Hugs for Nurses: Stories, Sayings, and Scriptures to Encourage and Inspire
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Hugs for Nurses: Stories, Sayings, and Scriptures to Encourage and Inspire

by Philis Boultinghouse, Leann Weiss
     
 
Someone you know needs a hug today ... ... it may even be you! Nurses are the kind of people who give themselves to others every day. They give their time, their energy, and their skill -- but most of all, they give their hearts. Author Philis Boultinghouse shares heartwarming stories of nurses who selflessly supply comfort and hope to so many. You'll also find

Overview

Someone you know needs a hug today ... ... it may even be you! Nurses are the kind of people who give themselves to others every day. They give their time, their energy, and their skill -- but most of all, they give their hearts. Author Philis Boultinghouse shares heartwarming stories of nurses who selflessly supply comfort and hope to so many. You'll also find inspirational messages that encourage those who give of themselves to others, personalized scriptures by LeAnn Weiss expressing God's love in refreshingly personal language, and uplifting quotes that are sure to inspire and bless. Nurses give plenty of emotional hugs every day. This little book is the perfect way to share a hug to express your heartfelt affection and appreciation for service selflessly given.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582292809
Publisher:
Howard Books
Publication date:
01/14/2003
Series:
Hugstm Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 7.36(h) x 0.67(d)

Read an Excerpt

Hugs for Nurses

Stories, Sayings, and Scriptures to Encourage and Inspire
By Philis Boultinghouse

Howard Books

Copyright © 2002 Philis Boultinghouse
All right reserved.



Special Only

   

Little Annie wasn't much different from the hundreds of other tiny babies who'd

come through the neonatal intensive care unit of Morris Memorial Hospital.    

Just like all the others, she was dangerously below normal birth weight. She

weighed just three pounds, eight ounces when she'd been born. Like the other

premature babies, her heart and lungs were underdeveloped. And like other

preemies, little Annie had numerous tubes invading her tiny body, carrying

precious nutrients and medications into her fragile system. She also had probes

and wires attached to her paper-thin skin, monitoring her heart rate,

temperature, pulse, and oxygen levels.

    But

for all her similarities to her NICU cohabitants, there was something different

about Annie.

   

Annie was alone.

    The

visiting hours in NICU were very strict -- nine to ten o'clock in the morning, four

to five in the afternoon, nine to ten in the evening,and one to two in the

morning. All the other babies in the unit were visited regularly. Weary moms and

dads and concerned grandmas and grandpas made daily visits to the isolated unit

to stroke, sing to, or simply feast their eyes upon their beloved offspring.

They cooed softly, touched gently, and cried silently.

    Some

of the babies were so sick and so small that physical touch was too much

stimulation for their underdeveloped nervous systems. But even the parents of

these babies came to gaze longingly on the objects of their affection, willing

the tiny bodies to grow and become strong.

    In

the beginning, Annie's mother had come with the rest. But she always came alone.

No friends or family ever accompanied her. No husband, no grandparents -- no one.

During her visits, she spent more time looking around the room or at the other

babies than she did looking at Annie. She would stand by Annie's Isolette,

leaning on it a little, looking forlorn and hopeless. She didn't ask questions

like the other parents did; she didn't touch or talk to her tiny little girl.

She came to the hospital out of a manufactured sense of duty, and she had no

intentions of getting attached to the baby that, deep down, she knew she

wouldn't take home.

    It

wasn't just that she didn't expect Annie to live; she had no desire to take on

the responsibility of caring for this needy human being. Her visits became more

and more sporadic until, eventually, she didn't come at all.

    But

Annie wasn't completely alone.

   

There was someone who cared, someone who stood by her Isolette and gazed

longingly at her, someone who stroked her spindly legs and hummed sweet songs in

the night. Marcie was an NICU nurse who worked the night shift. She watched

Annie's mother during the first few weeks; she saw her growing detachment and

her gradual decision not to love her little girl. And as Annie's mother's heart

pulled further and further away, Marcie's heart moved closer in.

