May
11
2011

Nurse Appreciation Week 2011 Giveaway! **CLOSED**

**Thank goodness for a random winner generator on my blog as there is no way I could have picked winners!!  Thank you to all that entered, there are apparently some AMAZING NICU Nurses out there, and thank you to each of you wonderful nurses!!  The following three have won a shirt for thier FAV NICU Nurses (winners email me at sales@itsapreemiething.com):

1) Julia S

2) Samantha Bachand

3) Heather Shields

For those that didn’t win, for the next 24 hours you can get $4 off a NICU Staff shirt at http://www.itsapreemiething.com/store.  You can go to Adult Shirts, then NICU STAFF and enter in LOVE A NURSE at checkout.  You can use print to order, but only on the following sayings:  “Little Things Matter in the NICU”, “I work with small miracles daily”, “NICU Nurses hold the future in the palms of their hands.”  I have most sizes/colors in stock size S-XL for print to order.  If you need XXL or more it will be a pre-order!

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So I’m getting a little bit of a late start since it’s WED evening, but can’t let this week go by without having a giveaway for the Nurses that have meant so much to many of us!   While I can’t say they were all perfect, what I can say is that I realized today how many of the nurses I’ve remained friends with, and others that still make me smile if I see them while we’re at the hospital.

Both my mother and father passed away in 2005, and my mother and I were extremely close, so when Spencer arrived early it hit harder because I wasn’t able to ask my mom questions about me as a baby, or to have her to vent to.  What I didn’t know is that one of the first NICU nurses I met, Mary, would come to be that “mom” for me in the NICU.  Strangely enough, my mother’s name was Mary as well.  Mary taught me many things over my 64 days in the NICU, and took pictures of me giving Spencer his first bath, and calmly reassured me that yes, he floated, his bones weighed that of a bird, why wouldn’t he float…  She was my voice of reason, my comfort and I looked forward to days she was on duty.

Although I came to love many of the other nurses, I had a connection to Mary that still lives on, and she’s been over to see Spencer and I several times, and we’ve been to her house as well.  Without my own “Mother Mary” I was blessed to have “Mother Mary Part Deux.”

So I think it’s only fitting that we have a giveaway for your favorite nurse, or PLEASE NICU NURSES, register for yourselves!!

THREE lucky winners will be drawn for a shirt of their (or their nurses) choice (it was one, but the posts are so good I thought 3 would be better).  Winner will be chosen by a random winner app from Word Press.  Contest will be open until 9pm PST on Sunday, 15 May 2011.  Winner will be announced Monday, 16 May 2011 on our FB page and posted here!

To enter:

1.  Must be a fan of It’s a Preemie Thing http://www.facebook.com/itsapreemiething

2.  If you’re a NICU Nurse, just tell me how long you’ve been doing it, what you love most about the job, and where you work.

3.  If you’re nominating a Nurse, tell me what you loved most about him/her and what hospital they work at.

For extra entries:

4.  Tweet the following:  #NICU Nurse shirt #giveaway from @apreemiething.  Enter at http://tinyurl.com/44lexk7
and leave a separate comment telling me what your twitter name and that you tweeted. (Can tweet daily for 1 entry a day)

5.  Share on your FB page about the giveaway and leave a separate comment that you’ve done so!

My primary Mary at our house getting some more Spencer time!

75 Comments + Add Comment

  • I’m a fan on facebook and I’m nominating a nurse. One of our primary nurses was Margo (I’m so sorry, I can’t remember her last name but I could find out!!!) at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.I don’t even know if I can begin to describe how much we loved and adored her. She loved our Ella so very much…she would even text her nurse friends on her days off to make sure Ella was doing okay when she was really sick even though the nurses weren’t supposed to do that. She was always there for me when I needed to cry or vent. We had so much in common and we enjoyed talking about books as well. She was so knowledgeable and supportive of my trying to breastfeed Ella and she always backed me up when I disagreed with the doctors. Margo was everything you would want in a NICU nurse and more. We were so blessed to have her as our nurse and I will always love and have a very very special place for her in my heart.

  • I’m a fan on facebook and I’m nominating a nurse. One of our primary nurses was Margo (I’m so sorry, I can’t remember her last name but I could find out!!!) at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.I don’t even know if I can begin to describe how much we loved and adored her. She loved our Ella so very much…she would even text her nurse friends on her days off to make sure Ella was doing okay when she was really sick even though the nurses weren’t supposed to do that. She was always there for me when I needed to cry or vent. We had so much in common and we enjoyed talking about books as well. She was so knowledgeable and supportive of my trying to breastfeed Ella and she always backed me up when I disagreed with the doctors. Margo was everything you would want in a NICU nurse and more. We were so blessed to have her as our nurse and I will always love and have a very very special place for her in my heart.

    I am a fan on facebook and I shared this on my facebook!! Margo REALLY REALLY DESERVES TO WIN!!

  • Hello,
    I am a fan on facebook!
    I would like to nominate a NICU nurse very special and dear to my heart. Her name is Jani Otoshi. She works at Oakland Children’s Hospital NICU in California. My son, Owen, was born at 25 weeks and spent a long 8 months in the NICU. Janie was one of his primary nurses. She was with him each day that she worked in those 8 months he was there. She isn’t just a nurse to me, she is my second mother, my friend, my strength, and close family member. To this day, she is there whenever I need her.
    Janie is very special to me and my family. While in the NICU, she took the time to comfort us, to support us, to fight for our baby, and to inform us whenever we were confused. She took the time to know everything about Owen. When she couldn’t figure something out, she would ask for help so that she knew he was getting the best care possible. When she didn’t agree with a doctor, she spoke up. She wanted to make sure she understood the doctor and that the doctor understood Owen. If we didn’t understand something, she would find every way imaginable to help us understand. In many instances she would stay with us on her day off or after work to make sure Owen was ok and we were ok.
    Owen is in and out of the hospital a lot, even now, and she is there visiting him, playing with him, and asking doctors what the problem is.
    She cares about her patients, she cares about her job. In many ways, I believe she is the reason Owen has come so far. She is our life savor and we are so blessed to know her.

