On Monday, November 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm our newborn baby girl was brought into this world 5 weeks early. Due to the nature of the delivery and the status of her health our little girl was sent to the NICU immediately after birth. As first time parents we were so scared and felt so helpless and out of control. We relied heavily on the Neonatal Physicians and Nurses for their expertise, and placed the well being of our little peanut in their hands.
The first day of care, Charlotte answered all of our questions, went over every tube, IV medication and its necessity. She explained the need and importance for some specific testing needed to be done to further the diagnostic stage of Gracie's stay. We asked to go along with the baby to her tests, without even a pause, Charlotte encouraged us to come too. She called up to our hospital room when she knew what time the test was scheduled so we could make prior arrangements. Charlotte took our baby to her test in her incubator rather than an open crib, I could tell this was the more cumbersome option, but she knew she would be more comfortable for the trip. Thank you Charlotte for thinking of our baby first. When the results of the first test were negative, our baby needed one more test for conformation. Charlotte explained the time consuming process to get ready for the procedure and asked that we step out to get a much needed break. Upon coming back Gracie was resting comfortably in her incubator and we noticed Charlotte had washed her full head of hair. She looked so peaceful.
Greater than 24 hours old, we finally got to hold our baby for the first time that night. There was not a dry eye in that hospital room. Charlotte made sure to make little corrections here and there on the baby’s posture and how we should hold her and encouraged skin to skin contact. She was so knowledgeable and never let the emotions get in the way of her job. Over the next couple of days Charlotte got to be our nurse 3 more times. Each time she was on we learned something new, tackled challenges like the “how to's” of feeding a neonate and looking for special feeding cues along with personality traits. She coached daddy on diaper changes, and feeding techniques, and mentored mommy on breast feeding and the importance of immunizations. Charlotte made it so we could go home at night feeling like our baby was being well taken care of. She took away the feelings of helplessness and gave us back that sense of control again. She was there to greet us with a smile every morning...even if she wasn't our nurse that day, she made the effort to stop by and check on our little peanut's progress.
After 9 days in the NICU, our baby flourished and passed every goal set prior to discharge. We attribute this to the amazing care she received. Charlotte made such an impact on us as scared, inexperienced parents that her discharge was bitter sweet. We were so excited to take her home, but were going to miss the phenomenal staff who took care of her, especially Charlotte.
Have you ever met an angel in disguise?...I think our family met one during our hospital stay. Once again, thank you, Charlotte, for all you do and your passion for work. My family is stronger and more knowledgeable because of the time you took to teach, coach, and mentor. You have a special gift, Sanford should be proud!