When NICU Isn’t Fair

The author of the 23 Week Socks blog is a neonatal nurse. You may remember I shared her ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ post a few months ago, which was a beautiful account of the death of a baby in her unit.

This post is an equally beautiful, and sensitively written account of a caring for a baby girl at the end of her short life. No one knows why the baby was poorly, or why she died.

As the author says, NICU often is not fair. Sharing these stories is so very important, because every baby is valued. Regular readers of my blog may be aware of my frustration that only NICU success stories get promoted. By talking about these babies, we honour their memory – the memory of my Hugo, and every other baby who didn’t go home.

By talking about these babies, we also honour the passion, compassion and commitment of all the nurses and doctors who care for these tiny patients. And care they do, deeply. Thank you to them all.

Working as a neonatal nurse means that my colleagues and I can’t escape from the stark reality that some babies are born sick and, despite our best efforts to save them some of them tragically die.

In order to carry on working in the job that we do without burning out or making ourselves completely miserable we have to accept that sometimes there is nothing we can do to save  a baby. As heartbreaking as it is to admit it, it’s a horrible fact of life and there’s no escaping from it, much as we wish it wasn’t true.

When we lose a baby we allow ourselves to grieve and we acknowledge that our grief does not make us weak but shows that we’re not made of stone. We all know that the day that we no longer grieve is the day that we no longer truly care.

So we…

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