When I became pregnant with my first baby, I knew that I wanted to deliver at Jefferson Hospital. For some reason, I kept telling people- "I know the baby will be fine, but I want to be there in case something happens to me".
Unfortunately on May 7th, my fear came true, and nurse Jess proved to me why I wanted to be at Jefferson to deliver. While I was extremely exhausted, having been in labor for three days, all had gone well through my laboring that Saturday. Jess was so encouraging and supportive to me, especially during pushing. She closely monitored my pain, and was an advocate for me, making sure that anesthesia was aware of my pain level.
My daughter was born and was perfect, and therefore we called the family to tell them the good news. After about an hour of skin to skin time, a wave of exhaustion swept over me, and I told my husband he should take the baby. I figured the lack of sleep was finally catching up to me. At that moment I also winced and informed Jess my stomach hurt a bit. Something in her turned on, and she swept into action. Recognizing that something was truly wrong, she grabbed the baby as I suddenly started to turn pale and feel dizzy, weak, nauseous and sweaty. Before I knew it, the room was filled with medical professionals and things were being done to me; I received several IVs, hanging fluids, and someone called out for blood transfusion to be started. I remember seeing Jess on every side of me, like she had 16 hands, proficiently working to increase my blood pressure which had dropped to 60/40. She and the team worked fast very to stop my postpartum hemorrhage.
She talked to me every step of the way explaining what was happening around me. Her grace and confidence helped keep me calm despite the critical condition I was currently experiencing. I kept looking to see if my husband was scared but he remained calm, a state he later attributed to Jess' updates. She calmly explained the situation to him and even while she was working she continued to reassure him with simple nonverbal gestures that simultaneously demonstrated her competency as a healthcare professional and her compassion and deep caring for others. She even kept in contact with him via text as he was whisked out of the room away from the chaos.
He said he was terrified but knew with Jess at my bedside, it was all going to be ok. The team got me stabilized, and I expressed my genuine gratitude that Jess was my nurse that day. I keep tearing up over how thankful I am that she was taking care of me.
Though my husband and I only knew her for a few hours, we felt like Jess was an important part of our new family. We trusted her and knew how much she would give to make sure we were all ok. It also meant the world to us that she came to visit us in the maternity unit the next day, just to check in and make sure everything was going well.
Jess went above and beyond with her kindness, encouragement, and humor in the routine situations and displayed the utmost proficiency, caring, and genuine concern in a life-threatening situation. She exemplifies to my family and me the extraordinary care that should be a model for every nurse.