real life

"He may be just another baby, and I may be just another mum. But to us, you are so much more."

By: Lexi Behrndt for Scribbles and Crumbs

He may be just another baby, and I may be just another mum.

But to us, you are so much more.

You are the one that sat with me the night he was born, wheeling me into the nursery to sit near him while a team worked to stabilise his oxygen levels, gently laying your hand on my shoulder as I sat sobbing and exasperated while I thought I was losing my newborn baby, and compassionately hoping and praying alongside me as we fought for his life.

"You are the one that operated on him even when the chances were slim, and anyone else may not have given him a chance." Image via iStock.

You are the one that operated on him even when the chances were slim, and anyone else may not have given him a chance.

You are the one that sat me down and told me that my son would not live. You did it with compassion and bravery, and it was awful and terrible, and I hated you for it, but I know now that it was an act of humility and kindness.

You are the one that labored over him day and night, watching monitors as his saturations and pressures would drop, pushing his meds, calling the doctor, tweaking his vent, bagging him, giving him treatments, and giving him your very best to give him one more day or hour or minute.

You are the one that answered my endless questions with diagrams and print-outs, drawings on a whiteboard and long words that were like a foreign language to me. You tolerated and had patience with my run-ins with google and my paranoid questions and concerns.

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You are the one that rounded every morning, going through the normal routine, and then breaking it for just a minute to get a sweet little smile from him.

You are the one that answered my endless questions with diagrams and print-outs, drawings on a whiteboard and long words that were like a foreign language to me. Image via iStock.

You are the one that taught me how to care for him, with great patience and detail. You gave me little jobs that allowed me to take part in his care and feel more like his mum and less like a helpless bystander.

You are the one who talked to me like I was a human, not just a patient’s mum who was trapped in a hospital for nearly seven months. You gave me a chance to have a normal conversation.

You are the one who went the extra mile, Googling and researching his various infections in your free time and calling in on your days off to check on him.

You are the one who took him on, not knowing entirely what you were getting yourself into, and yet you loyally and lovingly and skillfully walked beside him, every step of the way, even if it meant getting your heart involved.

You are the one that, without fail, checked in on him at the beginning of every shift you worked and again anytime you had a break.

You are the one who learned him. You memorised the dosing on all of his emergency sedation PRNs and could recognise when you needed to draw up a round, how much, and when you needed to slam him with them.

letter to a doctor
"You are the one that, without fail, checked in on him at the beginning of every shift you worked and again any time you had a break." Image via iStock.
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You are the one who trusted me enough to take me seriously when I had a bad feeling or when I thought he didn’t look well. You allowed me to be a mum that knew her baby.

You are the one that made the tough decisions when I couldn’t make them myself. You are the one that I trusted in the difficult moments and the one whose counsel I sought.

You are the one who believed in him even when no one else did and fought to give him a chance countless times.

You are the one who dropped everything and came when it was “time” and sat and laughed and cried and held his hand and kissed him goodbye.

You are the one who sobbed while you placed him in my arms for the last time, while his little heart was giving out and his tired lungs breathed their last broken breaths.

You are the one who, with tears running down your face, knelt down beside me, took your stethoscope to his chest, and whispered the time to pronounce his death.

You are the one who came to say goodbye to him. You rubbed his head, kissed him, held him, and sang to him. You gave him dignity and respect, and you loved him even after he passed.

You are the one who came to his funeral, packed it out, and remembered the sweet life and legacy of a little six and a half month old. You let yourself cry and feel, even if it meant that going back to work would be harder. You braved the pain, and you loved him by doing that.

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open letter to a medical team
"You braved the pain, and you loved him by doing that." Image via iStock.

He may be just another baby, and I may be just another mum.

To us, you are so much more.

To us, you are the brave ones. You are the strong ones. You are the ones who choose to work in a place where you witness death on a daily basis. You go where others will not or cannot go, and the best go there with love and compassion. 

What you do matters in more ways than just the physical act of working to save a life. What you do matters so much more than that. You are saving and literally changing lives, and for the ones you can’t you are given the opportunity to enter into the most intimate moments of loss and grief and agony.

Anyone can be smart. Anyone can be skilled. Anyone can be good, but the best become the best by putting their heart on the line and letting little ones take a piece of it with them when they go. The best are the best because of little faces and little stories that are forever etched in their memory as a reminder of why they do what they do and why they return to work, even on the hard days. 

He had the best. You are the best.

He may be just another baby, and I may be just another mum.

But to us, you will always be so much more.

This article originally appeared on Scribbles and Crumbs.

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