Monday, September 13, 2010

NICCU Reunion 2010

Every two years, we have a reunion for the graduates from our NICCU.  It is always an amazing event lovingly put together by our nursing staff, and an event that highlights why we all do what we do. I try to never miss a reunion.  I wrote this after the last reunion in 2008.

Therefore, this Saturday afternoon found me at Live Steamers in Griffith Park. Immediately upon arrival I was treated to the sight of a miraculous set of twins who are now 5.  They are beautiful and although still small, they were running around playing together and with some of the other children.  They played like 5 year olds should. Their mom instructed the little boy to hug and thank me, and I choked back the tears. 

Then I saw another family whose now 5 year old daughter is also one of our graduates.  She was off playing with her older sibling.  Happy smiling, talking away, beautiful, precious, as all children are.  Her mom said to me, “We’ve never forgotten the first time you came to her bedside and didn’t hide your smile.  It was the day, we believed our daughter would survive, would come home. Now look at her.”  Now look at her indeed, they photographed us together.  More tears threatened to make their presence knows.

However, I got sidetracked by a 3 year old who ran past me sporting a shirt that declared “Chicks dig scars!”  We all laughed at his parent’s sense of humor. However, knowing that boys story to see him thriving in this way was amazing.  He arrived at our hospital months into his hospitalization for extreme prematurity barely hanging on.  He stayed with us for many more months.  That he is running, talking, playing is amazing.

One family, walked the grounds wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the image of their baby who was in our unit, but didn’t survive.  That they would still come to thank us for the time they had with her speaks volume to what happens in our unit.  Speaks volumes to some of the amazing people whose children we’ve been honored to care for.

Other families, came up to me showing off their children.  Many still bore the signs of their rough beginnings; however, several I had to ask which of their beautiful children spent time with us.  The entire day was an overwhelming blur of emotions.  Working in this field can be exhausting and trying and takes an emotional toll.  However, seeing these children play and the gratitude in their parent’s eyes, is all the thanks I need!

I left the reunion so proud to be a part of this amazing group to get to play an integral role in some of these families lives.  I’m humbled and proud!