NICU part 2. A Dad’s Thank You.

A guest post from my incredibly well spoken husband.

On Friday April 27th at 6:34AM William Hayes Dorsey came barreling into the world after 36 long hours of labor that stressed him far more than any of us knew at the time.

This experience, more than any other in my life, has so pointedly laid bare the misconception that we’re capable of going it alone. Natasha and I had to lean on so many people – friends, family, and strangers to get through the last few weeks. We had a plan, we had an idealistic picture in our heads of how we wanted birth and the first few weeks of our child’s life to go. That all went out the window when we got the results of our non-stress test, which showed William had 20% less amniotic fluid around him than the minimum required level. As the nurses later put it, the placenta was past due on it’s 40 week warranty.

“Good news. I have your induction date… it’s today.” – Dr. Kim aka Superwoman

The labor we wanted – starting on it’s own, progressing naturally… well, that might be for baby #2. Our only goal was to get William out healthy as soon as possible. He arrived 5 days past due after a difficult labor with the cord around his neck. Who knows if any/all of that contributed to his shockingly low blood sugar and a week-long stay in the NICU, but that’s how things go. You think you’re in control and you’re really just along for the ride.

To be sure, we were so much more fortunate than other families in the NICU with babies much more sick than Will. I think about those families every day and hope with everything I have that they get to go home soon with happy, healthy babies. Until then, I hope they keep fighting. Through the ups and downs, I hope they know that there are people out there – strangers, passersby – thinking of them and wishing them strength and love through this terrible ordeal.

What follows is a set of thank you’s that are inherently inadequate in return for the amount of love, kindness, and support we’ve been shown by friends, family, professionals, and strangers throughout this process.

To Doctor Kim:

You made us so comfortable from the first time we met you. You exude confidence in every interaction and give your patients the confidence that you have everything under control, have thought through all the potential scenarios, and are supporting their goals as far as the medicine will allow. We could not be more grateful that you were our OB and that you were there for the full labor and delivery experience. It was not an easy one, with decelerations and multiple layers of treatment, but when everyone else got worked up, you were the calming force in the room, you were there to guide the way. You made us laugh, you made us feel safe. You were honest with us, you were supportive. At so many different points, it felt like things were getting away from us and there you were to get things back on track. What could have been a very bad experience was a great one – all because of you. Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

To the well baby nurse who unwrapped Will and offered to change his diaper:

Thank you so much for being thorough and watchful in the execution of your job. You noticed his jittery little legs and ran a quick test that caught his incredibly low blood sugar. Without you, Will may never have received the care he needed.

“We know we’re no one’s first choice…” – Badass NICU nurse #792

To the NICU nurses:

What an exceptional group of human beings you are. You see people – parents and children – at their most fragile point in life. No one wants to be in the NICU, but I’ll be damned if there is a better group of people than NICU nurses. You all are brave, smart, compassionate, funny, and so much more. You carry families on your back through their darkest days. You care for the most innocent and fragile of lives like they are your own children. You care for new parents – parents who never thought of anything except a happy, healthy baby. You celebrate progress, you support set backs. You are optimistic, you are realistic. To say we couldn’t have done it without you is obvious, but it must be said. You might not be anyone’s first choice, but we wouldn’t want anyone else to help us through those late night feedings, the low readings, the critical labs, the slow progress, and eventually, finally, leaving. I’m sure there are terribly hard days, days I can’t stand to imagine, but you are the best of what we can be as humans. You show up shift after shift stronger than anyone knows. Thank you so much for everything you do.

To Molly:

Nothing we write here, say, or do, will ever repay what you have given our family or fully express the gratitude we feel for your love, compassion, and friendship to Natasha, myself, and William. I can’t start to catalog everything you’ve done for us, so hopefully it will suffice to say – thank you for the crackers 😉 We love you and look forward to every chance we get to see you.

To our parents:

Both sets of parents came to our rescue over and over again. To my parents – thank you for waiting tirelessly in waiting rooms during labor, delivery, and the NICU stay, for running out to get food repeatedly, for propping me up so I could be there for Natasha, and for coming back to lend a helping hand. To Nastasha’s parents – thank you so much for taking care of our home, for grocery shopping, and for being willing to drop everything and move into our apartment indefinitely while we were there with William.

To Kathryn and Drac:

Thank you for taking Juno in at a moment’s notice and continuing to extend her stay as conditions changed. Knowing she was in good hands meant the world to us and took so much stress out of the picture so we could be 100% present with William. We know she had a blast too.

To all the other friends we called and leaned on:

You brought food, you listed to us cry, you supported us, you offered us words of encouragement. Thank you – we can’t wait to see you soon.

To Natasha:

You are the strongest woman I’ve ever met; poised and graceful, able to weather any storm. You’re my light and my best friend. Our William is so lucky to have you as his mom, as I am to have you as my wife. Motherhood looks so natural on you. You are comfortable and confident, all the more the woman I fell in love with those year ago.

Baby Shower

This past weekend we celebrated our little baby. My best friend planned such an incredible shower. It was so much fun, Chris’ mom & some of her closest friend flew all the way from Austin, & my mom & two of my aunts made the trek to San Francisco also. Besides our families, a lot of my nursing school friends, coworkers, & my best childhood friend came. San Francisco really put on a show weather wise, It was high 70’s, I couldn’t believe it. Not only did our little baby get spoiled with so many thoughtful gifts, but I felt so spoiled with how much love was in one room & how many people can’t wait to meet our little baby! It’s so bizarre to think that in just about 10 weeks we’ll get to meet the little person we’ve created & I can’t wait. It feels like it’s seriously just around the corner!

