Friday, October 24, 2014


Well it's finally here....the day i have been dreading for a year now. I am so emotional today but feel his presence ever so near. I wanted to take a minute and write a little something to the St. George NICU staff. I am forever grateful for them! There are so many that played a huge role in taking care of Austin, in which some i don't know their names. But a few that impacted me forever is Dr. Carrol and Dr. Rideout, Nurses Emily, Bre, Jenn, and Amanda. Dear NICU Team: You have no idea how much you mean to me, or how you will always hold a very special place in my heart. The love, respect, and admiration that i have for you can compare with no one. You took care of my baby, and LOVED him. And I, his momma, didn't know. I didn't know how to change his diaper without moving his lines, or how to clean his face from the ventilator tape. I didn't know how to pick him up to change his bedding. I didn't konw what medication went where, or how to run the machines that kept him alive. I tried my best, I really did. But he was so sick, and i was so scared. When Angie and the life flight crew came to get him in Cedar, i panicked. I questioned the whole way down to St. George, as i followed by myself in my van, if i could do this, if he was going to be ok. The first time I walked into the NICU, washed my hands, and was shown to his room. You guys were still switching him over to your machines. It was all very overwhelming for me, but you were so calm and collective. I had a subway sandwich with me in his room and didn't know the rule that no food was allowed, but you let me eat without saying a word because i didn't want to leave my baby. You explained everything so well and made me feel at ease. I instantly knew that he was in the best of hands. Dr. Carrol was so thorough with his work. He would stay in Austins room and sit in the rocking chair for hours at a time, trying to come up with why Austin was sick and what he thought they needed to do next. And then there was KerryAnn. She was always making sure i was pumping when i needed to and let me tell you, Austin LOVED the massages she would give him. And we cant forget Rose. She was so kind and sweet to me, always making sure i had eaten a meal and was taking care of myself. She made sure i didn't need a room at the jubilee home. 3 days before Austin passed away was the night that they had finally gotten test results back from the Spinal Tap that finally gave us answers. As Dr. Carrol came in Austin's room and told Jon and I that he would like to sit down and talk to us in the first room, i knew what was coming. Him, Tina, Nurse Emily, and Jeannette the NICU Superviser, sat us down and told us the most awful news you could ever hear. But i couldn't have asked for a better group of people to explain to us the situation and our option for the next few days. Dr. Ridout came on call the next morning and let me just say, he also took great care of us. He was always so optimistic and positive. He couldn't have picked better timing to come on call and be the doctor. Towards the end, he even suggested that I get to change a diaper for the first and last time. That seems like such a stupid thing but I am so THANKFUL you let me. And Nurse Amanda, you brought me a blanket you had made him the night before he died. THANK YOU ALL!!! You kicked me out of the NICU because you knew i needed a shower and sleep. You were so kind and let me board upstairs so i didn't have to come home. You listened to me cry and encouraged me to believe he would beat the odds and come home. You gave him, and me, every piece of your strength, day in and day out, for 9 days. You did everything in your power and more to keep him alive. And then he died. And you gave me another gift that day. You told me how he was going to die, and you guided me through his death in a way so full of grace i couldn't explain it if i tried. Dr. Ridout called all the family in Austins room and explained to them his sickness and why he wasn't going to make it, so i didn't have to. Nurses Jenn and Bre....I am forever grateful for you for letting EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF EXTENDED FAMILY THERE have the chance to hold him. You would have to carefully hold all lines going into him as you passed him from person to person. I am so thankful. You cried with me, hugged me, and were devastated with me. You placed him in my arms for the very last time. You made sure he wasn't in pain. And when i could bare it, you pulled the plugs when i said i was ready. You sat there and witnessed my sweet baby pass away. And after Dr. Rideout came and checked for a pulse, you left Jon and I alone and told us we could take as long as we needed. And when i asked if my family could come back up to the room and see him after we dressed him in his outfit, you were kind enough to let them. Nurse Amy you were so kind to be there to take pictures of us one last time with our baby. i cherish those pictures everyday and forever indebted to you. After the family left, you nurses were so kind to come in and do molds of his hands, feet, and face. And Mark, the awesome respitory specialist that has a lot of meaning to our family, you took the time and detailed out the molds and finished them. And the ladies out front that would open the NICU door to let us in each time we came, thank you for making the scrapbook page of him and for making copies of his hands and feet for all my other children. After we decided that it was time for the mortician to come and get him, Nurse Lauren C. came in and took him and watched over his little body until they got there. I am so sorry you had to be the one that did it, but i am thankful. I feel like "Thank You" isnt enough, but its all i have to give you. You're brave and amazing, and you guys do things no one else can. So from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! Love, Austin's Mom Jessie

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