Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith, BSN, RN

Special Care Nursery
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
Norfolk, Virginia
United States
Danielle just made me feel special. Her compassion and empathy allowed me to see my daughter really for what felt like the first time.

I had to get a C-section and once my daughter was delivered they put her next to me so I could see her and then they had to take her away to the special care nursery. Unfortunately, I got really sick post-delivery and had to get a magnesium drip and came down with pneumonia and it was just one thing after another. I was unable to see my daughter for almost 2 days. I was heartbroken. I went through the whole “she probably feels abandoned!” feelings. I felt lost. You have this idea of how your child’s birth is going to go and then life has its own plan. I was hoping for a vaginal birth, skin to skin contact right away, and an attempt at breastfeeding. The sadness I felt from carrying this beautiful child during a wonderful pregnancy to not being able to touch or see her was crippling. Fortunately, I had a wonderful husband and parents who made sure she was interacting with loved ones, but Danielle knew that mommy and baby needed to feel that bond.

I was transferred back to labor and delivery for my magnesium drip and my pressures were high. I was talking to my nurse about the whole situation and I could see her empathetic concern was taking a toll on her. She stepped out of the room and a little while later a knock was at my door and all of a sudden an incubator with the most precious and tiny human being was inside of it. It hit me what was happening and I sobbed. There wasn’t a dry eye in that room. Danielle said, “a mother and her child need to be together!” She brought her out and I ripped my gown down and she laid her on my chest. Best moment of my life. I still get chills thinking about it. She stood by charting updates and just expressing how naturally you have to be with one another and bond and she wasn’t going to let me or her go another day without seeing each other. It meant the world to me. She took pictures of us. She even brought me a picture of B that she had printed so I could see her while I was pumping to increase my supply and just to have her pretty face as close by as was allowed. After she left, my pressures trended down and I was told by Danielle that since our meet and greet B was less fussy. Science, this stuff really works! My nurse came back in the room and said she had never seen anything like that in all her years of working there.

Danielle just made me feel special. Her compassion and empathy allowed me to see my daughter really for what felt like the first time. Once I was able to go see her in the nursery and Danielle was taking care of her, I felt comfortable and she always kept me so informed. I am a nurse and I pride myself on customer service. It means a lot. Being on the other end of things can be challenging sometimes. You really get a good perspective on the bigger picture. You’ll meet nurses who make you want to do your job that much better. As nurses, it is best to go that extra mile for a patient and their families. You never really get to witness how that can change their world unless you are on the receiving end. I really appreciated all of the care that the nurses provided me and my daughter. I wish I could have given them more than just donuts!