Michael and Jenny
My young friends, Michael and Jenny, were always a few minutes early to prenatal class and would linger afterwards to chat. During class they exhibited all the signs of expectant parents awaiting the arrival of their first child. They were excited, enthusiastic, like sponges soaking up all the available information. Their world was perfect, and their exuberance was contagious for the other class members — and certainly for me. We all shared a great six weeks together.
One morning, five weeks later, as I stepped from the elevator at 7:00 am and headed for my office there was a man standing against the door. As he turned to face me, I saw that it was Michael. His eyes were red, and tears were streaming down his face. He literally fell into my arms sobbing over and over, “Mary, come helps us — we need you — our baby is dead.”
After comforting Michael as much as possible, we joined Jenny who was in a state of shock and total disbelief. My young friends’ perfect world had suddenly crumbled when their son, Jonathan, 8 lbs. 2 ozs., was delivered stillborn. He had died just hours prior to delivery.
Michael and Jenny were devastated by the loss of their much desired son. I had spent a lot of my time with them for the five days they remained at Riverside. We arranged a service in the hospital chapel for little Jonathan. Since their parents lived in California they had even more need for a strong support system of friends. On the fifth day, they asked me to accompany them home, stating that having a friend with them as they faced the empty nursery for the first time might be easier.
We remained close for the next eight months until they moved back to California. I cannot say this was a good experience, but I can say it was one of sharing, caring, touching and loving each other.
Later, Michael and Jenny phoned to tell me of little Jessica’s birth. They described her as the most beautiful baby in the world! She weighted 7 lbs. 8 ozs. and was very healthy. What a joy it was to share their good news!
In my nursing practice of twenty-five years, I know that I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with families. As the Coordinator of the Maternal Child Health Program for Riverside Hospital, I had the privilege each day to share the joys and sorrows with our families. I feel that in nursing, that it is in the giving of ourselves that we receive our greatest blessings.
Mary M. Thompson, RN
Maternal Child Health Program, Riverside Regional Medical Center