When I started this job I had no idea what to expect. I may have thought I did, but truely I did not. While I love NICU nursing there is an emotional intensity to it that I have a love/hate relationship with. You're working with people, parents, that are going through one of the most stressful times of their lives. You're there with them while they ride the roller coaster that is NICU survival. Like a roller coaster going up-hill, critically ill infants get better very slowly, notch-by-notch; but in the snap of the fingers they are spiralling downward with a velocity that can crush a family, dash hope, and destroy dreams. All you can do is hope that you're there when the "roller coaster", stops and the parents get off and take their baby home. Those moments are amazing. Some of my greatest NICU memories are of babies that have made it against all odds and are home today. I have a little mental catalogue of babies names in my brain who have amazed me with their resiliance and will to live.
The sweet times wouldnt be as sweet without experiencing the bitter times....and boy oh boy NICU does not lack those. Unfortunately, death is often a cruel reality in NICU's. As a nurse its never something you want to encounter. I have, however, learned some huge life lessons in humility, thankfulness, and acceptance from amazing parents as they let their beautiful babies go. Some of these babies died on their own and others were let go by their brave, selfless parents who didnt want them to suffer. The ultimate parenting sacrifice.
Through my job I've met a lovely bunch of ladies that have become some of my very very best friends. We've covered a lot of ground in 6 years. From helping each other move (many times), to bachelorette parties, baby showers, weddings, births, nicu babies, cranky babies, breakups, makeups, game nights, date nights, and girls nights out. When I started my job I didn't know that I would make ANY friends, much less multiple life long friends. Strong, independent, crafty, crazy good time managin', party plannin', awesome mama's and friends. Thanks for being my friends ladies!
While some of the politics and policies that go along with the job can be vexing, I am proud to say that I have had a job for 6 years that I have truely loved. While I may not have always wanted to go to work (because who wants to miss out on fun stuff at home?!). I always loved the crux of what my job entailed. Babies. Mama's. Helping. Learning.