Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Accidental Night Nurse

You know, its funny how things in your life happen. For the past five years I have been working, going to school full time, and trying to raise my own girls. During the that time two have moved out on their own and began their own lives. My goal was to work in the Information Technology sector of the world and submerge myself back into the Corporate America with a salary to promise a future.
In 2008, my nephews were born premature. My sister had a horrific ordeal with the delivery of her twin baby boys. Being four weeks early, they were taken into the NICU of the hospital. To make matters even tougher, there had been a birthday party for my twin niece and nephew the day she went into labor and everyone at the party became very sick with Rotavirus. This pretty much wiped out my entire family.... all except me. I had left the party after only 30 minutes and never got to eat anything.
So, here is my sister, who dearly loves me, but is most definitely wishing she could have her mother or her younger sister with her, stuck with me. She is miserable, inconsolable, and in a vast amount of pain. Her c-section went well but shortly after recovery, the doctors realized that she was hemorrhaging internally and needed an emergency surgery. She was taken back into the operating room and underwent another procedure. She didn't really realize what had happened for several days after this all occurred.
Since the babies were in the NICU, the parents are encouraged to go down and feed them or hold them during specified times. Her husband was able to go but it was several days before she actually got to go down and see the babies for herself. After about ten days, they were ready to release my sister but the babies would have to stay. Of course this is hard for any parent, but being that her situation was so intense, we all felt that this was even harder for her.
Due to the surgery, she couldn't travel more than once a day to go up and feed them. During the afternoon, she would go to the NICU and feed and hold the boys, then return home with her escorted driver. I couldn't stand the thought of having the babies up there without being held or fed all night long. Of course I trusted the nurses, but I just couldn't think of them being without family and loving arms. So, I decided to go up and feed them. I had already been feeding them during my stay with my sister.
Remember that I was the only one in the family who was not sick. And, I was the only one allowed around her family or the babies for six weeks. At home, I had no visitors and had no children near me. I kept completely to myself and stayed clear of every possible germ.
At 10:20 p.m., I would leave my house, drive to the hospital, scrub up, and feed each of the boys separately. They were allowed 30 minutes to change their diaper, feed them their milk, and hold them. Often, the nurses would allow me to stay in and rock them or read to them for several hours. I became very close with them both. Then one was released and sent home with mom and dad. This intensified my need to care for the other baby. I now spent my time doing the 11:00 p.m., 2:00 a.m., and 5:00 a.m. feeding with my sweet little nephew. I did this every day for almost five weeks. What can you say? When it comes to family, love is unbreakable. I will always cherish that time I spent with my sister, her husband, and the babies. I was so thankful for the opportunity to serve and assist her, and to this day, I thank the Lord for that blessing.
So it began, I was labeled the new "night nurse". The nurses loved me! They saw me coming and knew that they were about to have a six hour break! It was only two weeks before I would literally walk in and handle everything from the feeding tubes to the monitors by myself. Of course the nurses were right there to handle any emergencies, but they had gained trust in my abilities and they knew I truly loved these babies.
It has now been almost two years since the boys went home and during this time, I have been a night nanny for five families of multiples. I have truly loved being of service to these families and I am thankful for the position it puts me in to be compassionate and loving to people who truly are in need. Of course this has turned into a job for me, but it is the most rewarding job, and one I would have never imagined I would perform.
This blog is an ongoing story of the multiples I have cared for, the families who opened their hearts and homes to me, and the trusting bond that grows between complete strangers. This is my version of my multiple memoirs.