I was admitted at 37 weeks pregnant to monitor my blood pressure which had skyrocketed that weekend. A day and half later, I found out I wouldn't be leaving without a baby, and they'd begin induction at 7pm. Nurse Rachel was truly compassionate and amazing that first day. In my heightened hormonal state, and being 100% medically phobic, I was basically freaking out. Her calm nature, attentive response, and simply amazing attitude helped me in ways I can't even begin to verbalize.
Nurse Rachel had explained the previous day about the pain medication options available for labor, and even gave advice on how she would go about taking them herself; from the basic, to the better, to the epidural. Remaining as ignorant to the actual birthing process as any intelligent individual with internet access can be, was part of my plan. Knowing all the ins and outs would have undoubtedly freaked me out further; since simply hearing about medical procedures can make me break out in a cold sweat and my vision grey. Needles are the worst part of my phobia though. So while I know I'd need an epidural and opt for it, the thought of it was horrifying.
Following Rachel's recommendations on the order of the pain medicine, after hours of labor pains when it was finally just too much to bear I opted for the epidural. In that moment, I couldn't have been in worse pain, or more terrified. Nurse Rachel not only showed capacity for kindness, empathy and compassion that is seriously unmatched in the world today, but she did it with a professionalism and sternness that was much needed to get that job done. The original anesthesiologist was otherwise occupied so Rachel called in M, she kicked my husband and mom out, I was in so much pain and terrified that I was sure I couldn't sit still for this. M said I had to or he couldn't do it. There was no way, which terrified me even further, because everything hurt so bad! If it hadn't been for Rachel there, I don't think I would have been able to get it done. She stood there, patient, calm, reassuring, holding my shoulders to still me as I cried in pain and terror. I'm pretty sure at that moment she reached saint worthy status in my opinion - even though she couldn't have known how her presence in that 10 minute window helped me so much. Her calmness and firmness that I COULD do this, in the face of my worst nightmare, during the worst pain I had ever felt, I'm quite positive is the ONLY reason M managed to administer the epidural.
I hope this letter can help display just how remarkable Rachel is and show a fraction of the gratitude I have for her being my labor and delivery nurse!