...Denise was assigned to care for a G1P0 34 week Cesarean Section for a couple who had an infant with congenital anomalies that were incompatible with life. This infant suffered from Tetralogy of Fallot, cleft palate, and Trisomy 13. The couple had met with our Wee Care Team physician to discuss how this infants' care would be handled and what their wishes were. This team counsels couples who have babies that have slim to no chance of survival. They were aware that Baby L might not be born alive. If he was alive at birth there would be no heroic measures done to prolong his life.
Denise often cares for patients experiencing a loss and she is known as a compassionate nurse who is very sensitive to this type of patient. In fact, the physician had requested her to care for this family.
The couple had a written birth Plan for Baby L and she was prepared to carry out as much of it as she possibly could. Their plan was geared for a vaginal delivery, but due to worsening PIH, a Cesarean had to be performed. Denise facilitated TEAMSTEPPS by leading a HUDDLE to make sure all disciplines were aware of this delicate situation and the couples' wishes.
The surgery went well, and Baby L was born alive. The NICU team was present but did not administer any form of resuscitation. Baby L was dried, wrapped in warm blankets, and given to his parents. Denise took pictures as they had requested.
On return to the room for recovery, Denise established Mom was stable and then gave them "alone time". The extended family was made aware of what was happening, and when "alone time" was over they were brought to the room to spend time with the three of them.
At all times Baby L was kept warm, even after he expired. The infant warmer was on and at the bedside so that his mom could easily bathe and dress him with grandma's help. "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" was present to take pictures of his journey. Their pastor was present when Baby L expired two hours after birth. He led them in prayer and performed a blessing. There was not a dry eye in the room.
Denise prepared a Memory Box for his parents by cutting a lock of his hair along with baby bracelets, footprints, and other keepsakes. She crafted a plaster cast of his footprints and handprints which she painted to coordinate to his family quilt sewed by his grandmother.
The couple and their family were so appreciative of the respect, care, and compassion they received during this sad and difficult time in their lives.
The physician and Denise were able to attend Baby L's funeral. They were included in his slideshow and recognized by the pastor during the service for their exceptional care.
Denise said that it was an honor to be able to help this family in their time of need and fulfill their wishes. She has such great respect for this family and the gracious way they handled Baby L's short time on earth.
Denise said if she could change one thing, it would have been for Baby L to have had more than two hours of life to spend with his parents.