Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thank You Nurse Julie

I wanted to take a while to write about something that's been on my heart since Gideon's birth. 

Since January 2007 I've been in the hospital 6 times. [1 appendectomy, 2 births, and 3 times for dehydration from my hyperemisis in pregnancies] I've gained a whole new respect for nurses during my hospital stays. I've been cared for by a lot of sweet and kind nurses and some snotty rude ones too.Nurses do the brunt of the work around that place, and it ain't always pretty! I can only imagine most of them probably hating some of the icky tasks they have to do, but with most of them you'd never be able to tell that passed the smile on their faces. 

This hospital stay God blessed me with an angel of a nurse. Her name was Julie, and I don't think I'll ever forget her. She was my nurse throughout most of my labor and the entire birth of Gideon, even though she was scheduled to get off an hour before. 

I had a really painful labor because Gideon was OP (face up). I stayed at 1 1/2 cm for a couple of hours, and then stayed at 4 cms for around 4 or 5 hours. The baby hadn't even dropped yet, and we couldn't figure out why he was so high up. My doctor started to hint that we'd probably have to do a section if things didn't change, and the thought of surgery terrified me. 
If Julie wasn't there, I think I'd have probably ended up going that route. 

At the time we didn't know if the baby's head was too big to drop or if he was OP, but Julie worked with me and helped me trydifferent positions to encourage him to get low enough to help me finish dilating, which, praise Jesus, eventually worked. 

She brought me pillows, she kept the towels on my forehead cold, and she joked with my husband, which is something I really appreciated since he was after all, part of this whole thing too.

She knew how absolutely terrified I was to get an epidural again since my first experience was so horrible. She talked me through the options and she stayed with me when the pain was unbearable and I begged her to get me that anesthesiologist.

He walked in and my blood pressure and heart rate sky rocketed. 
I instantly began to tremble in fear and cry and moan during the contractions I didn't think I could manage any longer. 
I was gross with sweat, tears, and Lord knows what else, and Julie just held my hands and put my head between her neck and her shoulder as I shook and sobbed.
I could tell she was a mother.
I remember being so embarrassed at how hard I was squeezing her dainty little hands and how I was saturating her scrubs with tears, but the real embarrassment came when the anesthesiologist started feeling my back for an appropriate entry zone and with the pressure some more of my water leaked down my legs and onto the floor and I'm pretty sure onto Julie's feet. 

She was nothing but encouraging, supportive, and comforting to me, and I felt so safe and taken care of. 

My epidural this time only took one entry, but it was over all unsuccessful in the end. 

I'd pray in between contractions to have Gideon drop lower and my cervix dilate more, and then I'd call Julie during my contractions to come and see if my prayers were answered yet.

I must have had her check me every 10 or 15 minutes, which I realize now was probably more often than needed, but she always came back in eager to help and relieve me.
I had an hour to progress before they were going to have to take the baby via C-section, and in that hour, with God watching over us and Julie helping me, I did just that-progress. 

When the pressure started and I knew I was about to have to start pushing, all I could do was beg Julie to help me, I would just cry as she held my hand, gave me pep talks, and Philip fed me ice.

I know Philip was thankful for her being there too, because this labor being much more intense and painful that Adeline's left him with a feeling of helplessness, foot-in-mouth syndrome, and then a loss of words. Julie stepped up to the plate and helped my mind and my body get the job done.

After what felt like hours pushing, I started to feel the exhaustion and began thinking I couldn't do it anymore. 
That was when my sweet, lovely, supportive nurse turned all army lady on me and demanded that I look at her. 
"Courtney, you CAN do this, and you WILL do this. Now PUSH."

I trusted her. I believed her. I listened to her. and then I immediately after delivered my son. 
Then I cried for about an hour and 20 minutes straight. 
I feel as though she herself personally helped to give me one of the most precious gifts life offers.
Julie was scheduled to get off right before I began pushing, but she stayed for me. 
I almost didn't want her to leave.
She spent her 12 hour shift making me feel like the most important patient in the entire hospital. She made the most painful, miserable 16 hours of my life something I will never forget. 
She went above and beyond, and she didn't even have to.

I've thanked God for her mark on our lives every day since Gideon was born. 
She'll never know how much she meant to me that day, even though I've written her to tell her.

She came in the next day to visit me, but I was sleeping so she didn't wake me up; I wish she would have.
I asked my nurse that day if she could have her come back, but she must have already been off or been too busy because I never did get to see her again, and I really wish I could have. 

I'm sure she's as wonderful to every one of her patients, as she was to me.
I'm sure she has no clue how much I genuinely appreciate and really needed her that day...
and she was only doing her job.

Imagine if we all did our jobs so graciously. 
Imagine how many lives we could impact by simply being so kind and caring to one another. 

Julie has meant so much to me in so many different ways, and I don't even know her.
She's inspiring and amazing, and I know there's a special spot for her saved in heaven!


  1. I just LOVE this post. It is so sweet and I love that you shared some of Gideon's birth story. I can tell you that as a nurse myself, it is amazing when you connect with patients like your nurse did with you and a thank you truly does go a long way!

  2. Aw, what a beautiful post Courtney! I am so glad that you had someone like Julie with you for this & can only hope & pray that I do as well. I had a very good, sweet nurse for Lexie but my labor was so quick that this doesn't even compare. Bless you all on such a beautiful miracle!

  3. God puts angels in our paths, your story is certainly proof to that!

    And that lil baby boy of yours sure is a cutie pie! What a tiny blessing :)

  4. Such a touching post. Bawled through the whole thing! I seriously believe that God sends people in our lives at just the right times. It's amazing just how GOOD people are. I love this!