I first want to offer some background for my story regarding this nomination. I am a nurse at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and I have been for over six years. My coworkers would tell you that I am extremely reluctant to give praise unless it is earned. I have recently been through a few life changes. I lost my mother unexpectedly in June and just had my first child in September. Needless to say, things didn't go as planned.
To start, I was overdue and admitted to the birthing pavilion to be induced. I was admitted on a Thursday around 5 pm and my induction started that night with little progress. Another patient came in that was in active labor so my induction was put on hold. My nurse, Rebecca, was reassigned to this new patient. The next day my induction was restarted at 5 pm, this time I was far enough along to start making some progress. Rebecca returned for her second night shift and I was happy to see her. Not having my mother at my bedside for this monumental moment made it difficult, so seeing her familiar face return with a smile reassured me. Since my labor was progressing, Rebecca was able to be my nurse for the entire shift. She encouraged me through each contraction. She helped me change positions to help ease the pain and she made an effort to help my husband understand everything that was happening. I reached a point where I asked for an epidural. Rebecca made the necessary calls to anesthesia to get it done as soon as possible. She helped me breathe through the contractions while communicating with anesthesia as each one came on. This made the insertion of the epidural smooth. At the end of Rebecca’s shift, I was 8 cm dilated and we both thought that by the time she returned for her third shift that our baby would have arrived. That was not the case, I continued to labor until 7 pm at which time it was determined that I needed a C-section.
Needless to say that this whole birth hadn’t gone as expected. I was beyond anxious and exhausted. Rebecca made several attempts to contact anesthesia as my pain was increasing. When we finally made it to the OR, Rebecca was right by my side. She consoled me when all I really wanted to do was give up. She reassured me that my baby would be here in no time and that I was doing great. Having her there brought me comfort because I knew I was in the best hands possible. Once our baby was born, she guided my husband to go see our baby. After my C-section, I developed preeclampsia. My blood pressure went up and my pain was unbearable. I could not even hold my newborn because of all of the pain. Rebecca made many calls and worked diligently to get my pain under control. I woke several times that night to the sight of Rebecca with my husband and son. She helped my husband with skin to skin and taught him how to swaddle our baby. She was there when our son got his shots and still managed to make sure that I was improving. I will never be able to repay Rebecca for her care that she provided to my family and me. Rebecca is an amazing nurse and our hospital is lucky to have her.