It’s true, there are people in your life that come in, and change you forever. It’s true, even if those people don’t stay there for long.
Our NICU Amy was an angel in disguise. When I met her, I didn’t know how much of an impact she would have on me. I thought she would just be another nurse that would fulfill her few day shifts or night shifts with Max, and then move on to the next rotation. But that wasn’t the case. She took care of Max for a day or night or two. But she kept returning, I thought it was just by luck, or maybe God was answering the silent prayers I’d send his way, whatever the cause, she was truly special. She truly cared.
Some nurses just went through the motions, and then went on their way. But not NICU Amy. She sat and talked to me, and made sure I understood every aspect of Max’s plan of care. She listened to my concerns, and heard me when I came up with new suggestions. She passed them along to the physicians who’d give the okay on them. She made sure she was in the room whenever a specialist or physician was there so that I would remember all my questions in my fog of exhaustion, and so that they would be discussed thoroughly, not to be swept aside with a bullshit answer doctors sometimes like to give. She’d stay there during the discussions with doctors so that I wouldn’t have to repeat myself over and over to family members coming to visit, and more often than not, she would do it for me. She made sure I had water, and food, and enough sleep. She made sure doctors didn’t come in five minutes after I managed to get Max and myself to sleep at 5 AM right before they did their rounds. She made sure Max was taken care of to the fullest possible extent. She went above and beyond for me, Max, and my family. She was on top of EVERYTHING. And when she was on her shift with Max, she never let anything fall through the cracks. Not a single thing.
She was more than amazing, and I wish I had a word to describe her that would actually do her justice. She’d sit with me while I cried over all the uncertainty I had in my heart over Max. She’d talk to me as a friend when I felt more isolated than I ever did in my life. She’d make sure I didn’t leave her side without having made me laugh and smile at least once. She walked on the bright side of everything while I was navigating life in the dark. And I owe her a lot more than just this letter.
Though the last couple days Max was in the NICU, I finally got my answer. I overheard her during the nurses’ shift change, and she was arguing with another nurse and the RN for the night about switching babies. I didn’t understand why she was so persistent until I heard Max’s name. She was arguing with them so that she could have Max. In the end, they didn’t let her, but every time she worked, and wasn’t assigned to take care of Max, she ALWAYS came by to see how he was doing. She even made sure she knew when his discharge was going to be, so that she could say goodbye early since she wasn’t working that day.
Words cannot describe how much I appreciated having that woman in my life while I faced the biggest challenges I had ever experienced. And I keep promising myself I will take Max back to the NICU to see her, but life has always gotten in the way. I know we will eventually get there, and when we do I will make sure she knows what a singularly deep impression she made on my life.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for us.
We love you NICU Amy.