We were blessed by the early arrival of our son in October, resulting in an eight-day stay at NICU. Even under the best of circumstances, having a baby in the NICU is unimaginably stressful. Our hearts ached as we watched him endure medically necessary but painful procedures. We wanted nothing more than to hold him close, and to bring him home.
We encountered many talented nurses during our NICU stay, but Anne stands out among them. Every challenge we experienced was made better through Anne. She went above and beyond in every possible sense.
Anne cared for our son as if he were her own. She was so kind and so loving in all that she did for him. Recounting examples of this brings tears to my eyes even today. While at the NICU, he was receiving nourishment through an IV. Given how small he was, the IV and the tape used to secure it would frequently become irritated. As a result, the IV needed to be moved to different extremities every few days. This of course was incredibly distressing for him, and for us watching it. Anne demonstrated that if she moved the IV very, very slowly and used 'sweeties' while she did it, that she could insert the new line without any tears or hysteria. No other nurse could do this.
Anne was also our advocate in the NICU when he was moved into the isolette to address his jaundice. Initially, a night nurse told us that we would not be able to hold him while he was in need of the jaundice lights, which we were told could be several days. As his mother, I find it difficult to find words to describe the devastation I felt in that moment. I sobbed uncontrollably over the thought that I would be unable to hold my hours-old baby. Knowing that his only experience in this world up to that moment was that of tubes, monitors, and the pain of needles - how alone he must have felt - I wanted nothing more than to hold him close. When Anne arrived, she evaluated his condition and determined that while his jaundice therapy was important, it would be equally important for him to connect with us. She acquired a 'bili blanket' so that he could continue treatment, and be held and breastfed at the same time. She proceeded to create a schedule and plan with us, helped with the many wires and tubes that needed to be coordinated when we held him, and she was supportive and encouraging of breastfeeding.
At one point during our NICU stay, we thought we might be nearing our discharge date. He was progressing steadily. After a minor setback, it became clear that he would require more time, which his doctor communicated very matter-of-factly. Though medically necessary and highly beneficial to him, this was very emotional news for me. After receiving the news, Anne stayed back to ask if I was ok. I wasn't. And through the tears, it helped to have a conversation about it. She was supportive and authentically caring.
In messages to our friends and family, we simply called her "Saint Anne."
Anne changed everything for us. She is a true DAISY Nurse.