My second pregnancy wasn’t exactly magical. After hyper emesis and multiple ultra sounds, doctors were professionally confused and struggled to explain with certainty what was wrong with my baby. We finally were given a diagnosis of bladder extrophy around 21 weeks of the pregnancy. I was relieved! A diagnosis to me was so much more comforting than the unknown.
In the weeks to follow, the urology team would spend time educating my husband and me on this rare diagnosis. As the weeks went on, further ultrasounds gave us hope that this wasn’t full bladder extrophy, but rather a diagnosis less severe on that spectrum. I was cautiously optimistic- who wouldn’t be? After noticing that my O.B. was not as comfortable or familiar with this diagnosis, I made the decision to switch care to a different office. I’m so glad I did! Because of that decision, I was able to deliver at FMLH and meet Andrea.
We met Andrea in the morning, and we were ready to have that baby. I had bonded with Andrea and was determined to have that baby by the end of her shift. The NICU team was on stand-by, as everyone was interested to see what diagnosis this little boy would be labeled with.
Later, after two pushes, he was born with complete bladder extrophy. Now, I know my face must have shown my disappointment, because yes- I was hopeful for a lesser diagnosis, but I knew we could handle this. My husband and I had prayed for strength and we were determined God had a plan for our family.
Andrea didn’t miss a beat. She knew how I felt without saying a word. As I could barely even see my little boy as he was examined by a variety of staff, Andrea was not only in nurse mode, but she was a mom, a friend, and an experienced professional. She knew this moment would pass and my emotions in that instant would cause regret if I couldn’t see him, how much he weighed, and his first angry cry face. He was finally here! My husband and I couldn’t reach our phones as the room was packed with equipment and staff, so Andrea reached for her phone and just took photo after photo. She kept dashing over to me to make sure I didn’t miss a moment. She’s also a great photographer!
It takes experience to learn certain clinical skills. This is so important in nursing because a lot is on the line. It takes dedication to go above and beyond to provide excellent care and give your all for that whole shift. But it takes a special person with a kind heart to read an emotion on the face of your patient and show the utmost compassion for a stranger. Andrea did all that in one short, 8-hour shift. And she was just doing her job.