    Thank you so much for this opportunity to honor her and what she does.

  • shared the link! 🙂

  • I’d like to nominate the most amazing nurse on the planet: Shellie Everhart of Plano Presby in Plano, Texas. My daughter was born 6 weeks early and her first 5 days were spent 2 hrs away from me in a separate hospital. Shellie was the kind hand who helped my mother learn the ropes those first few days before I was released from the hospital to join her. Shellie was also the strong hand when I was frustrated and felt like I wasn’t doing the right thing. I’ll always be grateful to her for the cattleprod she gave me when she said “You’re not going to like it at first but you’re going to get the hang of it and you’ve just got to do it (regarding burping – Melynna was a tough little burper)”. She was also the kind support who reminded me to take it easy when I pushed myself too hard. I was healing from HELLPS with serious liver damage (not counting the emergency c-section) and she watched me closely to make sure I wasn’t overdoing my own body. She made me laugh, taught me to care and nurture, gave me confidence and most importantly than everything she did for me: She saved my baby girl. She’s on my facebook not as a courtesy add but as a true friend and hero.

  • I love that you are doing this!! I want to nominate a nurse and I am a fan on facebook. It’s so hard to pick one nurse since the 105 days spent in the NICU were spent with the same couple of nurses. The NICU is small. (I’m ok with that ) When I think about My daughter’s favorite though It was Janelle. We called her mama Janelle. 🙂 She was a part of so many first in the NICU. She was so patient with me as I tried (for like 5 minutes) to change Maddie’s diaper for the first time. .She always reassured us when things were looking dark.. The last evening before my daughter came home we asked to visit for awhile in the room with us. She asked US if she could hold Maddie. I was shocked. She said — I’m sitting here as a friend right now not a nurse. — Then she rocked Maddie and told her how special her parents were. I could tell you so many things. I know she is special to so many people. I know she is an angel. As a matter of fact I think I will call her tomorrow 🙂

  • I am would like to nominate Nurse Diane Hayes of Advocate Chirst Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL. Although we had many wonderful nurses during our NICU stay, Diane will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Diane is an exceptionally knowledeable nurse, she is the nurse they always seem to assign the babies who need the most care. What makes her even more special is the way she lovingly handles and sweetly talks to each baby. She is ALWAYS working, going to school, and is the mother to 3 exceptional young men, two of which serve our country!!! The first time I saw Diane take care of my daughter, was the first time I left the hospital confident that she was in good hands, it was also my first night of good sleep since she was born. Diane not only took care of my daughter, but also of my husband and I. My daughter was born @ 26 weeks while we were living in IL, over 900 miles from my family in Louisana, although my parents visited as much as they could, they were still those days when I needed my mom. Diane stepped in and became my “IL mom”, she was always there when I needed a hug, a laugh, a push or just someone to talk to. Sometimes I would try to fool her into thinking that I was fine, but just like my own mother, there was no fooling her 🙂 After leaving the NICU, I called her countless times for advice and she even offered to babysit for us. We have moved back to Louisiana but have kept in touch with Diane and can’t wait to see her again. Diane will ALWAYS mean the world to us, neither Abby, myself nor my husband would have made it without her.

  • I would like to nominate Stacy at Pomona Valley Hospital. She was Ethan’s primary nurse during the day shift. She also did charge and transport, so she was very busy and sometimes wouldn’t be able to take care of Ethan during her shift, but even on the days she wasn’t doing patient care, she would check on Ethan often during the day or hold him and give him love whenever she could. We always felt good knowing Stacy was there to watch over our little guy when we couldn’t be there.

  • I tweeted, and my name on twitter is uniquename0101.

  • I shared the giveaway on my facebook page.

  • I am a fan on facebook and I would love it if my son’s primary nurse Barb could win. She was always so helpful and a great friend to me as we went through our nicu journey. She got me in touch with other preemie moms that had successfully graduated from the nicu and made sure to explain things in great detail for me. Anything she could do to help us out she was happy to do. I still keep in contact with her through e-mail and visits to the nicu. She loves to see my little boy grow up.

  • I have also shared the link on facebook.

  • I’m a nurse, but not a NICU nurse! But, after our two month stay, I do consider myself one now. Anyway, I’m not nominating myself, but our favorite nurse Karrie. I can’t tell you how awesome she was. She is a great patient advocate and always does what is best for those babies! She has a wonderful personality and always made us smile. She was great with my three year old as she has three small children of her own. She is a dedicated employee and came in extra during times of high census. Karrie even stayed overnight at the hosptial during a winter storm while Jack was still admitted. While we were in the hospital, I think Karrie could soothe Jack better than I! There were a few bad nights when he was NPO when there was nothing I could do to calm him, but she had the touch. Karrie is an awesome nurse and I would love for her to win this.

  • So many wonderful comments above of deserving nurses! It is too bad there is not more than 1 winner!

    I would love to nominate Lori from Overland Park Regional. We had Lori several times and she was always so friendly and took time to talk with me and as a fellow preemie Mama is “got it.” I was extremely emotional the first few weeks Faith was in the hospital and she was just so kind and encouraging.

    One day when they were pushing Faith with increasing her feeds, moving her crib down flat, and moving her to her back, Faith was having a lot of trouble with keeping her sats and I knew it was because they were pushing her too much. A Mama knows! The doctors didn’t seem to really “get my diagnosis” but Lori did and all that day she lessened the changes for Faith and sure enough Faith had a great day.

    It is nurses like Lori that really listen to families that make a big difference.

  • Just shared on Facebook!

  • Tweeted @Faith5410

  • So many nurses to nominate, so little time. The entire staff at Alta Bates in Berkeley, Ca are wonderful. Each and every one of them made my 95 day stay a little easier. If I has to pick one, it would be our Primary Primary- Laura Rutherford. I can’t imagine how I would have survived the NICU without Laura. She made me smile every day. She made me feel safe. She made me feel informed. Most of all, inknew that when I left Sam with her, he was not just surrounded by a great medical team, but he was surrounded by love. Laura is now a member of our family and will be in Sam’s life forever. She is a warm and funny woman who deserves every honor I can give her.

