To the baby who I’ll never know,
I remember you. To the little boy who hadn’t moved in the womb for three days, I remember the first time I heard your heartbeat on the monitor when your mom came in for decreased fetal movement and I breathed a sigh of relief. I kept you on the monitor all night even though it seemed impossible to monitor you because you were so tiny. Your poor mommy was awake all night long asking me if you were ok. I remember when you finally showed us you needed out, you weren’t feeling good, and you needed help. I remember the tears running down your mom’s face when we told her we needed to hurry as we rushed back for her first C-section at 30 weeks. I remember.
I remember you. To the little girl who just wouldn’t stay in no matter how hard we tried, your mom came in for pre-term labor. We hurried, we ran, we tried to keep you in because you just weren’t ready, but you came anyway at 28 weeks. Strong-willed little girl, I’m sure. You made everyone nervous as we watched your mom’s contractions increase in frequency no matter what we did. You made your mom cry when she knew today was the day. I remember.
I remember you. To the twins that came at 32 weeks after keeping their mother in pre-term labor for the past 14 days, I remember when your mother asked me to pray with her. I prayed for your strength and your perseverance. I remember how I felt when I saw you finally bring a smile to your mom’s face. I remember.
I remember you. To the little boy who’s cord slipped out along with the water when the membranes ruptured. I remember how it felt when my heart sank to my stomach when your heart rate plummeted and we wheeled your mom back for an emergency C-section in the middle of the night after laboring for almost 48 hours. Your mom and I had talked about your name and the color scheme in your nursery. We talked about how you keep her awake at night with all of your movement. But what stays with me is the moment that I told your mom it was going to be ok as I held her hand on the way back to the OR. I remember.
I remember your faces. I remember the way your heart sounded on the monitor. I remember the moment that we knew you were coming that night. I remember sending you off to the NICU to get specialized care that I couldn’t give you. I remember how blue you were, how tiny you were, or how distressed you were. I remember your cry… or the lack there of.
I wish more than anything that I could have followed you. I wanted to know how you were doing. I wanted to know if you made it home. I wanted to know what your name ended up being. Sometimes I find myself thinking about you, wondering if your playing with your older siblings or learning your colors or being rocked to sleep by your mom. Where are you? Where will you end up?
Often, I tell stories about the babies who really touched my heart. I tell my family and friends about your story and how strong you were, but there is never an end to my story. It always tapers of with “I guess I’ll never know”. All I can do is make up my own ending to your story. An ending that I’ll never know if it comes true.
To the baby that delivered at 30 weeks, in 15 years your going to be training for the Olympics. Your coach tells you that you’re the best on the team and on your way to being the best in the nation. Your mom is so proud and when she looks at her C-section scar she remembers the miracle that you truly are.
To the baby who delivered at 28 weeks, you have a younger sister now and she looks up to you like you are her hero. She is your biggest fan. You teach her her ABCs and how to tie her shoes. Your mom sees the two of you together and is forever grateful that you made it so far and you’re doing so well.
To the twins that came at 32 weeks, in 30 years the two of you start a business together. You work hard and change something for the better. Your business thrives and your mom is so proud. She sees her stretch marks and remembers how she felt all those days in the hospital waiting for you. She always knew you would change the world one day.
To the baby who’s cord came first and almost didn’t make it, you’re going to be an amazing father. You’re going to have four kids of your own and your going to teach them love, compassion, and patience. You go to every soccer game and you help them with their homework. Your mom looks at your family and sees that you have an incredible purpose in this world and she can’t believe the world almost lost you.
I wish I knew what your life really looked like. I don’t know if it was short or if it will be long. I don’t know if your hair grew and you have a head full of curls or if your eyes really stayed so blue. I don’t know what you look like or how you sound. But I remember you.
Your Labor and Delivery Nurse