Family Life

Four Babies, Four States, and Four Dozen Amazing Nurses

This post was created in partnership with Pampers as part of the Thank You Nurses Award

I’ve had my four babies in four different states, so each time I’ve delivered it’s been a full new set of doctors, hospitals and nurses.

Each of those deliveries have lots of happy memories, both during the actual birth and then in the two days afterward, but in every case, the people who stand out to me most memorably are the nurses who were there for every step of the way.

When I was in labor with Ella, the nurse told me what things to avoid on the cafeteria menu (basically everything) but suggested that the milkshakes were second to none and to make sure to order at least one. I took her advice and she wasn’t wrong.

Hours later, after I inhaled my first meal in nearly 12 hours (that post-delivery hunger is no joke!), I asked the postpartum nurse if I could have another cookie and she told me the cafeteria was now closed, but she’d try to hunt one down. Ten minutes later she returned with not one, but THREE chocolate chip cookies she’d located on one of the food carts. Nearly seven years later and I still love this nurse with all my heart.

The next morning, when I woke up, I was greeted by a new nurse who said, “It’s not fair that you not only just had a baby, but just woke up and you still look better than I do!” This was categorically untrue, but I loved her immediately for saying it. And two minutes later, she said, “Let’s take that IV out of your arm – it makes you feel like a sick person to have that sticking out of your vein.” Have I mentioned that I loved her?

And then, the next morning, she came in and informed me that my insurance probably covered an electric breast pump and she called my insurance company and had the whole thing taken care of before we left the hospital. Every time I’ve used my pump since 2010, I’ve thought of this nurse who made me feel like a million bucks during the two days I was under her care, and made my life a lot easier for the next seven years.

When Ani was born, this super nice nurse got me all situated in the delivery room as I prepared for my induction, but mentioned that she was already scheduled to assist in a C-section, so she’d be down the hall and not able to be with me. When she stepped out, Bart and I both lamented that she wouldn’t be there because we’d immediately liked her so much. A few minutes later she returned and announced that she’d swapped with another nurse because she wanted to be there when our baby was born. She was fantastic from start to finish, and I was so delighted that she’d requested to be part of Ani’s birth.

Star’s lightning fast delivery in triage was highly stressful and the whole thing is a bit of a blur, but I clearly remember the two nurses who assisted. One of them was a nurse in training, and after the doctor said there wasn’t time to move to an actual delivery room or get an epidural, she said, “I always get the exciting births!” Her good attitude made me feel less stressed about this not-ideal situation and made it seem more like an adventure.

Fifteen minutes later, as I just about squeezed her hand off and she said, “You can do this!” I barked back at her, “No, I can’t!” and she just laughed, which made me feel much less guilty about yelling at a stranger.

And the other nurse brought Bart an orange juice when he started getting super dizzy in the tiny, overheated triage room, cheerfully changed her scrubs after they got blood all over them, and then made a joke after Star went to the bathroom all over those fresh scrubs approximately 30 seconds after she’d put them on.

Two and a half months ago, I loved the postpartum nurse who arranged all the vitals checks so that I could get as much sleep as possible, brought in endless snacks for me (I never thought I’d have any interest in an Uncrustables PB&J, but I ate . . . many during my 48 hour stay), and sympathized when Tally nursed non-stop for seven hours the second night in the hospital.

I don’t remember the names of all of those nurses who made my four deliveries and hospital stays so pleasant and happy, but I think of them often and am so grateful for both their medical expertise and their amazing bedside manners that made them feel like highly competent friends who were on my team as we added a new little baby to our family.

This week is Nurse’s Appreciation Week and to celebrate, Pampers Swaddlers is honoring Labor & Delivery nurses, NICU nurses, and Postpartum nurses around the country with their Thank You Nurses Awards

As I was reflecting on the nurses that attended to me and my babies, I thought about how different they all were. There’s no one way to be a great nurse – some are like warm grandmas, others make you laugh, and others know when to quietly shut the door and let you and your baby keep sleeping.

They know when to give advice and when to step back and let you make the decisions for you and your baby. Sometimes they bring medications and sometimes they bring chocolate chip cookies from the cafeteria. Sometimes they’re young and enthusiastic and sometimes they’re veteran nurses who know just what to do.

