After Ella was born, the hospital cafeteria staff brought me dinner in my hospital room, and I ate the whole thing in about five minutes flat, like a woman who hadn’t eaten in 20 hours.
The best part of the whole meal was this insane chocolate chip cookie the size of my face. I have no idea if it really was that good or if I was just that hungry, but when the nurse came into check on me as I was finishing up and asked if I needed anything, I said, “Could I get another one of those cookies?”
She looked worried and said the cafeteria had just closed, but she’d see what she could do.
Ten minutes later, she reappeared with not one but FOUR of those cookies, telling me she’d found a cafeteria cart making final rounds and took their whole stash.
Almost six years later, and I’m still feeling grateful.
I also clearly remember the nurse who came in the morning after Ella’s birth and said, “you just woke up, plus had a baby yesterday, and you look better than I do.” This was an obvious lie, but I loved her anyway for saying it. Also, she took one look at the IV cords still stuck in my arm and said, “It’s hard not to feel like a sick person when you have tubing coming out of your arm – let’s get those out right away.”
Back in May, for National Nurse Appreciation Week, Pampers Swaddlers launched a #ThankYouNurses campaign to celebrate those nurses that are such an essential part of the first days of a baby’s life, as the parents settle into their role.
As part of the program, they gave me a stipend to celebrate the labor and delivery nurses in a hospital near me.
Yesterday, the girls and I bought a bunch of bouquets of flowers at Trader Joe’s, plus a dozen different kinds of treats (if you imagine this visit also included a couple of kid-size carts, you have obviously been to a Trader Joe’s with kids before).
Then we swung by Kneaders to pick up lunch for the nursing team (I love Kneaders for having a drive-thru, since I was NOT interested in unloading and reloading all my children again) and headed to the hospital.
The head nurse knew we were coming, but I think she was a little surprised by all the fun things we’d brought along for her team. She asked, “Are you going to give a lecture while everyone eats?” and she was delighted to hear that I had no presentation or requirements that they had to meet before getting their lunch and goodies.
(I was also very relieved that I was not going to be giving a long, dull presentation).
We arranged the flowers on the break room table, set out the food, and visited for about five minutes with the nurses that were on break (Star charmed them all, smiling and waving, and then got a big laugh when one of the nurses said, “Sweetheart, are you going to stay here with us?” and Star immediately backed up and shook her head emphatically).
Since none of my girls were born in Arizona, I had never been in this particular labor and delivery location, but it was still so special to see this place where new babies enter the world and parents are born.
And since one of the nurses broke open the package of chocolate covered coconut almonds and shared some with the girls, they thought it was a pretty magical place too.
Part of the #ThankYouNurses program was an award for nominated nurses, and this year, the grand prize winner in 2016 was Anne Gallagher from Illinois who has been a nurse for 38 years. You can watch her story here (and if that chubby-cheeked newborn sleeping on its momma’s chest makes you a little bit baby-hungry, I won’t blame you one bit).
babies during all the precious first moments they share with their parents, and the months and years to come.