my own little 29 weeker was gone. My pediatrician (no neos then and NICU coworkers were personally devastated because we were close friends, but it was still the time of very little involvement. My close friend pediatrician brought my son to me and uncomfortably ‘let me’ hold him briefly, my husband got to hold for a whole minute and my family never saw the baby except wrapped in a blanket as he traveled back to the nursery! I was too overwhelmed to even think to ask for more and I will forever regret that!! Those dreadful days at home passed to the point I thought I could make it, so I went back to work 4 weeks later. Little did I know that we had a sweet little ‘touch ‘n go’ NICU baby “Scott” who had been born at same gestation just a few days after mine. He held a special place in my heart from the beginning, of course, but I’m sure no one realized just how devastating it was to care for Scott and wonder why my little baby couldn’t have been right there with him. I never did tell the family anything of my personal situation – I’m sure they just thought I was sweet and a little overemotional many days I cared for him! Scott went on to have a full recovery and I often prayed for his health and happiness over the years, and even saw his picture years later as he graduated from high school. After that, things changed in our unit. I became the ‘bereavement team’ (myself only for a long while) and was called on constantly to come take over when babies weren’t going to make it. Many L&D nurses were still very uncomfortable with new protocols to let mom’s have the baby in their arms ( or room) as long as possible, take pictures with extended family and friends and a lot of things that were far different from the past. Even the Docs were less than supportive and many showed it! I would be called at home to go to the morgue and take the baby to a mom who had finally decided they wanted to see them after all…and that included re-warming and repositioning first, as they hadn’t necessarily been ‘laid out’ nicely in the body bags. I bathed babies, took the pics, brought little memory boxes I’d bought myself, calligraphied poems and often offered them precious little outfits to put their angels in as the things they’d brought from home didn’t see fitting anymore. After many months and even years, other nurses started following my example, getting involved, offering hand quilted blankets and sweet tokens of their own. Finally we were able to keep an official bereavement room, L&D slowly got on board, new managers wrote new progressive policies and I’m so proud of what we became and what we now do for our families! All working nurses are hugely bogged down by all the changes coming every day to our fields…but many mean the world to our patients, for the rest of their lives, so never forget how far we’ve come and what the future may hold!

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  • May 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm
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    So beautifully written. We never forget these families.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 3:58 pm
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    This made me cry. I’ve had one terrible nurse in amongst a whole host of just wonderful, wonderful nurses. The one that was awful told me not to worry, it was very common, when there was no heartbeat, and that we could always try again. I’m glad she was the exception.

    The others I KNOW have cared for me like a person, a grieving woman, and I will be forever thankful to then. I have a terrifying scan on Tuesday to see if this baby is ok – if not, it will be my fourth loss. I want it to work for me, for us. But a huge reason I want it to be ok is because I want them to see a successful story with me, I want them to smile, to be content, to get that “YES! FINALLY, she was ok!” feeling. They have helped me through so much and yours and their kind words to your patients never go unappreciated. Thank you. xxx

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  • May 1, 2015 at 5:35 pm
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    I’ve also had experiences with these kinds of births, from miscarriages all the way through full term stillbirths, I have encountered them in the Emergency room, Resident’s office antepartum, Postpartum unit in the hospital, and 6week checkups in the Resident’s office settings at various times during my 33 years of nursing. They all are memorable! Some of these Mommies are so young I wanted to cry in two ways, one for loss of innocence as well as for the baby that they were so happy….and scared to carry. The miscarriages are especially hard because I think they get the cruelest comments said to them by people who just don’t think of how their words will hurt SO much! The most often was……”well, you weren’t that far along, and besides, you’re young/healthy/whatever, you’ll be able to have another baby without a problem”. These well meaning people think they are helping but, 99% of the women I’ve seen through this, are mourning their babies as much as if they had carried them to full term and lost them! I’ve seen their eyes when I’ve told them, after doing the pregnancy test (and telling the doctor) “YOU’RE PREGNANT” sometimes after months or years of trying everything to even get to the point of having a positive pregnancy test. Then POOF!! its gone. Sometimes they’ve had one or two but, are just as excited “this” time too.
    I also know, 6week check ups have to happen for the Mommies who are full term still births, these women also have the same impatience from aquaintances, coworkers and extended family asking or saying “aren’t you over this yet? You can have another baby.” Like a new one will replace the one that was lost. Sometimes their husbands/significant others don’t understand, postpartum depression can happen more often with these women, and they don’t know how to help, and they are hurting too. Grief is grief, it must go its course.
    I’ve been very blessed in my career to have had all the experiences I’ve been allowed as a LPN. I loved working in the antepartum/office with all the residents, seeing high risk OB/GYN, following “our girls” throughout their entire pregnancies, sometimes 2 or 3. Some of our girls, we never thought could go to term and were so scared and prayed for and with them, they were so High Risk, it was a wonder they EVER got pregnant in the first place. Then transferring to the Women’s and Babies hospital we are affiliated with, and seeing the postpartum side. getting the surprise of my life when my former office patients would be under my care again, as postpartum patient’s and getting to teach them and “mother” them again.
    I miss OB/GYN!! I’ve moved to another city where they don’t allow LPN’s in that area (too bad for them), I’m 53 and have had several fairly minor injuries from working in an acute care hospital with older adults, so right now, I’m a “retired” nurse, almost finished with a medical coding and billing course, maybe when all is said and done, I’ll get to work for my resident’s office?! Might be fun!
    I love reading your blog, it brings up so much I’ve forgotten or buried, thank you for reminding all of us nurses that we are human!!!!! We…..Do cry….Are scared….Have problems…and…..Have feelings.&.emotions!!!!