    (and yes- I am a fan on FB)

  • Im a fb fan and im nominating a nurse! Elisabeth works at medical center of McKinney and she is truly an angel! She was the first one to let us hold our little girl, give her a bath, do kangaroo time, when all the other nurses would just stand there and tell us DONT TOUCH HER! she helped us out so much and you could tell she truely LOVED her job and our little girl too! She is now stellas godmother and we are thankful for elisabeth everyday!

  • I am a fan on facebook. A preemie mom of a 29 weeker (now 17 months old) and am a new NICU nurse!

  • I loved all my nurses at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital in Richmond VA but Quinton is our favorite nurse for Samantha and me. Quinton is the only male NICU nurse in the hospital, works nights and weekend. He was the first to make sure that I had photos of Samantha when I was unable to come down to see her, he gave Samantha her first bath and taught myself and my parents how to give her a bath, he checked on me and Samantha all the time, he followed up with her when she graduated to the NICU2 nursery and even till these day she recognizes his voice. We visited on Valentine’s Day at night to show our appreciation to the nurses and left goodies for them and the families. The night nurses and the weekend shift never get visits and thank you gift so we made sure they did this past Valentine’s Day.
    I had severe eclampsie and was in the hospital 2 weeks while Samantha was in for 6 weeks. She was 10 weeks early. The whole experience was scary and overwhelming but I was unable to walk or be by my little girl for the first 36 hours and Quinton made sure that I had photos. Everything he did made me feel better about the situation. I would love to him to get a thank you gift for the extra things he does. Also, Samantha was the first little girl baby to pee on him, the story is so funny. He and I are friends on face book so he can keep up to date on how she is doing.
    Thank you for considering him,
    Trish

  • I am a Registered Neonatal Nurse that graduated back in 1996. As silly as it sounds, I actually went to school to be not just a nurse, but a NICU nurse. My decision was made the day my niece was born 21 years ago. I was 15, and I had to walk to the hospital from high school to meet her. As I ventured my way, I pictured what the baby was going to look like, if it was a girl or a boy, if (s)he had hair…I was so excited and couldn’t wait to be an aunt. As I made my way down the long halls of the maternity ward towards the nursery, I peeked into the window of the special care nursery and saw a little tiny baby snuggled in his incubator and was drawn to him. I stood there are stared at him, and in awe of his existence. I saw a nurse working her way around the nursery to all the babies and imagined myself in her position and it clicked. I wanted to be her, a NICU nurse. I wanted to make a difference to this little child, so vulnerable, so defenseless. I actually went back to school and changed my electives and career path for the next semester and the rest is history.
    I have been nursing now for 15. I didn’t start out in the NICU but had to work my way through medical, surgical, rehab and nursery to finally get my heart and feet where they belong. 11 of those years have been with babies, special care and then level 3 NICU. I love it and can’t imagine doing anything else. On my days off work I have been working on articles and a website to help parents or premature babies or those with babies in the NICU get the information they may need in easier to understand form. All too often the information given in the NICU is full of medical terms that are so hard to understand, so I am trying to make it easier for parents, and empower them with knowledge.
    Thank you Julie for this giveaway, and for giving back to the preemie community! They are so lucky to have you as a leader for knowledge, support, and change! You make a difference and are greatly appreciated!

  • I am a fan on FB, and I am nominating one of our amazing NICU nurses, Lisa D. (I have her full name, but I don’t want to post for Privacy reasons) from Abington Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania. In addition to celebrating Nurses week, she is also celebrating her 30th birthday this week, so winning would be am extra treat for her! We had MANY amazing nurses, but Lisa was the first our son ever smiled at, and I knew at that moment that she was going
    to be special. Lisa always made sure that we had plenty of time with our son. During care, if we were present, she made sure that we got do as much as was possible. While other nurses put time limits on our kangaroo care, she would quietly walk by when our time was up, and she would often give us the gift of more time with him if he was tolerating everything well–lucky for us, he loved to be held, and would always behave when she was on duty! Lisa went the extra mile for us on many occasions and always had a smile
    On her face. When she saw us, she made a point tonsaying how
    Much she “fought” to have her son on her coverage for the day–as silly as that sounds, it meant the world to us to know that someone cared so much for our 2 pound
    Miracle when we weren’t around. During his care, she talked to him and had conversations with him as he fought against his wires and CPAP. When we left the NICU, I was an emotional mess. The hospital had become our “home” for the entire summer, and the nurses and doctors had become our friends and family–I couldn’t believe I was saying
    Goodbye to them. Lisa gave me a huge hug on our way out and reminded me everything was ok. No sooner did I get home, and their on Facebook was a friend request–and that is exactly what she has become, a friend. When we visited the NICU a few months ago, I held Jack, now a “big kid” in the NICU, as all of the nurses came by to say hello. As soon as Jack saw her, he literally threw himself at her, something I had never seen him do! I took a quick picture of my son in the arms of the woman who, for whatever reason, became his first admiration. They say that children have an ability to see angels and communicate with them–I have no doubt that he found his in Lisa!

    • Sorry for all of the typos, I did this quickly on my Phone!

  • Shared the link on facebook and you know I have been a fan for a long time. If you would like to see photos of Quinton and Samantha they have been posted for awhile on facebook. Thank you again for doing this!!!

  • I’m a fan of It’s a Preemie thing on facebook. I am nominating a nurse. My son Landon has been in the nicu now over 145 days. One of his primary nurses Natalie Pyle who works at St. Joseph Hospital, Ann Arbor, has been with him ever since the day he has been born. She has let me cry on her shoulder during the very difficult times. She loves Landon so much. We recently had a meningitis scare and she was with him that day. She was so worried about him to. I told her she was intitled to cry too. Even on her days off she calls the NICU and checks on him. She also makes me feel at home at the NICU. She not only loves my son, but our whole family. I feel if it wasn’t for nurses like her that my experince at the nicu would be very different. She is so loving and caring. We love her!

