These pictures show just a few of the dozens who helped Beth. The two Mercy hospitals in Sacramento see about 500 babies each year; the staff are exceptionally busy. I don't know how they remember us but that is testament to how committed they are to their vocation.
Bree (pink shirt) is another one of the special nurses. She was also assigned to Beth on many of those early days. She is the one who made me hold Beth at 11 days of age when she was still intubated. I was scared to death and not all of the nurses are comfortable making this happen with such a tiny, fragile baby. Bree knew how important it was to get over this hump and she had the glowing confidence to make me know it would be alright. She is generally considered the IV/PIC line specialist. I have seen her place PIC lines and IV's in other babies after other nurses had tried and tried. Bree is the only nurse who could get an IV started in Beth when we were re-admitted that first May. Joan calls Bree a genius but I think they think that of each other...
This is Kathy, the developmental specialist. Kathy saved Beth from developing an oral aversion. She was our champion when trying to get her discharged on breast feeding. She spent hours softly caressing her and teaching us how to hold her arms and legs in the "midline" and mimic the comfort of the womb. Not all babies like to be stroked and Kathy taught us how to see signs of stress, reading Beth's cues for what she needed at any particular time. I am sure that her keen insight and unexplainable "feelings" prevented many of the sensory processing disorders we seemed destined to have.
This is Lori. She was Beth's nurse on the last two days when we were doing our "feeding trial." It was an odd time for them because they don't usually discharge babies who breastfeed. Beth wasn't taking the bottle but she would nurse. It took a lot of commitment to make this happen but Lori really took charge so we could bring our girl home!
These last two guys are respiratory therapists. Randy (with the beard) was the nurse who intubated Beth in the delivery room while chaos reigned. I was bleeding profusely and their was much confusion about how to get me under, get blood, and who knows what else. He stayed cool, did his job and paid attention to Beth. She needed all sorts of things immediately and he did a fabulous job (not that I saw any of it. I just heard about it much later).