“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss

Monday, March 11th, 2013

I’ve been asked, time and time again, “When did you decide you wanted to be a NICU nurse and why?” The truth is, I have absolutely no idea. What I do know and what I grew up knowing, is that one day I would be a NICU nurse and nothing could stand in my way.

My love for babies literally started from day one.

Me in the culdesac with stroller

Me kissing baby in stroller

It’s hard to believe, but yesterday marked five years for me at Wolfson Children’s Hospital as a NICU nurse.

Me at work

If only this was what we REALLY did at work all of the time!

Looking back, I absolutely cannot believe it has been five years since I started working at Wolfson. I won’t ever forget my first day of orientation. I remember asking my preceptor how I would ever be able to answer all of the questions that parents threw at me. The truth is, I won’t. That’s the best thing about my job…you just never stop learning.

You can never have any expectations for the day, otherwise you’re certainly going to be disappointed. The pace can go from zero to sixty in no time flat and you never know what is going to come through the door.

I have no idea what it is like to sit at a desk all day, have an hour for lunch or leave work at five. I do know what it is like to be at work before the crack of dawn, go an entire 13 hours without lunch (and possibly the restroom) and never sit down once. Like I always say, I wouldn’t change it for the world. You may think I’m crazy, but I’m living the life of my dreams.

Through it all, the absolute most amazing part of my job is becoming a part of patient’s (and their family’s) lives and watching them grow once they have graduated from their home in the NICU.

Final collage

(Remember, you can always click on a photo to make it larger!)

Those, my friends, are the faces of all of the patients I have taken care of over the past five years that I still keep in touch with.

I look at those faces and remember the one and two pound babies who fought for their lives for several months, experiencing things you and I may never have to endure. I remember the siblings that parents mourned for while their fighter held onto their legacy, beat the odds and went home with their families. I remember the adoptive parents who met their gorgeous daughter for the very first time, accepting her no matter the outcome of her struggles. I remember the parents who were living a nightmare for the second time in their lives. I remember the parents who had no answers, that fought in every way they could in order to find those answers. I remember the baby who had a severely traumatic birth, who had months of recovery and who was a champ through it all. I remember the families who, thanks to a dear friend/family member, were able to have a family of their own…although the journey started rough, it was the start to one that was so very worth it. I remember the families whose strength continues to be tested, but they always overcome those challenges and make the most of what is thrown their way.

Issac

Jaden Myers

Joseph Russo Craig2

I am so very grateful to have met every single one of them and to have had the opportunity to care for them so that they are able to live the life they live today.  I’m grateful to have met their wonderful parents who have expressed so much hope, faith and unconditional love.

Allison and Aidan

Me and Santi

Me and Isaac

Me and Genevieve

Mason Troughton1

We adore all of the updates and visits! Keep ‘em comin’!

I look forward to another five years…and another five years after that. It’s quite an amazing feeling to leave work everyday knowing that what you did that day, no matter how small, may have made all of the difference in the world to that baby and their family…and maybe even saved their life.

(Thank you to ALL of you who gave me permission to use your child’s photos in this post and all of the sweet messages I received. You all are amazing and I’m so glad to know each and every one of you! Keep up the great work!)

3 Responses to ““A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss”

  1. Thank you Rachel for all you do and for all you will continue to do. We know there are angels on earth and you are certainly one of them. We will love you forever and thank God for everything you’ve done for our family. I look at how happy Cindy and Aaron are and remember the looks of pain a year ago and just how wonderful you always were with them and patient with their fears and tears. God Bless You! Isaac is an amazing miracle and you are one of the miracle workers.

  2. Rachel, just last week I had my 15 year anniversary. You can’t believe how fast it goes. I too feel so blessed to be part of the start of so many lives and couldn’t imagine working any where else. Hard to call it work when there is so much lovin’ going on, although some days those little ones can kick our butts good. Excited to work Friday cause I’m getting visit from my favorite twin guys, Rashon and Raquan. Can’t wait for their sweet faces and big hugs. Here’ s to next 10 for both of us! Love seeing your face every chance I get!

  3. Thank you for the love and self sacrifice you demonstrate to all. You have been a blessing tour family. I know that Becky & Andy always felt better knowing Kelson was in your care. Thank you again for all you’ve done and continue to do.

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