  • I am a fan on facebook as well. I am nominating a nurse by the name of Kathy ( I do not know her last name as they don’t release that at the hospital we were at). We were at Clear Lake Regional in Webster, TX from January 26, 2011 to April 16, 2011. We had several nurses during our stay there but there was one nurse who went above and beyond the rest and that was Kathy. When we were on the level 3 side from 1/26/11 to 3/1/11 she was my twins nurse a lot of the time and I was so excited when I saw her as I knew my questions and concerns would be answered and I didn’t have to worry about feeling like a burden to her, she always made me feel important and showed geniune concern for me as a mother. One of my girls got very sick with a blood infection and she was there emotionally for me and let me cry on her shoulder many times and always answered my many questions regardless if I had asked the same question over and over again. She would get a doctor for me if she couldn’t answer the questions as well. She was beyond awesome and helped the days in the NICU more tolerable. She definitely deserves many praises as I think the great nurses never get the recognition they so deserve.

  • I am a fan on Facebook as well. I would love to nominate a few of our NICU Nurses and NNP’s. My son was born at 23 weeks and weighed 14 oz. (410 grams). Initially, we were given grave statistics and one of my favorite NNP’s came in to talk with me even though she was just getting off shift. Her name is Rose Danaher at Littleton Adventist Hospital in Littleton, CO. She came in and asked me what I felt in my heart. I knew my son was going to be just fine and I explained to her how I felt. She told me to never let go of that feeling! I haven’t let go of that feeling and we survived 170 days in 3 different NICU’s and 9 surgeries! We absolutely love Rose Danaher! She always had a positive outlook on everything even on the worst days. Rose is extremely knowledgable, caring, compassionate and honest. She gave us the good, bad and the downright ugly always. I trusted her completely and knew that Michael was safe in the care of Littleton’s NICU. She would also take pictures for us near holidays. She made cards for us and my daughter from Michael too. She is amazing in every sense of the word. Also another of my most favorite NNP’s is Therese Flynn. She was the lucky winner of putting in my son’s lines after he was born. She is amazing and has such a steady hand. My son’s skin was like tissues paper and gel when he was born. She successfully put lines in and without trauma to Michael. She is amazing! The dr.’s were no sure he could be vented or lines put in because he was so fragile. Therese is our hero. One of our favorite Nurses at Littleton is Debbie Rushing Wells. I never worried about Michael and leaving him in th NICU for even a short amount of time. I went home every night and slept during our stay at Littleton. I truly felt that comfortable leaving my son in their care. Debbie always had words of encouragement and a smile. I talked at great length with all of the NICU staff at Littleton after Michael was born. It was therapy for me. I never beat myself up for Michael coming early nor had issues with dealing with the stress on a daily basis. I knew every time I went to see my son that it truly was not my fault and that all I could do was stay positive and help my son by letting go of the guilt. Every staff member in the Littleton NICU are my heroes! I never once had a problem with any of the Neo’s, NNP’s or Nurses and that is saying a lot for the care they provide. They are like our family now and will always holda very special place in our hearts and our lives! Thank you everyone of you AMAZING Neo’s, NNP’s and Nurses at Littleton Adventist Hospital NICU for always going above and beyond the call of duty. My son is here today and thriving because of your care!

    • I would also like to nominate a few other Nurses from Littleton. I must say that all of them are my favorites! They have become our extended family! I heard horror stories about NICU stays and honestly, I can say that because of this AMAZING staff at Littleton Adventist, I had the best NICU experience immaginable! One of my favorite Nurses, Joy Skeers, was the kindest, gentle and fun loving Nurse. She always was smiling! Little did I know at the time she was caring for Michael some days, she was going through her own NICU experience with her grandson. She is amazing! My daughter’s favorite Nurse is Cynthia! We absolutely love her too. She makes the signs for each baby and their stats after they are born. She draws and colors every one of them. They are made with pure LOVE! She always had a way of making you feel like smiling and that everything was going to be ok. Every one of them made us feel so loved, welcome, hopeful! We love you all. I would love to nominate each of them for an award.

  • My Katie has been in the NICU at Intermountain Medical Center for 83days now. I have learned so much from2 of her primary Nurses. Marcie Whitehead has been with Katelyn from the beginning and I know she truly cares for my sweet baby. I have learned so much from Marcie,a mother of 2 who is married. She was there the day Katelyn pulled her vent tube and they put her on a high flow cannula with me. She assured me Katelyn was good the whole time they worked on her fighting for breath and She hugged me afterwards when I heard my Katie cry for the first time that same say. Marcie was also there the day I was holding Katelyn and she aspirated and began to turn blue. I begged Marcie to help her after my efforts weren’t enough and She immediately began to turn up Katie’s oxygen support and stimulate her. Marcie has comforted me when I felt lost and helpless in the beginning and even wiped my tears and nose when I felt sad. I have learned from watching her how Katelyn likes to be held and talked to and how to help her out of a lazy breathing spell. I have grown to love and appreciate her as a caregiver and as a mother. I would love for my special Marcie to receive one of your shirts to show her how much she has meant to me these past 3 months. I couldn’t have gotten through this without any of our nurses, especially Marcie. Thanks for this giveaway! You are awesome!

