I owe you a thank you. A big thank you. Actually, two very big thank yous.
The first thank you is for my Marcus. He’s six now. Yes, SIX! I remember a lot about the day he was born. It was a Tuesday. The spring sun shined through the window. My husband and I felt like pros, having done this once before. You laughed with us, encouraged us, and asked us about our family. You were genuine.
We hadn’t been there very long, and by the time the epidural came, I said, “I feel like I’m sitting on him.” No one seemed to believe me. No one but you, that is. I laid back down, got “comfortable,” and you checked me out. “Erica,” you sweetly said, “If the doctor is not back from her break in time, I will deliver your baby, let you hold him, and then take him to get all cleaned up. Okay?” It was okay, you had earned my trust.
Well that baby boy wasted no time, and fortunately the doctor rushed right into our room. My Marcus didn’t wait for that epidural to kick in. Nope. Just like that, I was holding my precious baby boy. That boy’s been blazing his own way ever since!
Maybe it was because my baby came so fast, but I had some complications after his delivery. You cleaned up Marcus. You let my husband and me hold him, ooh and awe over him, and take dozens of pictures of him. You smiled. You complimented. You were genuinely happy for our family.
Eventually, you told Tony he and the baby needed to go to the nursery as I had to go to an operating room. No one could come with me. Only you. You were encouraging, telling us I would be okay. You were realistic, letting us know it could be a small deal or a large ordeal. You were comforting, letting my husband know you would be with me the whole time. And you were.
That operating room was tiny. I remember a large overhead light directly above me. The glare of it blurred most of the room out of my memory. There were doctors and nurses below me, shuffling about. I am sure they talked to me. I am sure they told me what was going on, but I don’t really remember. I just remember you, Katie. Standing beside me and holding my hand. You held me the entire time.
Fortunately, I was okay. Most importantly, my little Marcus was perfect. After I had been all cleaned up and transferred back to a regular delivery room, you came back in and said you were going to go home. “You have a beautiful baby, Erica,” you said after leaning down to give me a hug.
“I bet you always say that,” I smirked.
“No,” you replied without hesitation. “No, I don’t.” You smiled and walked out of our room. You felt like my angel that day.
When I reflect on the day my Marcus was born, I always think of you. How you stayed past your shift just to comfort me. How you were incredibly professional, yet extremely encouraging at the same time. How remarkable you are, Nurse Katie.
Then comes the second thank you. Four and a half years later. Another baby boy. My final baby.
On the way to the hospital, I had a mini meltdown. Not really, but I thought I had prayed for the whole day and every one involved journaling in my notebook when I realized, “I forgot to pray for a good nurse!” Clearly accustomed to my melodramatics, Tony didn’t even gaze in my direction. He simply said, “It’ll be fine.”
We checked in at the hospital and got settled. The sun was just rising and the glisten of the snow reflected in through our window. New Year’s Eve. We debated whether or not we’d have the first baby of the new year! Then, as if there were harps playing and gold shimmering lights sparkling above your shoulders, in you walk. Blonde hair. Sweet Smile. “Oh my gosh, it’s you. YOU!” I still hear the angelic music when I picture that moment.
Fortunately, baby Sean wasn’t as fast as his big brother to make an entrance into the world. So we had plenty of time to catch up. It had been over four years after all! You said you remembered us (which may or may not have been a lie, but I believed you!). You asked about our family and wanted to see pictures of Marcus.
Extra fortunately, I did not have to be swept away or make you stay any longer than you needed to that day. You were helpful. You were encouraging. You brought us cherry popsicle after cherry popsicle. It was the perfect day. The perfect ending to our baby-delivering experiences. The perfect answer to a forgotten prayer.
Nurse Katie, thank you so much for being a part of our story. You were just doing your job, but to us, you were doing so much more. Thank you for sharing your grace, your expertise, and your encouragement with me, my husband, Marcus, and Sean. You are amazing. You are our angel. You are beautiful inside and out (and no, I don’t always say that!). I hope we meet again.