Three Little Birds

Story of 3 little birds and one who soared above us all.

Happy nurses week!

Happy nurses week year (one week late) to all the wonderful nurses in our lives! First there’s my aunt who may have had some persuasion on my career, all my awesome nursing school friends and of course all the nurses that spent their days taking such good care of all my babies.

I never knew how much they would be a part of our family. They took such great care of me during my pregnancies, deliveries and my babies during their short and long stays. As Lydia moved from her 5 different ICUs to eventually home, each move and leaving of her primary nurse felt like a sad good bye. They loved her so and kept her spoiled! It’s hard for us that not many people knew her sweet soul as well as Clay and I did, but her nurses always reminded us. Her first NICU primary nurses gave her sweet dresses to wear and always made sure she had the best blankets in her bitty baby bed. We then moved to Boston and while we so missed our CMH nurses, we soon loved our new NICU nurses. It was another sad good bye when she was too big for the NICU and graduated to the PICU, but her NICU nurses came for her first birthday with love and gifts. Yet again, we had to develop new trust for new people but they soon proved their love for our girl too. Her primary nurse, Sue, brought her a dress all the way from Australia and gave her a book that belonged to her son: Make Way for Ducklings that gives a happier tale of Boston. Lydia would give Sue cries to get her into her room and then grins of appreciation with her arrival. We said another tearful good bye to our nurses and made our final move in Boston to the Cardiac ICU. These were the nurses that really brought her through some difficult times. They shared our tears and moments of joy. I could always tell in our nurse’s voice whether our girl was having a good day or when they were more concerned than they let on. They knew her little tricks better than us and could tell by the slightest change in her numbers when something wasn’t quite right and when the doctors needed to come. We did disagree when I’d come back to the room and find her sparse hairs combed flat after I’d tried in vain to gel and curl them but all was forgiven as they brought her through a very rough summer and made sure she got to come back to Missouri.

We then said another tearful goodbye to our beloved Boston nurses in all 3 ICUs and soon learned to love and trust our new PICU primary nurses at Children’s Mercy. They were the ones that kept the doctors informed exactly of what medical changes Lydia liked and did not like. It was their diligence and patience that made it possible to finally bring her home after 2 long years. They too loved and spoiled our girl and made sure her 2nd birthday was a special one despite spending it again in the hospital and only getting small tastes of frosting that would never make it to her tummy. They witnessed many family ups and downs and our weekend nurse Sarah was very tolerant of our nearly 2 year old toddlers that we brought along every weekend.

We then made the greatest and yet in some ways most difficult move of all – to home. Having home nurses was an entirely new and different experience, mainly good but at times, well, awkward to put it nicely. I wanted to do everything for Lydia yet I had 2 toddlers and needed some sleep! We soon developed a schedule of different strangers coming into our home that worked fairly well for the most part. I tried to look for what they did well and not focus on what I would have done differently. Although, I did ask one not come back for taking a smoking break and another for couch sleeping :/

When Lydia left us, so many of her beloved nurses from every one of her stopping points were yet again there for us. Their cards and flowers and words of encouragement meant so much to us during our difficult journey of grief. They were at her celebration of life service, the CHB memorial service and at the CMH children’s memorial service and we continue to get little messages about how what a lovely little girl we got to know.

Most of my favorite pictures of Lydia were actually taken by her Boston PICU nurses, Meri. This are a few of my favorites just taken on her iphone and sent to me when I was in KC and missing her terribly. I think in about every pic there is a blanket or dress or lovely or something given to her by one of her many, many incredible nurses that we can never thank enough!photo (7) photo (8) photo (9)

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These are from her CMH weekend nurse Sarah who actually witnessed the chaos of us as a family of 5 with nearly two year old triplets. On Lydia’s one year angelversary, she gave uber cute crocheted hats for Wyatt and Ava and one year later a beautiful blanket for Liam. I keep telling her if she’s tired of the nursing gig, she would do great at an etsy shop for super adorable hats and blankets!

To all our awesome nurses, THANK YOU!!! Your hours are long, your pay not the greatest, but the impact you’ve made on our family we will remember forever and always be truly grateful.

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2 Comments

  1. AMEN. These nurses do so much for our little ones when we aren’t able to. One of our nurses used her own personal time to help transport one of our little ones so he could be in the same hospital with his brothers (& I wouldn’t have to feel torn apart between 2 hospitals). I’ll never forget all the wonderful ways our nurses helped us so I can only imagine this being a small part of what they did for you. God Bless them!

  2. Sue Gray

    Amanda,
    Thank you so much for all your wonderful kind words. You have forgotten Lydia’s most important nurse-you. You were ( and are) such a loving, caring and knowledgeable Mom to her and all you children.
    I am now “leaving/retiring” from Children’s after almost 40years. The mind is still very willing but the body after all those year of bedside nursing isn’t.
    Lydia and all of you will be one of my cherished memories of my nursing career. Wishing all the best.
    Sue

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