An Open Letter to Our NICU Nurses

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When my OBGYN told me I would be delivering my baby the following day (at 35 weeks, 5 days), my biggest fear was that my baby would end up in the NICU. Everyone tried to reassure me that she would be fine but I was still terrified; rightfully so, considering she was whisked away to the NICU moments after delivery.

While I laid in my hospital bed, crying, as magnesium pumped through my veins, the anger kicked in. I was angry at my doctors, the nurses, and myself. I pleaded with everyone to wheel me down to see my baby, but they all refused. When I was finally allowed to see her, 26 long hours after her birth, I couldn’t shrug the chip off my shoulder.

I regret to say that I could not even bring myself to smile at the NICU nurses who led me to my baby. I can barely even remember the report they gave me about her status. At the time, I felt like my behavior was justified, but now I feel like an apology is due.

Dear NICU Nurses,

I apologize for taking my anger out on you. I was scared, vulnerable, heartbroken, and medicated–but that’s no excuse.

Thank you for seeing past my anger and showing empathy.

I apologize for allowing myself to break down in front of you. I’m usually good at hiding my emotions, but there is no hiding in the NICU.

Thank you for taking the time to comfort me and show me sympathy.

I apologize for thinking the world should revolve around me and my baby when you had many other babies under your care who were much more critical than my own.

Thank you for making me feel as though your world did revolve around my baby.

I apologize for having a meltdown each day that you told me I couldn’t hold my baby.

Thank you for making the time and allowing me to hold her on the days she was well enough to be held. I know it was a hassle for you to move her with all the wires and tubes attached, while also monitoring her, but it meant the world to me.

Most importantly, I apologize for thinking I could take care of my baby better than you could. A mothers instinct is to cuddle and nurture her baby, but I couldn’t do that and it almost killed me.

Thank you for taking care of her anyways. She wouldn’t have made it without you.

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5 Responses to An Open Letter to Our NICU Nurses

  1. Katelyn January 17, 2017 at 9:24 am #

    Wow Alana, your post just brought back so many memories for me. I felt the exact same way when my son was born last February at 34 weeks. It was the hardest thing to go through!

    • Alana Livingston
      Alana Livingston January 17, 2017 at 11:02 am #

      Katelyn, I’m glad I’m not alone in my feelings! They are hard memories to think about, but I don’t want to forget them! It was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve had to go through, as well. I hope your little man is doing well!

  2. Kenton January 17, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    Heartfelt! Love u.

  3. Jacki January 22, 2017 at 9:09 am #

    I had my daughter at 35 and 6 days and had so many of the same feelings. By the end I hated those nurses and they literally did nothing but take care of my baby. I just had such a bad attitude about leaving my little peanut there Day after day for 2.5 weeks. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Alana Livingston
      Alana Livingston January 22, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

      Jacki, it is SO hard to have a positive attitude when you are in that situation. I’m sure the NICU nurses have learned to expect that kind of behavior from parents, but it definitely makes me feel bad (now that I can look back on the situation).

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