  • I am a fan on FB – and I would like to nominate Janie Siemering from University of Cincinnati NICU. During my pregnancy with my ID twin boys, we were diagnosed with Twin-to-Twin Tranfusion Syndrome. My husband, 4 yo daughter Loryn, and I traveled from our home in Charleston, SC to UCincinnati to see a specialist there regarding the condition. Unfortunately, my water broke, and Jack and Alex Whitford were born at 26 weeks in Cincinnati. TO make matters worse, my husband did not have any time off from work, and was forced to return to Charleston with our daughter 5 days after the boys were born. I was left behind, alone, with the boys, and my closest relative was over 2 1/2 hours away in Indianapolis. Janie was our day-time primary nurse, and quickly filled that void. She often stayed after her shift, to see how I was doing, and give me someone to talk to when my entire support network was over 700 miles away. When my husband and daughter came to visit, she brought stickers in for Loryn, and forced a respiratory therapist into giving up some old CPAP headgear for Loryn, so she wouldn’t be so afraid of what the boys were “wearing.” She would call me at night at the Ronald McDonald House (where I was staying), or on her days off, to check on the boys, and to see if there was anything that I needed. She quickly became “Aunt Janie.” When it was time to try the boys on breastfeeding, she battled with administration to let me get a whole week to attempt it – instead of just two days, as well as extra time with “kangaroo care.” When Jack had to have ROP surgery – she rearranged her schedule so that she was the nurse caring for him during his surgery – Janie traded two weekends so she could help me, and give me the piece of mind that someone who loved Jack as much I did would be there with him. I couldn’t have gotten through our NICU experience of 189 days combined without her. We recently got a chance to return to Cincinnati – and of course, we took the boys to see “Aunt Janie.” She was wonderful, and I miss her more everyday. I wish that everyone could have an “Aunt Janie” when they are going through their NICU experience. She made myself, and my boys a family when we couldn’t be with ours.

  • I am a fan on FB. I want to nominate Stephanie Pollard at Des Moines Mercy Medical Center. She took care of my son every weekend during his 5 month stay. She was always cheering our entire family on. She got my out of jury duty, got us a new specialist when my son broke his leg (the first doc reported us to DHS for abuse and then expected us to work with him), and she was one of the few people who would tell me how my son was really doing. She is still a huge resource for us even though J has been home over a year. She really contributed to my belief in myself as a mother of this special kiddo.

  • I am a fan on facebook.
    I would like to nominate Maureen Schmitt RNC of West Virginia’s Childrens Hospital in Morgantown, WV. I have not delivered my Kayla yet until Wed. 5-18. She has been a wonderful support person, answered so many of my questions and has calmed many of my anxieties. I live 2hrs. from the hospital, so my husband and 9.5mo. old daughter can only visit 2x a week. It has been a difficult transition. The staff here are like family now for the last 2mos.. Without them little Kayla would’ve been born 8wks. ago and might not be with us now. My amnio sac ruptured completely and lost all fluid and I have a large placental abruption. I have been on bed rest since 3-21-11(25wks.). I am very optimistic as of Wed. 5-18, I will be 34wks. and I know Maureen with the other NICU nurses will be with Kayla helping her through this; for however long it takes. I am grateful to be at this highly educated and well trained hospital. I thank Maureen from the bottom of my heart and will always be grateful to everyone at this superb establishment. I owe Maureen everything and can only repay her by being the best mother a woman can be.

  • Im a fan on fb and I want to nominate my daughter’s primary nurse Lori Roberts. Lori was with Makena from the first day of her life. She is the sweetest lady ever! I remember her going out of her way to make my whole family comfortable. We were staying away from home to be closer to the NICU and had no car. She offered to drive me back to the guest house several times and to even take me grocery shopping. She has become part of our lives forever. We stay in contact still and I believe she deserves the world for not just helping my baby but for the tons of other babies she saves everyday. She works at Riverbend Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon and she is truly an angel 🙂

  • I would like to nominate Tamika Lawson-Jeffries! We knew my first NICU baby, Shannon, was going to be very sick so we never had a shower or bought her anything. The day we founf out Shannon would die, Tamika bought her her first and only outfit, and stayed with us the whole night (even thought she was done at 7p). I am forever in debt to her for being there . . .

  • I am also sharing on my FB page – and my Fanpage 😉

  • I was hospitalized starting at 20w and had b/g twins who were born at 26 weeks. They both weighed less than 2 lbs at birth. Fortunately for us, we had a friend who was an RT in the NICU and he recruited some nurses to work with our babies months before they were even born. We were fortunate in that the night they were born our friend who is an RT, Giovanni Garzon, was in the delivery room and our beloved nurse, Elizabeth “Liz” Bass, from Winnie Palmer NICU in Orlando was on shift. Once Giovanni escorted the babies into the NICU, she took over and we’ve never looked back. She showered our babies with so much love and gave us so much hope even when were given pretty grim news in particular about our son. She was always there to answer our questions, cheer us on and to applaud the accomplishments our micro preemies achieved. While in the NICU we always looked forward to the weekends because we knew we’d get to have Liz. We always looked forward to seeing her!! Liz only works the weekends and always made sure she took care of our babies. Carson, our son, was in the NICU for 4 months and Kendall, our daughter, was there for 3 months. Even though our journey to bring home our babies was lengthy, we have met some amazing people and Liz would go to the top of our list. We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet her and to have her care for our babies. She was once Kendall and Carson’s NICU nurse, but she’ll be our friend forever!!! She is simply the best and I know she would be honored to win! She’s a WINNER in our book regardless.

    I have a FB account and just shared the message. 🙂

  • I would love to nominate Edye Fanning. She works are Centennial Women’s Hospital in Nashville TN. We first met Edye when our twins were 2 days old and immediately asked if she’d be their primary. We were often “discriminated” against by our NICU nurses because we were young. But Edye, the first time she met us, showed respect towards us and did anything she could to help us. She let us give them baths, hold them, etc without us having to beg. She always used to say “You’re the ones taking them home”. She really was the sweetest lady and loved my babies to death.

  • I am a FB fan!

  • I would love to nominate our nurse Brenda. My daughter unfortunately was only in the NICU for a short time (36 hrs) before she died of a severe brain hemorrhage but Brenda has gone above and beyond to reach out to our family and is now very supportive of our efforts to get our non profit up and running! We are so touched that she cares so much about a patient that she spent very little time with.

  • I am a fan on Facebook.

