Commenting on this scripture, President Hinckley said, “It seems to me that [the Savior] is saying to each of us that unless we lose ourselves in the service of others our lives are largely lived to no real purpose…He who lives and dies, while he who forgets himself in the service of others grows and blossoms in this life and in eternity” (BYU Speeches of the Year, 1977, p. 43).
When you hear the word nurse what do you think?…service? Anyone can render service at any moment of their life. I get to serve people for a living. It’s not so much of a job for me…more of a blessing. Through my two years of being a L and D nurse I have had heartache and joy. But the service I rendered on those first few shifts back exceeds all heartache and joy. It is now 1:24 AM and I am sitting on our couch trying to compose myself long enough to write this post. I can’t sleep… every time I try to fall asleep all I think about is that precious little boy that I held in my arms last night at work. My thoughts seem to be scrambled…all over the place. I have now had two 12 hour Labor and Delivery shifts since having Reagan and both touched my heart. The first shift was slow…a few out-patients and only one delivery which took place in the same room I had Reagan. As I assessed the beautiful baby girl under the warmer with a smile on my face I couldn’t help but get teary eyed just thinking and remembering how wonderful my job is. The fact that I get to be apart of something so sacred and special every time I walk through those hospital doors is such a blessing in itself. After cleaning, assessing, weighing and dressing the beautiful baby girl I handed her to mom. Her smile was wide with exhaustion and humility as she looked into the eyes of her new special gift. Later that night I went back into the room and, with the dad, bathed the babe and put a bow in her hair. The scenes of that night came straight out of a movie. There wasn’t a person in that room who wasn’t smiling and laughing. After that bath I walked out of the room with a smile on my face and thought, “It is great to be back!” I went home that morning, gave my handsome husband a long kiss goodbye, laid Reagan down by me in bed, kissed her forehead…then her checks and fell asleep thinking that the first night back was a successful one!
After a few hours of sleeping, feeding Reagan and sleeping again I got up and prepared myself for another night at work. With a few kisses goodbye from the two joys of my life I headed off to work again. It wasn’t too busy again that night. Just enough to keep us working and get me back into the groove of things. But at 2210 my night…my life changed forever!
Working L and D you never know what you are going to get thrown at you shift after shift! Is it the low-risk delivery? The mag patient? The abruption? Twins? STAT c-section? No one knows what will hit them when they swipe their badge and dedicate 12 hours of their life to being that Labor and Delivery nurse. The nurse that has the absolute blessing of being there when Heavenly Fathers children come into this world. To say the veil is very thin would be an understatement.
While being gone for three months I pushed the negative part of being a L and D nurse far into the back of my memory and forgot to pull those memories back out once I started work again. The smile was quickly wiped off my face my second shift back. We weren’t prepared for what hit us next. How could we have been? I mean yeah we knew what to do…the text book answer…my hands did the actions that my brain told them to do but emotionally I wasn’t prepared. This delivery was in the same room as the one the night before. The same room I had…the same bed…the same warmer. It all happened so fast. She wasn’t in her gown yet…scrambling to find an IV site…set up for delivery…turn on the monitor to listen for fetal heart tones. No time for anything. This delivery was different then the delivery the night before in every way but one! The veil was thinner than ever. I had the Savior with me in that room as I quickly scooped up the little babe and rushed him to the warmer. I quickly took action and did everything I could with the other team members by my side. With my hands trembling I searched back into my memory and grabbed those bad moments to remember everything we needed to do for this precious child of God. All I could do was pray while I was trying to save a life. Me and 8 other people playing God trying to do everything possible for this babe. I’ve had to do codes on babies before but nothing like this. I keep replaying that night in my head over and over again hoping maybe I will find something that helps me find peace with the situation. NICU took over and I knew there was no hope. At this point I knew I had to be strong. I couldn’t be weak. The Savior was strengthening me throughout the rest of my shift so that I could be there for the mother. I couldn’t be alone and every time I placed my fingers on the keyboard to do some charting I found tears running down my cheeks. 0600 finally came and it was time to say goodbye. I tried to compose myself…I failed. I embraced her and we both cried together. I could barely see the road as I sped home. I didn’t notice the bone chilling temperature outside. All I could think about was Reagan! I needed her. I had to hold her. I ran into her room, scooped her up the same way I scooped him up. I couldn’t stop…I couldn’t let her go. Tears streamed down my face as I thought about the last 8 hours of my life. I didn’t sleep good that day. I will never forget that day. I am blessed that I got to hold him in my arms and try to be an instrument in Gods hands. He taught me a lot that night! I will never forget his handsome face. I love that little man! He was a fighter!
Service isn’t always the easiest thing for us to do. Especially when it takes us out of our comfort zones and forces us to grow.
I was reading the Sullengers blog the other day and came upon these quotes! Thank you Ashley for helping me as I struggle with this!
The Savior said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:24)
I could easily wish that night had never happened. But wishing will not make time rewind itself. I will take that experience and learn from it and grow. I will continue to grow and blossom while I serve others and become an instrument of God. I am grateful for my trails in life. I am grateful the Lord allows us to have experiences that help us grow. I will forever pray for that mother and every other mother that has children, wants children or has lost children. I will be a service to others throughout my life.
I am a nurse
I am strong
I look to Christ
I have faith
I strengthen others
I lean on others
I am service
I am a nurse