A Young Nurse

13 Feb

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As Oli began to eat baby food I realized that her GI reflux, which I had been assured would dissipate when I introduced solids into her diet, did not diminish at all. The only difference now was that the things coming out of her mouth and nose were colorful instead of milky white.

When I think about her reflux I remember a young nurse assigned to us in the mother baby unit in the hospital.

It was a few hours after Oli was born and I was finally asleep. The nurse came in to check on us and woke me up indicating that something was wrong with her. I sat up and saw her turning Oli onto her side as she gasped and snorted through a nose full of milk.

“She is spitting up pretty bad. You have to keep an eye on her and keep her on her side. Here, use this to suck the milk from her nose and mouth.” She says as she hands me the little blue bulb I would become very familiar with.

Although this is fairly common and happens to newborns something about the way she looked at Oli that night sent alarm bells ringing through my heart. She had that look in her eyes of a nurse who knew something was wrong, but couldn’t quite put her finger on it. The way she looked at me as she turned and switched off the light said more than her words could have expressed.

I’m concerned about your baby girl. I’m young and intimidated because I know you are also a nurse, but look at me and recognize that something is off.

Of course, I was still deeply submerged in denial and ignoring those alarm bells. I wouldn’t find out until the next day that Oli was blind and I wouldn’t know for another three years that her reflux was linked to another devastating diagnosis.

I just smiled confidently, tucking my covers under my arms as she walked out of the room and assured her that I would watch her closely.

I wonder if that nurse heard later that her instincts were correct?

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2 Responses to “A Young Nurse”

  1. My Dance in the Rain February 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Sophie’s reflux was so severe the first year of her life she would literally suffocate because it would block her nose and mouth, I could not turn away from her for a second. Family memebers would leave in tears because it was too much for them to handle, her submucous cleft palate just enabeld the reflux to completely block her nose. Thank God for the bulb syrenge and the apnea monitor that alerted me every time she was not breathing.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I Still Remember How You Made Me Feel « I'm fine, but my Mommy has issues! - February 14, 2013

    […] my negative experience with some of the doctors when Oli was born there was one more nurse who would make a profound impact on my memories of those 4 days in the […]

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