To the nurse in labour and delivery

Jody Hollis

/ Health & Wellness

It’s crazy how you can meet so many people in the run of a day, a week, a month and hardly remember a thing about it (maybe that’s just what parenting has done to me) but then you can meet one person that you know just a short time and you never forget them…..

Those who are fortunate enough to become a mother know what a life changing experience that is. Many also know that it doesn’t always go the way we think it might in the years leading up to that stage in our lives. My husband and I had our first child, Cole about 2 years after we got married. I’m not sure why, but prior to his birth I was preparing myself for this massive workload. There is no denying parenting is hard work, but what I didn’t prepare myself for, was how much I was going to absolutely, wholeheartedly love this child. That really took me by surprise. I was totally prepared for challenge, way more so then I was for this overwhelming love. We were fortunate that he was a healthy, happy baby and about 8 months after his entrance into the world, I felt I was ready for another one.  Several months later I found out I was pregnant again and John and I were both very excited to continue to grow our family. Being pregnant with number 2 is a whole other ballgame and that ‘pregnancy tired’ feeling was ramped up to a whole new level. I yawn thinking about it.. but all was good and at 12 weeks I saw the little babies heartbeat on the ultrasound monitor for the first time. Here we go…

Pregnancy- I was not someone who enjoyed really any part of it at all, but knew it would pay off in the end. When I meet those moms who say they enjoy it, my first instinct is to assume they are lying..I would always look at their face to see if I could read more into it but I think some of them were telling the truth.. I always wanted to say “oh- do you like varicose veins and back pain?”…but I didn’t. The first time around I literally counted the days of each week I was so impatient but the second time around, I did start to lose track. Life was just busier now. At week 16 I went in for my second doctors appointment a bit floored that in about 5 months time I would be a mom of 2. My doctor was always very jovial so when he checked for the heartbeat and couldn’t find it, he initially kind of brushed it off. He said he wasn’t worried because the baby would still be really small and hard to find and scheduled me for an ultrasound the next week. Immediately my mothers instinct kicked in hard and when I left the office  I  just knew something was very wrong.

The next morning I had to get up and teach a spin class. To this day I’m not sure why I made myself go but I dragged myself there just trying to keep my feet moving and made it through the class. When it was over I knew I had to go to the hospital. I was cramping now and just convinced. I called labour and delivery and told them my suspicions and they told me to come in. I went in to the waiting room and sat across from a woman who was about to be induced. I felt so bad for her because I’m sure she knew by the look on my face I was not there for a good reason while her day was about to be joyous (painful then joyous). Talk about a moment dampener. A few minutes later I was in a room with the doctor and my Mom and my husband arrived. Shortly after, the ultrasound technician confirmed that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. Not long after that I was waiting to have labour induced to deliver the baby. A whirlwind of the worst kind.

To say the least, I was heartbroken. You don’t prepare for moments like that and why would you? It truly was one of my saddest days, but also something really beautiful happened. This angel woman of a nurse was put in charge of looking after me while I waited for my labour to start. I wish so much that I could remember her face and her name, but all I can remember is the impact she left on me. While I lay there devastated, this stranger sat with me, listened to me, talked to me and held my hand. She waited long past the end of her shift so she could be there when I delivered my baby boy. She helped guide me through the whole process and went way above and beyond what was required of her. She had dark curly hair and a beautiful heart and when I left the hospital the next day, I left with a new intention. I left knowing that I wanted to impact others the way she had impacted me.  I was so touched by her compassion and to this day moved by her grace. I so strongly believe that I was meant to meet that women working in labour and delivery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on February 17, 2011 during the day shift. I wish I could tell her that and I wish I could thank her. Sometimes we have no idea how a little compassion can literally change someones life. I’m sure she has no idea how she changed mine.

Since that day, I have had 5 more pregnancies and gave birth to three more beautiful children. It’s been a whirlwind of a wonderful and crazy kind all in one and I’m grateful everyday for my blessings. I am also grateful for her, the nurse with no name, because she awoke something in me that I will carry with me forever. Live to inspire.  Live with grace. Live to impact. To that nurse in labour and delivery- thank you.