Many moms can relate to Emma O’Brien’s story. O’Brien’s baby was sick, and she wasn’t satisfied with the explanation as to why.
As the U.K. mum shared in a post on Facebook, at just 2 weeks old, O’Brien noticed something wasn’t right with the way her baby, Nola, was breathing. O’Brien took the infant to a midwife who “brushed off” her concerns.
According to O’Brien, the midwife told her it was nothing to worry about:
“Babies make funny noises when they’re breathing.”
However, the answer didn’t satisfy the worried mother’s concerns. As O’Brien wrote, she “plucked up the confidence” to demand a second opinion.
O’Brien’s insistence she be given a better explanation led her to the hospital where her baby’s health rapidly declined:
Cue admission to paediatric ward. Our baby girl went from almost being sent home by out of hours GP [general practitioner], to being diagnosed with bronchiolitis, to infection, to X-rays, blood tests, swabs, choking, to stopping breathing, turning blue, to tube fed, antibiotics, and needing oxygen assistance, in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
Six “exhausting and lonely” days followed. O’Brien shared her story not to bash the analysis of her daughter’s health provided by the midwife but to encourage parents, above all else, to trust their gut instinct.
Most importantly, O’Brien wanted to commend hospital staff — specifically the nurses — who validated her concerns that something was wrong with her baby. O’Brien thanked the team of nurses for tending to the infant and to the distressed mom as well:
The doctors on the ward were friendly, approachable, and amazing… but the nurses are my heroes!!! 6 days in a room with your poorly newborn is exhausting and lonely!
From the nurses who made sure that I ate to keep up my milk supply…
To the nurses who assured us they’d look after our baby when we couldn’t watch them put a tube up her nose and down her throat…
To the nurses who gave the time to have a conversation with me when I was on my own and you were clearly rushed off your feet (so many babies came in with the same thing that they were nick named, “The Bronchi Babies”)…
O’Brien applauded the nurses who put her and her sick baby’s need ahead of their own:
To the nurses who popped their head in our room just to say, “See you tomorrow!” At the end of your 12hr shift when you could have just grabbed your coat and gone home…
And singled out the nurse that came in bearing much needed caffeine:
To the nurse who came in with a coffee for me when you could see I was exhausted…
O’Brien praised the nurses who saved her baby’s life and the mom’s sanity:
To the nurse who happened to pop her head in to see how she was getting on (when you weren’t even assigned to us that day), but happened to be the same moment she stopped breathing and turned blue. Seriously, forever grateful! ??…
To the nurses who were there during my break downs…
To the nurse who offered to sit with our girl so we could go grab a coffee together and get off the ward for 15 mins…
To the nurses who would watch her when she would get upset and scream when she could smell my milk and I wasn’t allowed to feed her…
O’Brien urged parents to follow through when they are convinced something isn’t right with their children: “Mammas and Pappas, this is a post about trusting your parenting instincts. We are with our babies 24/7 and know when something just isn’t right!”
For O’Brien, having her concerns taken seriously made all the difference, as she wrote:
Thank you SO much for everything that you have done for our daughter over the last week. You really have gone above and beyond your duty of care and we will be forever grateful ❤️
Mega-mom blogger “The Unmumsy Mum,” shared O’Brien’s post, compelling many commenters to share experiences in which nurses had been their saving grace: “We’ve been at GOSH many a time and is always been the nurses that have got me through,” wrote one commenter, in part.
I’ll never ever forget the Midwives, nurses and Drs who helped my little girl when she was born at 31 weeks, and not only helping her, but being a tremendous support to me and my husband and what can only be described as a whirlwind of fear and emotion. They helped us come to terms with our birth; and our wee version of normal. Amazing people. Nurses are all pretty wonderful, but paediatric nurses are something extra special. What strong people. X
Other commenters lauded O’Brien for trusting her inuition: “Well done for listening to your mummy instincts & asking for a second opinion!!”
O’Brien’s message also stood out to those who had been in similar white shoes before: “As a nurse I’d like to thank you for writing this and to tell you it makes a massive difference to our morale!”