Ladeena Shaul

Ladeena Shaul

Ladeena Shaul, RN

Providence Alaska Medical Center
Anchorage, Alaska
United States
The nurse I had in recovery was one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. She wiped my tears, she hugged me, and she asked my baby’s name.

There’s part of my story I haven’t shared with many people because truly I just don’t think many people understand what it was like for me. The story was two years in the making and has gotten better the last few days so I decided to share on a larger scale, for nothing more than giving God the glory, even in the difficult things.

Two years ago in July I had a miscarriage, and most people already knew that about me. It’s something I openly share, in hopes that maybe someday my story can be comforting to other women who will, unfortunately, experience the same thing. Following my miscarriage, I was having a lot of trouble with bleeding, for months, and in October my doctor decided it would be best to do a D&C. Although my baby was no longer in my womb at the time the surgery was performed, it was still an emotional experience for me. It was a reminder that my baby was gone, that the physical process still was not over, and even though I so desperately wanted to get pregnant again, it just wasn’t happening. I cried as they were putting me to sleep for the surgery and I was crying when I woke up.

The nurse I had in recovery was one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. She wiped my tears, she hugged me, and she asked my baby’s name. She told me about the 3 babies she had lost. In the beginning stages of me waking up, a nurse outside of the curtain was talking about being newly pregnant and how difficult it was for her to be so sick. I never mentioned to my nurse that I could hear this conversation, but my nurse quietly snuck out of my curtained area and I overheard her gently ask the other woman to please stop talking about it. She respected and understood that woman’s joy but also explained that I had just lost my baby and it might be hard for me to hear that conversation. When my nurse was calling ahead and giving my stats to the nurse in recovery two she explained I was sad, and even referred to my baby by name. (If you have lost a baby and have chosen to name your baby, you understand how it feels to hear your baby’s’ name – so rarely is it ever spoken.)

At the time of that surgery I had foolishly worn my contacts to the hospital so I had to take them out for my procedure and didn’t have my glasses. I absolutely cannot see anything without my contacts or support, so my nurses were a complete mystery to me.

A few days later I called Providence and asked if they could tell me my nurse’s name. I saved it in my phone, and I have prayed for her many times since then.

When I learned that I needed surgery this week, it was really difficult for me. It wasn’t just the anxiety of the pain that follows, it wasn’t just the anxiety of being at the hospital, knowing I spent a week there when I had my accident, it was knowing that the last time I was in Providence Day surgery, was when I had my D&C because I lost my baby. On Friday last week, I sat in my car and cried for a bit before I could pull myself together enough to go inside and get through the pre-op stuff. I knew they were going to ask me my medical history and it’s always heartbreaking sharing that part of my story.

Ever since my surgery was scheduled, I had been praying that somehow I would be able to have that same nurse again, even though her face was a mystery to me. I asked my pre-surgery nurse if Ladeena still worked in recovery 1, but he said he didn’t know. He wasn’t familiar with those nurses.

When I woke up after my surgery this time I remember being a little disappointed. Although my nurse was plenty kind, I was so hoping somehow some way I could end up with Ladeena again. This time the surgery didn’t completely go according to plan and since they couldn’t get my bleeding under control, they expected a significant amount of pain and bruising as I heal, they weren’t kidding about that part. I asked my nurse for more medicine because what they gave me wasn’t enough. My pain was still a 7/8 and I had tears pouring down my face as I quietly asked if she could please do something different. This nurse said I had to wait, she had more notes to enter in my chart, and she told me she typed slow, so it would take a bit. That was so discouraging. I tried so hard to be patient. I think maybe she thought the valium would be enough to help me forget but it didn’t. I was miserable and felt like I didn’t matter. Then she left. I could hear her walking around and checking on other patients. I could hear her talking about coffee and her Christmas plans. She disappeared for what felt like forever, maybe 15-20 minutes, and in walked a different nurse, syringe in hand. She introduced herself and told me she was there to relieve my other nurse who was going on break.

She was Ladeena. She was no longer a mystery to me, and once again she was here to help take care of me, the best she possibly could. My face immediately lit up. I told her, “I have been praying for such a long time that I would see you today. You took care of me a few years ago when I had my D&C and I don’t think I have had anyone be more kind to me in all my life. You referred to my baby by name and everything.” She said, “and I told you about my 3 angels” (she remembered me). Then her eyes filled with tears. I told her, “I will never ever forget how you treated me. I have been waiting a really long time to thank you for that.” Then, I asked her if I could give her a hug.

It’s hard to put into words how kind she was to me. Waking up from that surgery was one of the saddest times in my life. She went so far above and beyond to comfort my body and my heart, I will never ever forget her.

To hear your baby’s name spoken out loud means more than I have words for, especially by someone who wouldn’t even have to know it. People around us know that we named our baby because we usually refer to her by name, sometimes I don’t because I can tell people get uncomfortable, but for her to refer to her by name, and to call the recovery 2 nurse and tell her as well was just incredible.

She told me I made her day. I may have made her day, but the interactions I had with her have changed my life. Nurse friends, you have very difficult jobs, but you never truly know the impact you will have on someone, just for being kind and gentle to them in their darkest times.

Thank you nurse Ladeena for being such a tender soul, I’m so grateful that God sent me you.