Just in case you didn’t know – It is International Nurses Day today.
I am lucky enough to have crossed paths with some incredible nurses in my time, nurses who quite literally dragged me through some of the darkest days of my life. Midwives, neonatal nurses, general nurses, they are all doing one of the hardest jobs in the world, for not enough money and not enough thanks. So to all the nurses we have crossed paths with along the way – thank you. You won’t remember us, you do this all the time, but to me, to my family and my babies, you were just who and what we needed right in that moment.
To the midwife who delivered #3; thank you. I was petrified. I was determined to have a drug-free birth and assumed reading the first chapter of my Hypno birthing book elevated me to being ‘above’ pain relief. I was stubborn, you were patient and when I was adamant I was going to puke and shit at the same time you were smart enough and tactful enough to realise I was in fact about to give birth. Thanks for delivering my smallest girl and for as much as was possible, giving me the birth I wanted. I’m hoping we never meet again, but you are incredible and I am thankful it was you in that room that day.
To the midwife who was a silent shoulder to cry on; thank you. There is a very clear day I remember. It was a Sunday. On the Saturday I had left the hospital and #3 was on about 30% oxygen. 24 hours later she was on 78%. It was bad. She was the colour of an over boiled egg yolk and no one was making eye contact with me. I don’t even know what your name is, but you stood next to me and I rested my head on your shoulder and I cried. And you were just there. You didn’t say anything, you didn’t need to. You were there and you were perfect. Sorry for getting snot on your scrubs by the way.
To the midwife who helped when my boobs basically exploded; thank you. #3 was going from tube to boob and my body had NO idea what it was doing. I went from expressing every 2.5 hours to feeding every 4 and my boobs just went BAM! They were so engorged I couldn’t lift my arms to brush my hair and it was so painful it was almost funny. You were as baffled as me but you sat and rang every single number on the breastfeeding helpline until someone answered. Even they didn’t know what to do (who knows what to do with leaking 34GG boobs?!) but you were amazing. And after my boobs returned to normal we hugged it out. You weren’t on shift the day we were discharged and I remember crying because I was going to miss you. I saw you nearly every day for 3 months, thank you for being there.
To the nurse who recognised us on the beach three months later; thank you. Lynne. I remember you. You made our darkest days much brighter, with your stories and your smile and your laugh. When we bumped into you on the beach I recognised you straight away, but I wasn’t sure you’d know us. But you did and for that I am eternally grateful, we are only one of hundreds of families you meet every yeah so it means a lot that you knew us.
There are so many nurses, and doctors, who helped us through those times. The doctor who realised #2 pneumonia and called an ambulance, the doctor who told me that #3 was one of the strongest prems he had treated, they are equally as amazing.
These people go to work every day and are the centre point of some emotional, traumatic, life altering events. They do it because it’s their job, they do it because they care, they do it because they have a calling that pulls them to it.
They are heroes, and they come in all shapes and sizes and ages and genders. So thank you; to the silent super heroes in our midst, who don’t ask for thanks. But deserve it more than anyone.