NICU nurses are some of the most hard-working and emotionally grounded professionals around, and they don’t often get the credit they deserve. These nurses work long shifts with babies whose lives hang in the balance every single day, and those of us who haven’t had a child in the NICU truly just don’t get it. That’s why I love this Facebook post from NICU nurse Brittany Denise. Brittany’s beautiful post gives us a heart-wrenching glimpse inside the trying days and nights of these loving nurses, and it’s something ALL parents need to read. In her post of a photo of her holding a baby who has recently passed away, she says:
“Most everyone knows I am a nurse! A NICU Nurse. Many people think this means feeding and rocking babies, which occasionally I get the privilege to do smile emoticon…But my job entails so much more.
I take care of babies born months too early to live without modern medicine…Placed on ventilators with central lines and life saving medications.
I assess them, care for them, draw labs, start IVs, and give medications.
I teach a new dad how to change his fragile baby’s diaper for the first time.
I place this baby on their [mom’s] chest (often with many tubes and wires attached) after she has not yet been able to hold them for days sometimes weeks.
I comfort that momma as she watches her tiny fragile baby go through more pokes, prods, and procedures than most of us will ever even know.
I celebrate with parents every milestone: every good blood gas, gram gained, tube removed.
I rejoice in the day parents get to bring their baby home after spending months inside the walls of the NICU.
I witness miracles. I get to see little lives come back and beat insurmountable odds. But sometimes I don’t…