When a family calls multiple times in one hour…
When the family keeps asking to come back to the room when we’re doing a sterile procedure…
When you hear things out of left field from a family…

Maternal history:
Alcohol: denies
Smoking: denies
Illegal Drug Use: denies //

Infant History:
Spontaneous vaginal delivery RT abruption
Dysmorphic facial features consistent with FAS
NAS score = 14

Waking up a N.A.S. baby…
General advice to all my teenage parents out there…
When I’m turning my 800g baby from prone to supine and they self-extubate
When the manipulating parent we’ve all come to know in the unit almost baits me into an argument…
When I’ve been working with a family for months so that they don’t lose custody of their child and then they come back with a positive drug screen 2 days before discharge…
Don’t you just like, I don’t know… hold babies all day long?


I hold a baby when I hand him to his mother for the first time, three weeks after his birth date.

I hold a baby when teaching a new mother how to breastfeed her child.

I hold a baby to feed him, to rock him to sleep, to bathe him and bundle him.

I hold a baby when morphine and walking the halls 24 hours a day are the only things that will quiet him down while he’s withdrawing from the illegal drugs his mother took.

I hold a baby’s arm still when my fellow nurse inserts an IV.

I hold a baby’s head still while we bag oxygenated air back into his tiny lungs.

I hold a baby when he has no family to hold him.

I hold a baby when he takes his last breaths because his parents didn’t make it to the hospital in time.

I hold a baby when I’m placing his lifeless, tiny hands in plaster to make a keepsake for his parents… because there is no baby to hold anymore.


I hold babies all day long.