Every Friday my daughter and I have what we call our “Gratitude and Appreciation” dinner. Over burgers and quesadillas at the local diner we share a good deed from the past week and give thanks to the people, places and things that make our life better.
I got the idea from a workshop I attended at Kripalu with Harvard professor Tal Ben-Shahar. Now, having seen the benefits of this little ritual, I am extending it my blog by launching a new section called “Thank God For Friday and Other Stuff,” and am dedicating the first post to a nurse I credit with saving Savannah’s life.
Shortly after Savannah was born, it was obvious to her father and I that despite a perfect Apgar score and a floor of doctors and nurses who dismissed our concerns, something was seriously wrong.
“My daughter refuses to nurse,” I said, holding out a limp, floppy baby for the doctor making morning rounds to examine.
“Imagine how you’d feel if you just came out of a nice warm tummy after 9 months of sleeping. Some babies just need time to perk up,” she said in that sing-songy voice that pediatricians use when talking to moms. She then gave Savannah’s head a little twist toward my breast and fluttered out the door.
It was the first of many lessons about doctors: Always ask for a second, third and fourth opinion. They’re smart, but human, so do make mistakes.
By the time the shift changed, Savannah was barely moving.
“Hmmm…..just let me test her blood sugar,” the new nurse, a large, soft-spoken, African-American nurse, suggested as she tiptoed out of the room pulling Savannah’s crib with her.
“We’ll be right back.”
She was calm and reassuring, so I believed her. But Savannah never returned nor the nurse. Her blood sugar was 16 and she was immediately whisked to Neo-Natal Intensive Care where she stayed for the next 5 days.
I never saw that nurse again to say thanks. And, truthfully, hormonal and anxious about having a kid in NICU, I couldn’t say two words without becoming a wet, blubbering mess.
So, it is today that I give a shout out to that wonderful mystery nurse. It is because of you that I have a daughter and became a mother.