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  • May 1, 2015 at 11:51 pm
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    I am one of those nurses. Others know I do not mind helping a family grieve and trying to make a memory they will never forget as “bearable as possible” I appreciate your post. I appreciate you caring for her while pregnant yourself. That takes alot of
    courage.

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  • May 2, 2015 at 12:23 am
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    Bless you for your kindness with that patient, I too can be one of those nurses that often get that kind of assignment. I love all that you have written and it’s obvious you love what you do and your passion and commitment for your work shows in all your posts. However, I’ve never worked anywhere where a pregnant nurse wasn’t removed from an assignment of a demise. It’s not just that it’s hard on the nurse, its really hard on the patient too. To see your pregnant belly full of life and know hers is empty is a heartbreak your charge nurse should have known and been compassionate enough to shield her from. No matter what kind of crazy day it was on the unit. There is always someone to switch with, even if she has to accept responsibility for the patient herself.

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  • May 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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    Thank you for everything you do!

    I lost my first child 5 days before his scheduled induction due to a cord accident. I had the best group of nurses I could have hoped for! Postpartum was busy and L&D had nobody but me so the L&D nurses defied my Dr and let me stay in L&D after my c section. My Dr is amazing and he thought he was doing what was best for me by asking to move me but my nurses knew I wouldn’t be able to escape the newborns if they moved me. I was in such shock that I didn’t want pictures or anything. My nurses took pictures, a lock of my son’s hair, his little outfit and poems each one of them chose and printed out for me, and put everything in a sealed folder and told me one day I may want it. I couldn’t be more greatful because at the time I didn’t know how much I would need those things but they did!

    A year and a half later I checked into the same hospital to have my daughter. One of the nurses saw my name on the schedule and stayed after her shift to see me because she remembered me and wanted to finally be able to congratulate me! I will never forget her for that!

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  • May 3, 2015 at 12:30 am
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    It’s been some 48 years since First Wife and I lost our “little people” (her terminology) between our two sons. She and I were divorced 34 years ago, so I don’t know what she remembers. But I still remember the compassion of Dr. Carr and the now nameless nurses at USAF Hospital Warren AFB in Cheyenne. You who God has chosen for this difficult work, be assured that although those you serve may not remember your names, they will never forget you and what you do. Thank you.

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  • May 3, 2015 at 12:54 am
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    I was one of those moms five weeks ago, and although the fog of grief is too thick for me to remember very much about the three nurses who helped me through my 24 hours in the hospital, I do remember how gentle and comforting they were, and how grateful I am to them. It has to be so exhausting for you all but thank you so much for all you do. Thank you for caring, and thank you for remembering.

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    • May 6, 2015 at 3:39 am
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      Big hugs to you, Elisabeth. We pray for you and think of our patients often. Be gentle with yourself and take care.

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  • May 3, 2015 at 3:00 am
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    Thank you for this beautiful post and for your care of your patients. As a parent of a stillborn baby boy, I am most grateful for nurses like you and the care you provide.

    In my experience, the nurses on labor and delivery were wonderfully compassionate in the care they provided to both me and my husband. Unfortunately, not all medical professionals treated us with the same care.

    Ironically, the same day that you made this post, a piece I wrote, called “Pregnancy Loss and the Medical Profession – A Parents Perspective” was picked up on Huffington Post. It explores similar issues from the patient’s perspective. I would welcome you reading it…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alana-rosenstein/pregnancy-loss_b_7179414.html

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  • May 3, 2015 at 11:08 pm
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    WOW. All I can say is that you have a really good way with words. You have a narrative that enables each one of us that reads your posts to feel like we’re there. I’m so glad that you are a practicing nurse and that you choose to talk about all of the aspects of nursing; especially the difficult ones that render us unable to organize our thoughts.

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  • April 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm
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    A former coworker lost her baby at 19 weeks.
    She did not have one nurse that night, she had all of us. It was a terrible situation, she hemorrhaged and had to go to the OR. While there, she coded twice. She ended up staying for about a week with HELLP. She came back to work for a bit, but could never take care of a pt in that room.

    I feel so frustrated when I hear people say, “it was just a pregnancy, it’s not like she ever held the baby.” I lost my first pregnancy early and I also lost my son’s twin. It’s not just a pregnancy. Thankfully, I did not have to deliver either of my babies, I can’t even imagine the emotional pain with that.

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