I mailed this letter today. I just wanted to share because I've had a lot of people who don't know our whole story and might like to know it from this perspective. Also, it's a reminder that it's never too late to thank someone for whatever they've done for you. She was our first nurse in the NICU when Nora was born in a Portland hospital.
January 6, 2009
I have been meaning to write this to you for some time, but as you can imagine with a baby, it’s easy to let writing notes go to another day. I’ll apologize in advance for typing this, but my handwriting isn’t the best, and I have a story to share with you.
On September 17, 2007, I gave birth to a baby girl named Nora. Aside from the glimpse I got of her following my emergency c-section, you were the first person to be photographed with her, as you were the nurse who was in charge of getting her care in those first minutes of life.
She was born at 34 weeks, 1 day, after I had been in the hospital with a placenta previa for five weeks. She was just under five lbs., and while she probably wasn’t even close to the most serious emergency birth you’ve ever been a nurse for, she is the biggest miracle of our lives.
You see, Nora was my fifth pregnancy, but she is also my first and only living child. I had three early miscarriages in 2002, 2004 and 2005. In 2006 we had a pregnancy that ended after our son was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. He was stillborn at 22 weeks on July 7, 2006. The nurses at the hospital in Denver were so very kind to us too. His name was Jacob, and as you can imagine, we were beyond heartbroken, not to mention done trying to have kids despite the fact that we had no diagnosis for why these losses kept happening to us.
We were stunned to find out I was pregnant in February 2007. As a result of all our previous tragedies, we decided to move closer to family in Oregon & Washington. My husband took a job based out of Oregon. I was only here for a couple of months when I was hospitalized at 29 weeks with bleeding due to the previa that up til then had not been diagnosed, despite many ultrasounds.
On September 17, I had enough bleeding that the doctor decided it was time to take Nora. I suppose you can imagine how terrified I was that something would go wrong at the last minute--that maybe she wouldn’t be breathing or maybe she’d have something wrong that tests and ultrasounds hadn’t found. It took everything I had to gather the strength to stay still for the epidural.
The first cries Nora made as she came out were the best sounds any mother could hear. It took a very few minutes for you all to check her out enough that I could be reassured that she was ok.
This is the part where you come in. I was going over a number of pictures the other day, looking for pictures with people in them to put in an impromptu album for our girl, who is now 15 months old and obsessed with pictures, particularly those with Mama and Dada in them.
I had scores of pictures I had gotten printed from the hospital and those early days and weeks at home. Quite a few of those first two days we had you watching over Nora and me were in the stack of photos.
I just want to say thank you for what you did for us. As a new Mom who’d seen so much heartbreak, your confidence and comforting personality helped me tremendously in those first hours and days. Even now as I look at pictures of those first moments with our daughter, I remember your kindness and help with our precious girl, and it is deeply appreciated.
Our Nora is a delight. We went home after 11 days in the NICU, and she has grown quickly and is thriving beyond our wildest hopes. She was on the regular baby scale by 2 months, was in the 50th percentile for regular babies by 6 months, and by a year, she was off the charts for height, and in the 75th percentile for weight. She walked at 10 months, and is saying her first words. She is bright, sunny, friendly girl who loves pictures, her Elmo doll, and trips to the children’s museum, OMSI, the zoo and the library.
I have also made a change in my life because of our experiences. I’m currently in the first of a series of anatomy/physiology classes for the pre-nursing program at the Community College here in my home town. After all we’ve been through, I’ve decided to become a nurse to help others as well.
Thank you again for everything you did for us. I just wanted you to know that your kindness and professionalism has not been forgotten, and never will be.
P.S.: Enclosed are a few pictures of our girl, and please feel free to share any of this with your colleagues and supervisors, who were also fantastic during our stay.