“Recently, I was astounded by a comment made by another mom.
It’s been 1 month now, and I still can’t forget it – because I know it’s something that happens often and we barely talk about it.
When my son was battling early sickness and diagnoses out of the womb, I became a member of the NICU parents club, something no one wants to be a part of.
Through my anxieties, fears, and endless crying, my local nurses were my pillars of strength and hope as my newborn son battled for his life.
My nurses, quite literally, became my best friends.
They rubbed my back when all I could do was pray for one more day with my child.
They brought me coffee and tea when they could see the lie behind my robotic, ‘I’m fine.’
They went the extra mile to make sure I wasn’t too hot or too cold, even bringing me a blanket when I was too in shock to notice my own body shivering.
They popped in to check on me, even when I knew it wasn’t part of their protocol.
They filled my heart with love, even when I was sure it could be nothing but emptiness.
Naturally, with my son being in the NICU for 89 days, I bonded with a lot of other parents waiting for their little ones.
Like myself, they were eagerly waiting for their babies to graduate from the NICU.
We just wanted to take our little bundles of joy home so we could hold them in peace, knowing everything would be alright.
One mom, in particular, had a daughter who was born severely premature. The prognosis was grim.
During these dark months, we cried together, held hands, mourned the loss of the perfect pregnancy we had always hoped for – together.
And when the time came for her daughter’s graduation from the NICU, after 67 long, perilous days I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, she only had one person to thank:
As it came time to discharge her daughter from the hospital, she didn’t thank the wonderful nurses who had labored so tirelessly to keep her little one alive.
In fact, she didn’t even acknowledge them on the way out.
She simply looked up and said, ‘Thank you God for all your hard work saving my son’s life. I know this was all your great doing.’ All the while, bloodshot-eyed nurses gazed from across the room, just happy to see her precious child healthy and thriving. She swaddled her baby, and left.
That was it.
No thank you, no appreciation. No eye contact. NOTHING.
I couldn’t help but feel a pang in my chest.
This is not about whether or not you believe in God.
This is not even about religion.
It’s about recognizing the sacrifices these brave women and men in scrubs make every time they enter the hospital.
It’s about understanding that when they go home to their loved ones, they are forever changed.
It’s about recognizing their heartache.
Those last little breaths they witness? They carry it with them. Even in their dreams.
The blood, and the pus, and the vomit, and the tears? It is forever replaying in their minds.
They spend countless hours walking around, never sitting, never sleeping, never even taking a moment to go to the bathroom because they know they have more important things to worry about than the luxury of basic human functions.
They never forget your face, your story, your pain. It is part of them.
And how do I know all this? Because I used to be one of them.
So, on behalf of all our brave women and men in scrubs…
Don’t just thank God, thank a nurse.
She/he is doing everything in her power to fight for you.
And that, alone, is worthy of your appreciation.”
Read more stories like this:
Do you know someone who could benefit from reading this? SHARE this story on Facebook with family and friends.