    Our favorite nurse, Sharee at Valley Medical Center had a way with Ernest during the three weeks he was in the hospital. When other nurses fed him by tube, she would take the time, sit him up, cuddle him and work with him on a bottle. Now, almost 5 mo old, Ernie emails with his nurse (ok, mommy emails on his behalf) and they keep in touch with photos and updates. She brought such energy and enthusiasm to her job, making it easy to ask questions and feel like a safe place to be with our baby.

    A huge thank you to our nurse. I would love to win something for her and drop it off in the NICU the next time we are at the hospital.

    Thank you for doing the giveaway.

  • Hello, Im a fan of IAPT and I want to nominate a nurse, Her name Is Amber and she works at St Joe”s hospital in Phx, az. She is an amazing nurse. She helped us with our 30 weeker. She was so kinda and informative and caring. He loved her. She always made sure we knew what was going on and trie to keep us positive through the roller coaster ride of the NICU. She made sure that I got to hold him as soon as possible ( which was 8 days after he was born) and as often as possible becuase she said you never know what could happen in there and wanted us to have as much time together as possible. He loves her very much and made him our little night owl becuase she used to have snuggle time at 2:00 am when he was awake. I dont know what we would have done without her. She is Great!!!

  • I would love to nominate Jeanne Peterson, our primary NICU nurse from Valley Medical in Renton. My twin boys were born at 24 weeks, the smallest surviving babies ever at Valley, and we were in the NICU for 6 months. I was completely in shock, of course, after they were born. Jeanne was the first nurse who actually talked to me as a mom. She gave me a box of kleenex and said it’s ok to talk about my fears and it’s ok to cry (I hadn’t cried at all for the first 3 days, and apparently she knew exactly what I needed). She worked with my boys, and with me, and with my family for our 6 month stay. The only times I felt comfortable going home to shower and change and get a “breath” away from the hospital was when I knew she was there. 4 1/2 years later, we still talk to Jeanne. She made the entire experience better, and she will always be a part of our family for it.

  • I am a FB fan and I would like to nominate one of our favorite NICU nurses, Blair K from Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

    Our Addie was born unexpectedly at 26 weeks and was immediately transferred to CMH from our birth hospital. Since I had a c-section and was not released for three days, I had to rely on pictures my husband took and phone calls to the NICU until I was able to get there myself.

    Blair was/is the best of the best, so she was assigned the smallest, sickest babies in the NICU. She took such good care of Addie throughout our battles with NEC, a PDA ligation, and my pumping struggles. I was so fragile emotionally and Blair would take the time (even on days she was assigned to other babies) to stop by our bedspace and talk with me for a few minutes. I felt like she *saw* me and understood what I was going through in a way that no one else could.

    My husband would call the NICU in the mornings to get the overnight report and then he would call me…that way he could filter the information in the most positive way. One day in the first month, he had to tell me that they had had to put an IV in Addie’s head as it was the best vein she had at the time. I was SO devastated (looking back, it was such a small thing!), but the moment I walked into the NICU and saw that it was Blair taking care of our girl, I knew she did it as a last resort. “Well, if Blair thought it was best…”

    I was so sad the day I realized we would never again have Blair as our nurse, but I knew that signified a big change in our girl’s progress. If another baby needed Blair more, that meant we were doing okay…and of course, we wanted that baby to have the BEST.

    Happy Nurses Week, Blair. Thanks for taking such good care of our baby! <3

  • I posted the contest on my FB wall! <3

  • I’d like to nominate Joni Farrington of Rogue Valley Medical Center. Now, not only is Joni an incredible NICU nurse, but she’s also an extremely dedicated preemie mother to four (3 of which are separate pregnancy preemies). Their newest addition, Oliver, was born at 30 weeks in February of this year. My 29 weeker, Seth, was born two days after Oliver.
    I currently live overseas in Spain with my husband who is in the military and had my son at a hospital where no one spoke English and that did things dramatically different then they do in the NICU’s back in the states. Joni reached out to me through the computer not even a week after Seth was born, and pulled me out of the black hole that I was sinking into with incredible strength.
    Somehow, from diapers and positioning, to breastfeeding support and advice, Joni’s guided me through this experience, teaching me so many things that I was able to teach my own NICU nurses. It was great to see the nurses learn something and begin applying it to each baby in the NICU (even if it was as simple as placing covers on isolettes). Even with her own preemie on her hands, Joni has been with me every step of the way cheering me on, giving me hope, and more importantly, becoming a true friend who will always hold a very special place in my heart. Words just can’t describe what a Godsend she really has been. I cry just thinking about the outcome that Seth could have faced had she not been there. Seth’s guardian angel apparently needed to be heard and was sent in the form of Joni Farrington.

  • I’m also a fan of IAPT’s Facebook page

  • and tweet daily @cristalgrogan

  • … and shared the giveaway on facebook

  • I am definitely a fan on FB. I nominate our nurse Gail at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She always let us hold out baby girl even though maybe the dr’s said no. She also made sure she was on her charge no matter where in the NICU she was assigned. We’d go in and Kelsie’s isolette would be moved to wherever Gail was. The other nurses said she was very protective of our little girl. Made us feel so cared for and I felt safe leaving Kelsie there. I don’t know what it would have been like without her kindness 🙂

  • I shared on my FB 🙂

  • I tweeted today! twitter name princesstrish76

  • I would love to nominate a NICU nurse. This is not a typical nomination. My favorite NICU nurse is my sister in law, Katreece McIntyre. She has been working at DMC Children’s Hospital in Detroit in the NICU since she started her RN career right out of college. She is an amazing nurse who cares for all of her patients. You can see the love and compassion in her eyes that she has for her patients. And when I found my own son in the NICU, she was right there by my side, guiding me and helping me on a very personal level. She probably doesn’t know how much she helped me through that very hard time in my life, because she wasn’t physically with us everyday caring for Duncan. But she was the light that fueled my strength to go forward and be thankful for every accomplishment Duncan made while in the NICU and then when he came home to us! She means the world to us and without her in our lives I cannot imagine how our NICU stay would have been handled by me.

