When I do the job I do and I do it well I feel that I have achieved a piece of my true potential. I am by no means arrogantly blind to the fact that I will always have room to grow as a NICU nurse. I am not stagnant. I am not the best nurse by far in that unit, but I appreciate this job for everything that it is to me. It is a part of my identity. I feel that it is part of my life work to work in the NICU and to do my best. And I try, sometimes I fail or get lazy, but I do try to bring one family a day to the verge of tears with some extra step I took for them and their family. The selfish satisfaction that I feel from bringing them that emotion fills my soul. I love making a memory for them. I love being the first person to pass a baby to its mother or father. I love teaching a Dad to change a 2 pound baby’s diaper, and telling him he did a good job, even if he really didn’t. He and I will iron out that nervous shaking hands of his over the next few months.
When the worst thing happens and we loose a baby, I morn that loss. I cry with those parents. But when they leave I look around and I am surrounded by people who have been through the same thing I am going thru. You can go home from this job and try to explain to you support system what it is to loose a primary (a baby that you sign up to have every time you work), and they may sympathize, but they can’t empathize. The can’t really understand the relationship you had with that baby and his family. But if you cry at work over the baby you lost and the family that you loved, the other nurses know right were you are. You helped them through the same thing last year.
I love this job and I hope it is the only nursing job I ever have.
The two pictures on this post are from my dear little quads that I LOVED! and took care of in the spring of 2008. Go learn about their adorable-ness here.
It doesn't always end like this. But when it does I cry with tears of joy. Standing next to a dearest friend (Shelly) with FOUR of the sweetest babies - that are going home - and getting my picture taking by two of my favorite parents. You can't beat it. It was a great way to come back from my maternity leave with Max.