I often mention how much I love my job. I feel very lucky to have stumbled into a career, and a work environment, that is both satisfying and stimulating. Although nursing can be exhausting, and some days I can't imagine mustering up the energy to go back in for another shift, the overall feeling is that I have found a place that is not only a job but a home. Whenever I forget why I love it so much, I have a moment that brings it all back and refreshes my memory.
Yesterday at work I received a true affirmation of why I do what I do. A few weeks back I was lucky to care for a woman in labor who I had met several years prior, at the birth of her first child. When she arrived at the hospital, already in the throws of labor and working hard to get through each contraction, her face lit up when she saw me. "I remember you!" She cried, a smile gracing her glowing face. "I remember you too!" I replied, and I did. There are some births that stick with me, and this woman's beautiful delivery of her first son was one of these moments. I was delighted to be able to care for her again, and witness her gracefully bring another life into this world.
When she called me yesterday, this woman was seeking lactation advice. After a short chat I was about to hang up when she said "Wait, I just want to say one more thing". She then choked up as she thanked me for caring for her and helping her through her birth. She told me that having me there made her experience easier as she remembered me so well from the first time around. She praised me, she cried, and I cried. This simple affirmation of the work that I love so much made my day, and my week. How beautiful to hold someone close and encourage them through one of life's great miracles. You never know if that woman is going to remember you the next day, or the next year, after long nights in labor can make your memory a haze. Her words were like a sunbeam warming my soul. No matter how much you know you are doing the right thing, it is always wonderful when somebody unknowingly confirms this for you.