Hi, "Mike"... I've been thinking about you again.
A letter to my own personal Monster
I love nurses. I respect nurses. I've worked with fantastic nurses. This is an open letter to one specific nurse who "cared" for me and my first son after he was born. I discuss trauma and infant peril. Read with caution, please, and don't read if you aren't in an emotional place to do so. I totally get it.
My therapist thinks I should write you a letter. She did specify that I shouldn't actually send it though. So, I'll just put it out here into the ether for you to maybe stumble upon one day and wonder, "could she really be talking about...me?"
YES, "Mike"... I am.
I've tried to forgive you. I've made excuses for you. I've even defended you from my own anger for years now. I don't know why. Maybe because I know (on some level) that you are also a person, not just a monster. Probably a devoted grandpa. Probably a little league coach. Probably a really nice guy most of the time. Probably blissfully unaware of what you did to me.
But you are also my demon, "Mike"...my own personal monster.
You ruined some of the most important moments of my life and you haunted my dreams for months...years even....now, even.
"Your baby is STARVING TO DEATH..."
"Mike"...those words destroyed me. You destroyed me.
"Your baby is STARVING TO DEATH. You don't want to do that to him, now do you?"
You come in, all hustle and bustle, on a mission...and you take my baby away from me.
How could you take my brand new baby from my arms, and say that to me?
Me? A brand new mom?
Bleeding, bruised, exhausted, terrified, drugged, broken, and horribly traumatized...
"Your baby is STARVING TO DEATH. You don't want to do that to him, now do you? Are you really gonna let him STARVE TO DEATH?"
You pull out a bottle of Similac, shaking it like you already know the answer...
I couldn't even look at you, "Mike"...
I couldn't even turn to see you fully. I mean, physically, I couldn't do it.
But why did you go over there with my baby...over there to my husband in the first place, not me?
Why did you assume "the man" in the room would be the decision maker on this?
Did I look that close to death myself?
Maybe I did... I can kinda forgive you if that was the reason... Kinda forgive you for that tiny part of things, at least.
"Your baby is STARVING TO DEATH. You don't want to do that to him, now do you? Can't you tell that he is hungry? Are you really gonna let him STARVE TO DEATH?"
Of course not, "Mike"...
and, of course, I can tell that he's hungry, "Mike"...that's why I was nursing him again when you stole him away. That's why that's all I've been doing since he came back.
Since he came back to me...
"Your baby is STARVING TO DEATH. You don't want to do that to him, now do you? Can't you tell that he is hungry? Are you really gonna let him STARVE TO DEATH? Can't you hear how his voice sounds so weak when he cries?"
We already asked the last nurse for help though, when she said the pediatrician was starting to get a little worried about his weight loss.
She said we could get donor milk from the milk bank downstairs if we wanted instead of formula though. She said it wasn't an emergency. They weren't that worried yet. Some weight loss was normal for an infant, especially after an emergency cesarean delivery.
This has been a nightmare, "Mike"...
Breastfeeding my baby is literally the only thing left on my entire stupid wish list, "Mike"...please don't take this one last thing away.
We already signed those donor milk forms, we already asked for help, "Mike"...
Of course, we care about our baby.
But I can't argue with you, "Mike"...
and I haven't slept in over 72 hours, "Mike"...
and I can't do this anymore, "Mike"...
Watching my baby die in front of me was more than I could take.
That's more than anyone can take.
And now you tell me it's about to happen again?
If I don't let you give my baby that bottle of Similac, RIGHT THE FUCK NOW?
You were so pleased with yourself when my baby started to cry again afterward.
"There we go! See? Hear how much better he sounds? Listen to that crying now! Just like when he first popped out, eh??"
Are you serious??? I just stared at you, "Mike"...
You said all those things to me without even looking at my chart first? You had no idea what the situation here was, did you? You didn't even bother to look at my chart.
How do I know that?
Because you were so surprised.
So surprised when I said, "No."
So surprised when I said, "No...my baby didn't cry at all, because he wasn't even breathing...he wasn't even here."
Those infinite minutes in the operating room after my son was born, when he was completely limp and blue, when no one was telling us anything, when the absence of his cries was the loudest sound in the universe... when the team of doctors tried so hard to bring him back to us... those minutes should have been the worst ones of my life but then they should have been over.
The nightmare should have been over.
But it wasn't.
I heard your words in my head all of the time.
When my baby didn't gain weight fast enough after we went home.
When I bought that digital baby scale because I couldn't wait til the next appointment.
When I weighed my poor baby 40 times a day to see how much he was eating when he nursed, and after he threw up, and after every diaper...
When my next baby ended up in the NICU.
When my toddler stopped eating vegetables.
When my child doesn't want much dinner some nights.
When they pull up the damn growth chart at every pediatrician checkup,
I still feel my heart stop.
And I still hear you saying,
"Your baby is STARVING TO DEATH"
The nightmare just won't end.
Because of you, "Mike"...
So, I just want to say...
Fuck you, "Mike"...
I'm done trying to forgive you.
About the Creator
Hi! Thanks for reading! My hobbies include making coffee, drinking coffee, and starting to write a story and then rage-deleting it when I get the slightest bit frustrated.
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