Monday, September 17, 2012

Back in time.

Nothing seemed exceptionally different as we traveled.  We circled the parking garage for a spot and all climbed out of the vehicle, our arms loaded.

As we left the garage and walked into the pedway, we began to notice the changes.  Changes that just three years ago were just plans.  The lobby was so completely different I had to ask for directions.

Down the hall, onto the elevator and up to the fourth floor.

As we rounded the corner, it was as if nothing had changed.  Three years melted away and I was at the registration desk signing someone in to visit my little one.

My eyes began to mist.  I could hear myself saying "Baby Pridgen, 4E" so that the receptionist wouldn't have to look up Roxy's bed number for the guest's name tag.

As we walked down the hall to the NICU, I was having trouble controlling the tears that threatened.  I was afraid Mongo was going to have to do all the talking.

All of those emotions felt like waves racking across my body.  The fear of the unknown.  The love for my baby girl.  The uncertainty of what would happen next.  The pain.   The faith.  The hope.  All of the mixed emotions I felt those 67 days were right there with me three years later.

Roxy didn't understand where we were or what we were doing.  We tried to explain that she had lived at the hospital when she was a tiny baby.  "Your bed was right through those doors."

We told the receptionist at the NICU doors that we were delivering goodies for the NICU nurses.

"I know they'll appreciate it."  She was nice, but so completely different from the frazzled red-headed student who had felt like a close friend after seeing her at least once a day for two months.

"I appreciate everything they did to make sure that my baby was healthy."  I made it a point to pat Roxy so she would know what baby I was talking about.

We checked to see if our favorite nurse was by chance working so we could visit, but she wasn't.

Our little trio turned around and made our way back to the elevator.

As Roxy hugged my neck tight because she was "afraid of the alligator (elevator),"  I squeezed her tight because today I was taking my baby home with me.

NICU nurses are a special breed of medical professionals.  Not only do they care for the tiniest of patients with critical conditions, but they have to deal with anxious and uneducated parents.  They are truly angels in disguise.  Happy {belated} Neonatal Nurses' Day!


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