  • I also shared your giveway on FB! 🙂

  • I’m already a fan on Facebook and I’ve shared the link on my page!

    I’d like to nominate a nurse, my primary when in the NICU, Julie. She didn’t actually become my primary until we were about 3-4 weeks into our stay as we had trouble finding a nurse that we clicked with. But one day, she noticed that I was extremely frustrated and upset over the whole NICU rollercoaster and the lack of consistency in answers we would get based on the day. She told me she could just see I was at the end of my rope. So she took the time to sit down with me and talk to me about it. I just couldn’t believe that a nurse actually noticed the mom and not just the baby. She also took the ropes (one of our issues was nurses were not even attempting to nipple my baby because she wasn’t “old” enough yet, despite the fact that she was giving indicators of being ready) on making sure the notes that she was to be attempted to bottle for each feed were highly visible in her notes and even created a very sweet and creative sign that we hung in her isolette that basically said “I may be small but I can bottle feed, so give me a chance to show you!” I still have that sign to this day.

    I loved when she was on and was sad that she was really only a 2 day a week nurse, wish I could have had her more. She truly cared and she is a facebook friend to this day. I wish we lived closer so I could show her how far my daughter has come. Julie was from the Banner Good Sam campus of Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ.

  • I am a FB fan. It is so hard to choose one nurse. My son was a NICU hopper and spent time in 3 different NICU’s, but the one I would nominate would be one of his first nurses, Mary from St. Luke’s Hospital in Jax, FL. (It’s an easy to remember name since it is my sister’s name as well!) she was in the room when our son was born (along with 17 other drs. and nurses!). She understood what we were feeling and took extra care to involve us. Even though all was in a hurry she even pulled my husband aside and let him cut the cord. See, Mary had been where we were in a way. She had a little boy who was born with down syndrome, so she too had been the parent of a baby who spent time in the hospital. It takes a very special person to be a great NICU nurse and I can tell you she is a very special person! Anyway, on New Year’s Eve we went to visit my son who was now a week old. I was hoping I could hold him soon, but when we came in he was still on the vent. I knew hospital rules would not allow us to hold him. Mary understood the pain we were feeling and told us that if we stuck around she would let me hold him with the help of another nurse while she changed his bed sheets. Nothing could have torn us away from that bed. I remember going through the diaper change, temp., etc. It seemed to take forever. Then she wrapped him up and handed him over. I was in heaven. I didn’t even realize she had my husband come up behind me and toolkit first family photo. I never once took my eyes off my son. I knew I only had about a minute with him and I didn’t want to miss one second. Anyway, my point is she thought as a parent, not as a nurse. She understood our fears and desires and tried to make us comfortable as parents in the NICU setting. As we all know, it’s a difficult transition to become a parent, but an overwhelming transition to become a parent in the NICU. She was perfect for us!

  • 1. I’m a fan of IAPT on Facebook, OF COURSE!
    2. I’ve been a NICU nurse at Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland, WA for almost 7 years. 🙂

    I’ve been a nurse for nearly 13 years, with 11-1/2 of that spent in NICU. By FAR, my favorite part of my job is the family that each baby is a part of. I meet some of the most amazing, resilient, beautiful people (Julie Howard among them!) who are the parents of preemies. I still shed happy tears at healthy births, and I love helping families bond and take ownership of their babies.

  • I would like to nominate one of our nurses. Her name is Sarah and she works at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago. Sarah and I first came to know each other the first day my son was in the NICU. After my c-section I went to see my son, and saw him with the NG tube and IV lines, which I was not expecting. Sara held my hand and said it was ok to touch him as I was afraid to do so. At this time my husband was not able to go into the NICU with me as he had MRSA. (Not a good week for us the week of my son’s birth) So I was by myself looking at my son scared and felt alone even though I really wasn’t. I started to cry, and Sara explained to me that my son was a fighter he first hours of being born and he didn’t need a vent or oxygen so she knew my son was going to be the “Rock Star” of the NICU. She also prepared me for the ups and downs that I was going to go through and explained the good days will always weigh out the bad days but she tried really hard to prepare me for the bad days. Throughout our 25 day journey in the NICU Sara took very special care of my son. When I couldn’t be there she would show him pictures of my husband and I, she read stores to him, and called me sometimes to tell me any good news even if it was a gram of weight gain. My son would cry when other nurses would hold him or touch him but when he heard Sara’s voice he would be calm and fall asleep in her arms. The closer we got to going home she pushed my son the best she could, she pushed breastfeeding as much as she could, and what do you know my son was a champ and latched on every time he would nurse (we got lucky 🙂 ) She pushed him to get off the NG tube and he did great. She also pushed our sleep study and hearing test so we could go home, the other nurses kept telling me my son was not ready to go home but Sara believed he was and that he would do a lot better at home then in the NICU. She was right! He came home and was doing really well, we were monitored via the at home nurse visits. To this day Sara is one of the Neonatal Clinic nurses, and my son will only go to her and gets excited to see her. I plan to keep in touch with Sara as much as possible. She was a blessing to me and my family.

  • Hi-
    I would like to nominate Evergreen Nurse Di Tuski. She not oly provided me love and support during baby number one but took on my number two also. Just knowing she was on top of everythingmade me relax and know everythig would be o.k. the second time thru. And I didn’t have to be the “crazy” mom and tell the nurses to continually rotate her head so we didn’t get a flat side 🙂
    I am a fan on FB and I share the contest 🙂
    Thanks Julie!

  • I’m a fan on facebook and I’m nominating a special nicu nurse. her name is michelle bordelon and she works at the medical center of southeast texas. not only is she a great nicu nurse but she is a great person. she is my sister and i have two sons who were both born prematurely and she has helped me through everything. when she is working with the preemies in teh nicu she does a great job, she really cares.
    thankyou.

    meagan.

