Monday, October 21, 2013

October, 2011 Down Syndrome Awareness Month... Day 23

a poem...

There once was a nurse named Kathie.
She went above and beyond to make me happy.
She loved Josh from the start,
became precious to my heart...
and when I talk about her I get all sappy!!

LOL! I think I'll stick to my day job, huh?

On the morning Josh was born,
a nurse named Kathie was called in to work. Why her? Why that day? Only God knows, but I sure am thankful.

Kathie went above and beyond her 'call of duty' as a nurse. She became a close friend, a comforter, a helper. She took care of us as individuals and took care of us as a family.

Compassionate but straightforward... I think those describe her best. Generous, thoughtful, gentle and nurturing fit the bill too however.

In the beginning, Kathie lined up other moms to visit me... those who had been in my shoes. She taught me how to tube feed and nurse and bottle feed and stop feeding when the stress level got too high. She called me on her days off. She encouraged me to sleep and made me eat. She helped explain things to my visitors. She listened to my concerns and then became my voice to the doctors. She visited us in Boston, bringing smiles and encouragement with her (and food!). She calculated... I don't know many times... how many calories he needed to make him strong. She explained... I don't know how many times... what his heart was doing wrong and why his oxygen levels were low.

It didn't stop when we left the hospital either. She called me every morning for a very long time. I knew, when the phone rang before 7 a.m., that Kathie was on her way to work and calling to check on me. I looked forward to the phone ringing each morning... I counted on it, I needed it.

I vividly remember the day I worried aloud... "what if he has crooked teeth and coke bottle glasses?" (okay... I never said I wasn't vain... hugely vain obviously).

Her response? "So what... you'll love him anyway."  She was right.

Thank you Kathie, for all you do and for who you are. You have never sugar coated anything with me... I appreciate that so much. Instead, you armed me with what I needed to face this head on. Thank you for always telling me the truth and always being proud of me.

Today's picture brings back so many memories. We were discharged home this day. I was exhausted... and very sick (and ended up giving Josh RSV and another hospital admission within 4 days). I was also nervous to be leaving the comfort of the hospital... worried, overwhelmed, scared. I remember Kathie telling me that she had confidence in me... then she kicked us out. :)

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