August 2020
Karen
Adversalo
,
RN, BSN
Labor & Delivery
UCI Health

 

 

 

I remember hearing Karen's voice telling me how strong I was as she kept encouraging me to push. In that moment I needed to be encouraged because my world had just shattered.

Karen was our nurse all three nights of our stay. I was a scheduled induction with our son TR who had been diagnosed with anencephaly. From the moment we met Karen she exuded what it means to be a phenomenal nurse. As a nurse myself, I know that at times quality compassionate care is often overlooked. Karen was so kind and gentle with us and our circumstances with a baby we knew we may never bring home, however she ensured that everything was set for our son who was going to donate his organs after his birth.

It was on the evening of the second night that I went into the final stages of labor, Karen ensured to talk me through my nerves, and the million times I cried because I was not ready to lose my son. My labor was very long and very difficult because of my circumstance and plan to give birth to my son who was breech. Karen stayed by our side. At 6:33 am we were given the news that our son had passed he did not survive my labor...time stood still. I remember that my husband and I sobbed for a bit of time and then I knew I still had to deliver our son; I remember hearing Karen's voice telling me how strong I was as she kept encouraging me to push. In that moment I needed to be encouraged because my world had just shattered. I finally delivered our beautiful son at 7:11 am. Right in the middle of change of shift and I knew Karen probably had a million things to chart and a million things to finish up so she could give report and go home- yet, she didn't rush, she stayed with us helping us welcome our angel into our lives. Even after we asked for some alone time with our son, Karen was the one to come back into our room and help get our son’s footprints. She helped to preserve memories of our baby which were so important because that is all we get to have of our sweet baby.

That evening Karen returned to us- newly grieving parents and helped us prepare for our son's return from donating his organs. Karen took the time to wrap our baby in warm blankets, she continued to treat our baby with love and compassion which meant the world to me. I had been fearful of how others may look at our son given his condition and yet Karen looked at him like I looked at him- like he was perfect. It was something unspoken that touched my heart in a way a mother will never forget. Karen was so sure we continued to be well taken care of throughout the entire night and let us have the precious time we needed to hold our sweet baby. Before Karen left her final shift with us she gave us a memory box that she decorated in honor of our son T; it was beyond thoughtful and beautiful. We will never forget Karen and we feel so honored for her to have been a part of our journey. We know our original due date was her birthday and we wanted her to know we thought of her on her special day and we thank God to have had her by our side. Thank you, Karen- we will never forget you!