Wednesday, March 28, 2012

what a privilege.


before reading, watch the video above to get yourself in a baby loving mode. try not to cry. but i always do. pampers believes every baby is a little miracle to celebrate, support, and protect. sounds suspiciously pretty baby friendly and might i even add pro-life to me!

my five weeks of women's health clinicals flew by. i had two days in labor and delivery, two days in postpartum, and just one nursery clinical. in those five weeks, i heard heartbeats and felt some mama's contractions. i found out what two centimeters and then what ten centimeters looks and feels like. i've seen seven c-sections, two births the good old-fashioned way, and three circumcisions. i've had a husband videotape me as i catheterized his wife, can you say first-time parent? i've fed two babies their first bottles, i've changed too many first dirty diapers to count, and i've swaddled to my hearts content. i did all this and more but i still never got to have a NICU clinical experience.

confession time: when i started this whole nursing school thing, i kinda had my heart set on being a NICU nurse. holding, feeding, and loving babies - check, check, and check. turns out the nurses in the NICU do a lot more than that. you see, my brand spankin new niece was in the NICU for the past two weeks up in pittsburgh in the largest NICU in the state. and due to the unexpected crossing of my pre-planned spring break trip and an emergency c-section, i got to hang out with her all last week. 

when i watched parents seeing their newborn for the first time, i saw this look - the locking of eyes, the tears filling up in the sides of their eyes, the smile that slowly spreads across their face - and then it clicked - that look, seen of the face of that new parent filled with so much love for their baby - is the same look that i constantly see on the faces of people at adoration.  for the parents - the baby they've carried and the baby they've dreamed about, is right there in front of them. they get to hold and care for them for the rest of their lives here on earth. and in adoration - the Lord we've read about, the King we've heard about, the Man we've dream about, the Savior we've prayed to, the One we've longed for and who loves us more than anything is right there, in front of us. and in that instant, in those glances, and in that connection, one of the biggest moments of understanding and appreciation in our lives is revealed - God gave us the gift of new life so we could better understand the depth, power, and vulnerability of His love for each of us. 

the NICU is sacred place. i know this is a stretch but in a way the NICU reminds me of my favorite church. it's quiet, it's beautiful, and we (or parents) go to gaze, to catch a glimpse, of the One we love the most. whenever i hold a newborn baby, i can't help but to think of Mary. how much love must have poured out of her soul when she saw her newborn son, Jesus, for the first time. when she looked down upon the Son of God, Our Savior, did she know that thirty-three years later he would give up his own life to save his people from their sins? when we spend time with Him in adoration may we too look upon Him with the same love as Mary, His most holy mother, does.

"You can call happy those who saw Him... But, come to the altar and you will see Him, you will touch Him, you will give to Him holy kisses, you will wash Him with your tears, you will carry Him within you like Mary Most Holy."

- Saint John Chrysostom

5 friskies:

Natasha said...

Beautiful reflection. And adorable picture comparisons!

Tess said...

Allie, this is THE most beautiful post... and I'm beyond jealous that you got to observe those births and help bring those babies into the world! I've actually been thinking a lot lately about possibly training to be a doula or even a nurse-midwife because I find childbirth to be so fascinating (not to mention how much I love babies!). I would love to hear more about your experience at the births and with the newborns. :)

Tess said...

p.s. I watched that video and it made me tear up. Also re-read the part of the post about what you got to do in your women's health clinicals... wow. I want your life!

Kaelyn King said...

I'm so glad you got to see so much during your Women's Health clinical! Births are amazing things & I'm so glad you got to witness the miracle! Being video-taped while catheterizing someone? Now that is a little too intense for me! lol

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful reflection.