For the second annual Pampers Swaddlers Thank You Nurses Awards, thousands of people submitted beautiful and heartwarming stories of nurses who served them and their babies during those first important moments, days, and weeks.

This week, the panel announced the winners for each of the three categories: Laurie Milliken in Labor & Delivery, Elizabeth Giambrone for NICU, and Billie Warren in Postpartum.

And if you have great nurse stories from your own babies’ births, I’d love to hear them. Especially if they involve chocolate chip cookies.

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  • Reply Stephanie Hartley May 10, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I really do think nurses make SUCH a difference to hospital stays, and they’re so underrated! I’m glad you had some really lovely ones for each of your deliveries

    Steph –

  • Reply Christine May 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    What a blessing to have great nurses!

    One day at the pumpkin patch with my 3-year-old daughter, I saw a lady who looked so familiar, but I couldn’t remember how I knew her. After a few minutes of staring, I realized it was the veteran nurse who took care of me after my daughter was born. I went up to her and thanked her and apologized for interrupting her afternoon. Her husband laughed and said that people come up to her all the time, “especially in walmart.” 🙂 But my favorite nurse of all is my mom! She is always there for us. 🙂

  • Reply Chelsea May 10, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I remember with my first child the nurse told me that if I wanted to try stadol (an IV drug) before the epidural, it would make me feel like “when you’ve had a few cocktails and you stub your toe and it hurts…but you just don’t care…) which made me laugh hard since I’ve never had a drop of alcohol. But her description was spot on in the end…

  • Reply Rachel May 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Nurses seriously are the best! I’ve had nurses actually deliver 2 of my babies because they came too quick for the doctor to make it in the room! And this past time Livvy was born at 6pm, right when they stop delivering meals so our nurse went down to the cafeteria to pick up dinner and bring it back up to me, even though her shift was over! I was induced so I hadn’t had anything to eat for almost 24 hours and was starving and so so grateful!

  • Reply Sherry May 10, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I don’t particularly remember my nurses with my first. I had a wonderful and lovely nurse with Felix. She was just terrific. But my best was with Trixie. She was in my room the entire time I was in labor. She only left to get the charge nurse when she was worried about me. She was really sympathetic when the things didn’t go the way I wanted (being on oxygen, laying on my side for most of the delivery, having to have my epidural re-done and then not having it work completely). She stayed calm when things were not going well, but it was clear she wasn’t careless either. The delivery ended up happening really fast, and as they wheeled me out of the room where I delivered the charge nurse commented that she hadn’t even thought to check what time they wheeled me in there, but my nurse knew exactly when. (Which is also why I know that I only pushed for seven minutes. But it felt like so much longer than that.) Then she did everything she could to keep in the loop about what was going on after my baby was born, and she helped me get into a position to see my baby in the incubator when the paramedics were transporting her to the other hospital. I must be pregnant again because I can’t even type all this without crying. That nurse was awesome.

  • Reply Suzanne May 11, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Oh this is such a lovely post! I remember with such affection and gratitude the NICU nurses who took care of my daughter (and me!) after her birth. They taught me how to breastfeed, they taught me how to bathe her. And most importantly of all, they were calm and attentive and loving the entire time we stayed there. It was such a difficult and stressful time, and they made it bearable.

  • Reply Sara Millett May 11, 2017 at 8:10 am

    My favorite labor and delivery nurse was Ed. I wasn’t quite sure what to think when he first introduced himself…there weren’t a whole lot of L & D nurses who were male twenty years ago…so I was a little surprised. But he was the perfect person for the job in every way…so kind and attentive. My least favorite nurse was the one who said, while I was in the most intense phase of natural childbirth with my first child, “Honey, this isn’t the hard part…raising them is the hard part,” which was exactly NOT what I needed to hear at that moment.

  • Reply Katie Mitchell May 12, 2017 at 8:39 am

    This brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the nurse that helped me to my room after delivering my first born. She was knowledgeable and confident, and helped me make sure that my baby latched on for that first time nursing. She told me that she lived in Idaho, and this was her last shift before going back home. She travelled to Ogden, UT for work, staying for several shifts, and then going back home to her family. My husband and I wished that she wasn’t leaving. Fast forward 5 and a half years to the birth of my second child. The same nurse still worked at the hospital, and was my nurse again! I remembered her as soon as she came in my room. It was such a neat experience to have the same nurse with both of my babies. I knew I was in good hands.

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