Inside My Nurse’s Travel Medicine Kit



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When it comes to traveling, especially abroad, I always pack a few musts to both prevent & treat the unexpected! As a ER nurse I know the worst way to spend your vacation is in an ER so this blog is meant to give you a list of some simple over the counter items you can pack on your next trip to keep you feeling your best.

  1. Hand sanitizer – the number one way to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands. Sometimes that’s not always an option so having hand sanitizer easily available before you put your hands on a delicious sandwich or tapas is one of the easiest & most effective things you can do. I like taking a hand sanitizer with a mist spray that way the first thing I can do when I board a flight is to spray down my tray table, seatbelt, armrests etcetera. I know this may sound crazy OCD but those planes A: don’t get cleaned after each flight & B: sick people fly all the time. So if the person before you had a nasty head cold you’ll be picking up all those germs.
  2. Emergen-C – These little individual powder packets are a great way to also keep your immune system up. Pour one into that little airline cup of water they bring you & you’ll thank yourself. Side note: they also make for great hangover prevention if you drink one or two the before you crawl into bed (tried & true)!
  1. Visine / Eye Drops – Nothing dries your eyes out more than recycled airplane air. I usually opt for glasses over contacts, especially for long flights, but putting a few drops of Visine in your eyes intermittently or before you pop your contacts in can make you feel like a new person!
  2. Ibuprofen – The cure-all. I never go anywhere without it. Headache / back ache / hangover you name it. 600mg & you’ll feel right as rain.
  3. Tea – I was never a huge tea drinker until a few years ago & now this is something that I pack with me when I travel. I pack a handful of different teas, they’re small and compact so even if I don’t drink them all it’s no big deal. Not to mention airplanes are typically freezing so drinking something nice & warm that isn’t coffee can be really nice.  Air travel can make your body hold onto excess water so I like to pack Weightless Tea which helps relieve excess water. Along those lines a nice Detox Tea is good to have on hand. Often when we travel we’re eating & drinking things that we may not normally which can then in turn impede on our normal routine so Smooth Move Tea can help if you find yourself struggling to adjust to new cuisine.
  4. Medicine Kit – What kind of nurse would I be if I didn’t have a little mary poppins-esque medicine kit for all the ailments. In here I put individually enclosed doses of: DayQuil / NiQuil, Benadryl, Non-Drowsy Allergy medicine (loratidine), Zantac for heartburn, & Sudafed. I don’t pack tons of these meds but enough for 1 or 2 doses. And someone non medical might read this & think it’s excessive, but I will say that I usually use something out of this box per trip & it’s cheaper / easier to just bring it ahead of time. As an aside (in most states it’s illegal to have unidentified pills, so make sure they’re individually wrapped & marked with what medication it is, otherwise you may find yourself having to do some explaining to a TSA perosn). I found the little medicine box in the Dollar Spot at Target & just grabbed a couple.
  5. Fem Wipes – These are great to have on hand just in case. You never know when you might find yourself in a restroom that’s out of toilet paper or when you may need a quick refresh. These are small & easy to stoy in a little pouch. Like most things on this list it’s easily packable & better to have than to be frantically trying to find an alternative.

A must that I take with me on all trips but I didn’t include on this list because a prescirption is needed is a small course of antibiotics. I’ve found myself across the country with a UTI trying to find a pharmacy while in terrible pain & discomfort. Definitely a less than ideal situation.  Most doctors are willing to write a prescription for this just in case scenario. I just talk to my doctor before I leave on a trip. Again, it’s far easier to reach in your bag & have what you need then be scrambling & feeling terrible.

ER Nurses Take Tahoe


These girls are the best ^
A few weeks ago my coworkers & I went on our annual trip to Lake Tahoe, it was such a fun getaway. I love everyone I work with & it’s so special when we’re all able to be in the same place at once, not working!! We stayed right near Fallen Leaf Lake & were about a 10 minute drive from Kiva Beach on Lake Tahoe. Kiva beach, is a fairly large, dog friendly beach. At the beach you have gorgeous panoramic views of the whole lake & behind the beach is a beautiful meadow with the sierra’s lining the background. It was mid July & the mountains still had snow caps on them!

Like I mentioned before, it’s so special when we can actually coordinate all of our busy schedules & find a time when we can all be together. Many of us work more than one job, so finding a 4 day stretch where we can be together is a miracle! My nursing family is amazing, I’ve learned so much from each one of them & am constantly inspired. It’s so rare to find such an amazing group of people you work with. Granted, many have moved on to other jobs but we’ve all remained close. Nursing is a tremendously hard job & if you can’t find balance in your life then you’re going to have a hard time coping. Weekend getaways like this one remind me what incredibly compassionate, generous, hilarious women I’m surrounded by, & push me to expect more of myself. I just had my 4 year anniversary as a nurse & a lot of the girls in these photos were there from the very beginning. We encouraged each other & helped one another become the amazing nurses we are today. One of my favorite quotes that embodies nursing is this: “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others”. As true as this is, I think I’ve also found myself working side by side with these gals. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of others I work side by side with that I consider to be my Nurse role models / mentors, but these girls are gold.

Stay tuned for more photos with them because this weekend we’re headed to our first ever black tie event together… just keep in mind these are girls who wear glorified pajamas to work each day (scrubs).