We were thrilled to find out we were expecting our first baby in November of 2017. After a problem-free pregnancy, we made an unexpected trip to triage due to lack of fetal movement. On that morning, our worst nightmare came true: Our precious baby girl was no longer alive. Our hearts were shattered. During the next 36 hours, labor was induced and we delivered the body of our beautiful baby, J. This was the most difficult and devastating experience of our lives, yet we were touched by the compassion and care we received from the doctors, nurses, and staff at Women and Babies Hospital. Two of our nurses went above and beyond in caring for our needs and remained involved in our lives, even after we left the hospital. For that reason, we would like to recognize Brianne Martin and Amanda Hoffert.
Upon receiving the news that our daughter was stillborn, we immediately needed to make important decisions, despite our emotional despair. Our first labor and delivery nurse was Brianne Martin. She helped us navigate these decisions and work through our emotions. She was by our side through the initial hours, which were the rawest for us. Brianne remained calm, kind, and compassionate, even though our words and thoughts were far from rational. She communicated information with our families, who were equally devastated, and helped ease them through each step of our induction. Brianne was exactly the person we needed to help us through the initial shock of our loss. We believe it is not a coincidence that she was our nurse that day.
Our next labor and delivery nurse was Amanda Hoffert. During her shift, we began to consider our wishes for the birth of our daughter. Amanda helped us consider our preferences for taking photographs with our daughter, bringing her a special outfit to wear, and writing a prayer with one of the hospital chaplains. We felt unprepared to make these decisions, but Amanda talked us through each one, based on her knowledge and experience as a nurse in labor and delivery. She was always respectful of our decisions and was patient as we considered what we wanted to do. Her sweet, positive demeanor was exactly what we needed during the next phase of our experience.
Though neither Brianne nor Amanda was our nurse during the actual delivery of our daughter, they both remained involved during our entire hospital stay. J was delivered in the evening and Brianne returned to the hospital to see her and hold her the next day. She was not scheduled to work this day, but instead came in on her own time to see our baby. She lovingly swaddled J and took a turn holding her. She told us that J was beautiful and made us feel special and important, even though our baby was not alive. Amanda gave us her phone number and we sent her pictures of J. She continued to encourage us as we spent time with J and as we make the journey home from the hospital without our baby girl.
During the weeks and months that followed, Brianne and Amanda continued to remain involved in our lives. They checked in with us and encouraged us to keep making positive steps forward, even when it was difficult. We went to visit them in the hospital and sent them updates on the special ways we were honoring and remembering J. Their positivity, encouragement, and kindness helped us through some of our toughest days.
This year, the storm clouds finally lifted and a rainbow appeared as we welcomed our second daughter. Neither Brianne nor Amanda worked during our labor and delivery, but they both made it a point to come to visit us during our time in the hospital. They celebrated the birth of our daughter but also continued to talk about and remember J. They both knew how important it is to us that J is never forgotten.
J is our angel in heaven but we feel Brianne and Amanda wear invisible wings here on earth. They will always hold the most special place in our hearts for the care they gave us during the most difficult experience of our lives. We are so grateful for them and feel they are true DAISY Nurses.