To the consultants, doctors, nurses and everyone else at the Queen’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,
On Friday 14th August 2015, you went to work. You got up, put on your scrubs and made the journey to the hospital. You stepped off the escalator, walked through the three security doors that lead to the NICU, washed your hands and hit the ground running, same as you do every day. Thank you for doing that.
I thank you because although that day was just another day for you, it was the most difficult day I have ever faced. That day, my precious baby girls came into my world, seven weeks too soon. Before I could meet them and tell them how much I love them, they were taken away. As I lay on a cold, metal table being stitched back together, two pieces of my heart were being wheeled into your place of work and hooked up to monitors. They were fighting, and you were ready to help them. You prepared their incubators with warm blankets. You set up their bili lights. You put them on CPAP so they could breathe without struggling. You made sure they were as comfortable as they could be for their first hours of life. Thank you.
You had a plan for their care. You asked us for our input. You challenged them when they needed it. You let them rest when it got too much. You believed in them, and you believed in me. Thank you.
You spoke to me clearly. You explained every step of our journey and you asked what I wanted. You never laughed at my constant questions. On the days when I broke down and sobbed because I couldn’t bear the pain anymore (and there were so many), you held me and reassured me. When our girls took another step towards coming home, you celebrated with us. You took our desperate calls at 3am. You were our advocate with the consultants. You held my hand. Thank you.
You taught me how to express my breastmilk. You showed me how I could still be a loving mother to my daughters even through the cold plastic barrier of the incubator. You reminded me to eat and take care of myself. You protected and soothed my babies when I couldn’t be there to do it myself. Thank you.
You saved their lives. Thank you.
So as I sit here on World Prematurity Day, watching those innocent little fighters giggle and wriggle on their playmat, I want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for saving my babies. I could never thank you enough for just going to work that day. For fighting our corner. We will always be in your debt.