  • I can’t believe I’m doing it, but my nurse was worth it. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about all of the NICU staff at Evergreen Hospital, but I definitely connected with one nurse, Toni J., most of all. My spirits were always raised whenever she was there and she saved my daughter from desatting so severly on a couple of occasions. She has an amazing sense of humor with the right type of nurturing compassion that fit our family perfectly. I honestly have to say though that each nurse brought in something very specific and it seemed to always be what I needed that day. Thanks NICU nurses at Evergreen for making our long stay a wonderfully positive experience and one that I have no trouble reminiscing about. 🙂

  • I shared this on FB too.

  • I’m nominating my coworker Tim woods. He’s got 20 years of nicu experience and practically runs the nicu in the hospital I work at as a cardiac rn. He is PASSIONATE about babies and preemies! The reason I’m nominating him is because he has been a valuable resource and shoulder to lean on for advice or a listening ear when my nephew was born 10 weeks early, as well as the fact that he can get blood out of even the smallest baby’s with one stick…an amazing feat I’m sure most preemie parents appreciate! He also loves it’s a preemie thing…he even uses it as a saying around the nicu at our hospital, mountain vista medical in Mesa az. Thanks!

  • Not too sure about ‘nominating’ myself but couldn’t resist the opportunity to win one of your gorgeous shirts! I have been a NICU nurse for 8 years and I work at The Mater Mother’s Hospital in Brisbane, Australia. Ive read lots of posts from parents about all the AMAZING work NICU nurses do for families, so I had to mention all the AMAZING things my families do for me! My job, while often challenging and sometimes heartbreaking, is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I have ever, and will ever do. I have the privelidge and the honour of being part of so many little lives, sometimes only for brief moments, and sometimes for a long time, and I think I am the luckiest person around. To share with families, new life, is such a blessing and something I am in awe of on a daily basis. The first cuddle, the first nappy change, even just the first touch…witnessing that is a gift that you could never buy, yet something I am rewarded with constantly by all the families that cross my path. Each time I bid a family farewell, and they thank me from the bottom of the hearts…I know deep down, Im really the lucky one!
    Amanda.x.

  • P.S….I shared the giveaway on my page 🙂

  • I forgot to mention I posted the giveaway info to my FB friends. 🙂

  • Added another tweet today! @Faith5410

  • Tweeted again today. (uniquename0101)

  • This is very hard to pick just one nurse out of our 3 month NICU stay. They were all so important in helping to care for our daughter and help get her home safe with very few complications. However, if we were to pick one nurse, it would be NURSE TERRI SMITH at the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON NICU. She was DILIGENT every night that she worked to see that Kamrynn was well cared for. She did this while having 6 other little patients and sometimes only 1 other Nurse in the room at the time. Not only was she an EXCELLENT NURSE, but she was able to answer just about any and all questions we had on how our daughter was doing medically and her prognosis. I truly believe that Kamrynn is here today HEALTHY and HAPPY due to her HARD WORK and DEDICATION to not just our child, but EVERY child in that NICU. Not only did Terri take care of our daughter well and help us to understand medically what to expect daily, she also shared her life with us and listened to us talk too. I do believe that Kamrynn is truly a MIRACLE, but I also believe that part of that miracle was the ANGEL of a NURSE that we received as part of our life in TERRI SMITH!!

  • Tweeted one last time! @Faith5410

  • I’m a friend on FB & I am nominating the BEST NICU around!! When my daughter Brylee was born at 30 weeks & 6 days at I was a complete wreck.. Not only a wreck because she was coming 10 weeks early but also the fact that I had NO baby experience. During my first few visits to NICU I had this one particular nurse named Valerie that would always make it appoint to come by and say hello or to give me an update on how good Brylee was doing. After being in the NICU for 6 weeks you get to know the nurses pretty good…well, after talking to Valerie a few times I finally confessed that I had NO baby experience and was concerned now that I had a preemie. She just smiled and said, “don’t worry mom…it’ll all be ok”! Later that day Valerie brought me a folder full of “How to’s”. After spending time reading over all that stuff and the 6 weeks in NICU…not to mention the support of Valerie…I knew it was all going to be okay!! Now, a year later we still stay in contact with our sweet Valerie & make the occasional visit to NICU. I sure wish every NICU had a “Valerie”!! Our NICU is at Hillcrest Hospital in Waco, Texas.

  • I am a fan of your facebook page! I am a mom of a beautiful 27 weeker. I didnt know what to do when I went to the NICU for the first time I just cried and cried when I saw my baby girl in the incubator with all the tubes and wires. There where a couple of nurses that stick out in my mind more than others. Our very first nurse and our very last nurse was Kristy Haney Clendenin. She was the greatest thing to us. She would fight to be Gabby’s nurse. She is the BEST NICU nurse ever. We also loved Valerie Adamek she was so sweet and very helpful with questions we had, then there was Veronica Gonzalez-Rivera who went above and beyond for us. The NICU I am talking about is Hillcrest Babtist Medical center in Waco, TX. I know that we where only suppose to nominate one nurse but I couldnt just pick one out of all the great NICU angels we had.

  • My name is Natalie and I am a fan of Its a Preemie Thing as I am a preemie mom. Our little Reagan was born 8.23.10 at 2lb 11.7oz. Reagan is our first child and we did not expect her early arrival. After days of crying and blaming myself, the NICU nurses made it all seems better. One nurse, still to this day, makes the difference. I would like to nominate Michelle White at Medical City Dallas. Michelle took care of Reagan as if her own. The love she has for our little one is touching.
    I can not say enough to express my gratitude to the nursing staff at Medical City. They have become our second family and we visit often. Michelle was an angel to our little angel.

  • I am a preemie mom and I would like to nominate one of our nurses, Amanda. She was there when my little man was born, and I always felt so much better leaving him at night knowing she was there. She knew my husband’s family for years. You can tell when someone really loves what they do and how well they do it. We are so blessed to have her and the other NICU nurses in our lives. They made our NICU stay as wonderful as it could have been.

  • Right after all these years I had been carrying out this
    exercising considering it was going to whip me in shape, wow!

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