In honor of Nurses Day – She walked with me: Meghan’s ThankList

Today’s ThankList story comes from a member of our social media team who has been very touched by all of the personal stories our fans have shared since we launched the #ThankList movement. She shares this intensely personal story in honor of Nurses Day (May 6) and Nurses Week (May 6-12).

Meghan's ThankList

When I was 29, I had the pleasure of joyfully announcing to my husband (and a little while later, my family) that we were expecting our first child—a baby we had planned for, hoped for and very much wanted. But a little over halfway through my pregnancy, we received a blow we never expected: our beloved child was not going to make it.

To any mothers out there, I don’t think I need to describe to you just how crushed we were. More than five years later, sometimes words still escape me to describe the deep level of heartbreak we experienced during that time.

Our friends and family came to our sides and showed strength and love in our time of need. But each time I’ve thought about my  ThankList, after I mentally run through all of the friends and family who have been there for me over the years, two additional women come to my mind—the two nurses that cared for my sad little family when we had to say goodbye to our beloved daughter.

How do you say thank you to the people who held your hand through something like that? Who guided you through a devastating process of laboring and delivering a baby that was not coming home? Who placed your peaceful baby into your arms, took the only family photos you will ever have and then witnessed your final goodbyes?

The truth? I’m not sure I did say thank you. At least, not adequately. And it’s bothered me for more than 5 years.

I’m sure there were mumbled words. I remember carefully selecting and then trying to write an eloquent thank you note. But if I’m really being honest, I’m not sure I even sent it. I was so traumatized; I cannot remember actually being able to figure out how to apply a stamp and mail it.

However, a few months ago (in what I can only describe as a serendipitous twist of fate) my ThankList moment came.

You see, in the years that passed, I have become dedicated to improving women’s birth experiences and walking with them when they need support. And one such day, I received a phone call from a high school friend who was being induced with a healthy baby boy, but was still apprehensive about how things were going. I offered to come to her side and she accepted.

After talking through her previous experiences with a traumatic miscarriage, how she was feeling about how the induction was going, etc… her nurse entered. We chatted about induction options and how my friend was feeling. And then suddenly I felt compelled to ask her nurse if she knew the two nurses who had cared for me years ago.

{It turns out, she was one of them—standing there right in front of me! The beautiful, generous, kind soul who walked with me in the darkness. Who gently handed me my baby and told me that I had a beautiful daughter. One of the only people in the world who ever got to experience my sweet baby girl and see me—truly see me—as her mother.}

Five years passing allowed me to have the wherewithal to understand what she gave me—the gift of feeling validated as a mother. I can’t imagine the toll it must’ve taken on her to give so much and then turn around and care for other patients. To go home that night, having seen what my family had been through. I hopped right out of my chair, embraced her, and finally had my moment to thank her for what she did for my family.

{I told her that what she did mattered. That the actions she took that day allowed me to have peace with my experience. The peace to not only go on with life, but to help other mothers—and to be comfortable enough with my story to share it with the world.}

There is still one nurse on my list who deserves to hear the words, “thank you” from me—and I’m more determined than ever to make that happen.

ThankList

Meghan today with her two happy, healthy daughters!

Thank you Chantel and the staff of Akron General Medical Center. Your work matters!

I share this story in honor of all of the mothers who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss and the kind people who walk with them in their time of need. Please remember to say thank you to the nurses who have made a difference in your life—even if it takes years to find the words.

-Meghan

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