As a first time mom, everything about having a newborn that you are solely responsible for is scary. When our daughter's bilirubin level came back high and she had to go under the UV lights to bring her levels down, my husband and I were disappointed but understood the importance of this. What we weren't prepared for was having to listen to our daughter scream at the top of her lungs all afternoon and evening because she had to lay naked, with minimal physical contact except to nurse. All the nurses caring for us acknowledged that we would just have to deal with it until she came out from under the lights which would be, at the earliest, 8am the next day.
We fussed with her mask and took turns holding her little hand as she lay screaming in her bassinet from 2pm until midnight. At midnight we were blessed with an angel. Our night shift nurse was Keisha. When she came in to introduce herself I asked her to check our daughters mask because I was sure it was never properly placed. She immediately noticed it was on incorrectly and fixed it. She took the time to talk to us and before I could even ask her if we were REALLY going to have to listen to our baby scream all night, as we were already running on only a few hours of sleep in 3 days, she looked at me as I'm sure she could tell I had been crying all day as I listened to my helpless baby cry, and she assured me that I was going to get some sleep and my baby was not going to cry all night.
While she worked her magic securing our daughter's arms to the bassinet in a makeshift swaddle, she directed me to the Get-Well Network where she showed me the lullabies. She had me move my TV next to the bassinet and turn on the lullabies. In a matter of seconds our daughter was sleeping. She instructed me to call when the baby woke to nurse and she would be back in. When the time came to call for her, she promptly came to our room, assisted me with the baby, and re-swaddled and calmed the baby. My husband and I slept for the first time that night.
While this may sound trivial to some, my husband and I refer to Keisha as our angel. I'm not sure that I could have survived that night without her. The fact that she understood how difficult it was to listen to your child scream for nearly 16 hours straight, and took the time to calm my husband and me and to turn this terrible experience into a positive one, is something we will never forget. I met a woman at a class a few weeks after I delivered and we were sharing our birth stories. When I started to talk about this angel who took care of us one night she looked at me and said, "oh my gosh, was her name Keisha?" She too had been fortunate enough to be cared for by this nurse. Keisha truly is an angel, and I know I am not the only one who sees her in this way. We will never forget the care she provided to our family.