When the boys were born, we were in the hospital for eight days. That isn’t long if you are on vacation, or even going about a work week, but it felt like at least a month had passed in that room. And I know we were lucky. Our twins were born less than four weeks early, not bad for multiples, considering all of the horror stories of small, sick babies and months long NICU stays I read about while waiting for their arrival. Note: if you are pregnant, stop Googling now. A doctor did tell me the same, but I had a lot of spare time on bedrest.
Today, as we marvel about how healthy and hilarious our boys are, I can more completely appreciate everything that got us through those hard early days, and more importantly everyone – especially the hospital staff. The nurses did more than make sure that we were comfortable, they also helped me feel capable, at a time that was overwhelming to say the least. The best ones (including one that had twins of her own) shared advice, without being condescending, and made me feel like I was already doing a good job.
There is one nurse in particular that I will always remember. She had cared for me a few times during the pregnancy, when my high-maintenance babies landed us in L&D Triage, and came to visit us when she learned they had been born. She had said to us a couple times, “These are going to be the luckiest babies,” with sincerity that still makes me tear up.
The one negative experience was from a nurse that criticized me for not changing their diapers as often as my husband. He had been stepping up more – he is their parent too. And he also did not just have surgery and preeclampsia. It was a small slight, but one that hit hard at my most vulnerable. However, our experience was overwhelmingly positive, and I am so grateful for the care we received.
So thank you to all nurses out there, especially those who were there for us at Maine Medical Center, for your care, comfort, and compassion. And if you are preparing to give birth or about to visit someone who has, remember that both new moms and nurses love Holy Donuts.