“Sweet newborn babe, you have just entered this world, and already you are discovering just how unkind and unfair things can be.
You did not choose to be born into the situation you have been born into, that decision was made for you.
You did not choose to already know what it is like to have a foreign substance flowing through your bloodstream. To have your first days filled with aches and pains and jitters as the drugs that your mother took leave your little body and it begins to beg for more.
You did not choose to be born with a syndrome that scares your parents so much they would rather leave you there in the hospital alone and give up their rights to you, rather than rise to the challenge and learn how to love and care for you through it, and to discover just how precious you are.
You didn’t choose to be separated from your mommy because of her unsafe choices, brought into another room to lay and wait for a stranger to come and pick you up, to take you home to care for you.
You didn’t choose this. But we, your nurses, we will choose you.
We will choose to not just complete our required tasks, but to take every free moment to hold you close, so you can be calmed by our soft touch and the sound of our hearts, our hearts that are beating for you little one.
We will choose to sing soft songs in your ear, to whisper words of affirmation so that you can hear in these formative first days, just how special and valuable you are.
We will choose to make sure that you are comfortable, not in any pain, and that your little tummy stays full.
We will choose to pray over your little life, for safety and protection wherever you may go.
In the time you are here in our nursery, precious little one, we will choose you. It is not a chore or a burden, but a tremendous privilege. It is our joy to choose you.
Written with love for my fellow maternal/newborn nurses during this intersecting National Foster Care Awareness Month and Nurse Appreciation Week.
I have watched you, my friends, so lovingly care for newborns in tough situations. I have felt your heart each time you have texted me and asked if I have room to take in one more. The hours you have poured into these babies’ lives have made a profound difference because during these super important first days of their lives, they felt your love and they were able to make a human connection. I know this for a fact because at one point, nurses like you did the same for my own children, and for that, I am forever grateful.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Shannon Henson. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Shannon here:
‘Please,’ they begged. ‘Would you take in a newborn, just for the weekend?’ I knew my husband would say no.’: Foster mom adopts ‘special little boy,’ is forever grateful for her son ‘who almost wasn’t’
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