    In

some ways, Marcie identified with Annie. Like Annie, Marcie had no one in her

life who cared just for her. Sure, she had friends and family -- lots of people who

loved her in a general sort of way -- but since her husband's death two years ago,

Marcie had come to the awful realization that she was no one's "special only."

   

Annie's need to be someone's "special only" touched Marcie deeply. Marcie had no

idea how she would make it happen, but her resolve to see that this baby was

loved and cared for grew with each passing day.

    Yet

it was the night Annie was crying inconsolably and couldn't be comforted by the

usual methods that Marcie's resolve became personal. Annie now weighed five

pounds and was strong enough to be held. NICU babies who had no regular visitors

were routinely rocked by volunteer aides during the day, but at night, it was

the nurses who rocked the babies as they had time, and Marcie always volunteered

to rock Annie.

    It

wasn't difficult to persuade the other nurses to pass on Annie. Annie's mother

had been a heavy drinker, and her alcohol consumption had left Annie with fetal

alcohol syndrome. You could already see some physical signs of the disease: a

small head, drooping eyelids, and a thin upper lip. Though the abnormalities

were not severe, Annie didn't have the same "cute" appeal as the other babies in

the unit.

    On

this particular night, Annie's shrill screaming was agitating not only the other

babies but the entire nursing staff. Marcie had finished most of her routine

duties, so she offered to take Annie from the frustrated nurse who was walking

and bouncing the screeching bundle in a futile attempt to quiet her. The weary

nurse willingly gave her up.

   

Marcie dragged a rocking chair into the supply room, pulled the door

shut -- leaving it open just a bit so she could see -- and turned off the bright

overhead light. Cradling little Annie in her arms, she rocked her gently back

and forth...back and forth. Marcie improvised a lullaby as she rocked: "It's time

to go to sleep; it's time to close your eye-es. It's time to lay your head down

and go to sleep, my darling." But Annie's cries only intensified, and her tiny

body arched and stiffened. No matter how Marcie rocked or held or positioned

her, Annie continued to cry. Marcie was running out of ideas.

    Then

she remembered a technique she'd learned in nursing school years ago -- it was

something she'd taught many mothers to do but had never had the opportunity to

do herself. It was called "kangaroo care." Marcie unwrapped Annie's blanket and

draped it over the arm of the rocking chair; then she removed    

Annie's hospital-issue pink gown, leaving her clad in only her diaper and

warming hat. Almost timidly, Marcie unbuttoned the bottom half of her scrub

shirt and placed little Annie against her bare abdomen. Then she loosely closed

her shirt around the baby to keep her warm and resumed her rocking and quiet

singing.

   

Annie's fierce screams subsided almost immediately, and her little body seemed

to melt into Marcie's. A peaceful warmth filled Marcie. She was profoundly aware

of the need of this helpless human being for someone to love her constantly and

unconditionally -- someone who would love her as a "special only." And Marcie was

just as aware of her own need for someone to love.

    Skin

to skin, the two of them rocked together in quiet bliss for nearly half an hour.

Thinking Annie was asleep, Marcie opened her shirt and laid Annie on her lap as

she reached for the little pink gown. But Annie's eyes were wide open, and she

stared lovingly up into Marcie's. Not wanting to shatter the moment, Marcie

covered Annie in her little blanket and returned her intense gaze. At that

moment, two lonely souls connected -- it was a spark that ignited Marcie's

imagination and fired her determination to take this baby into her life -- to care

for her and raise her as her own, to love her as her "special only."

   

Marcie had no idea what the adoption process would entail, but she felt a peace

and resolve that the desire of her heart would become a reality. Marcie was no

longer gazing into the eyes of one baby among many; she was gazing into the eyes

of her "special only" -- the eyes of the tiny baby she knew with all her heart

would one day be her daughter.

   

Marcie's dream became a reality six months later when she stood before the judge

who signed the final adoption papers. Cradling her precious daughter in her arm,

streams of tears flowing down her face, Marcie signed the papers that declared

Annie and Marcie each other's special only.



Continues...


Excerpted from Hugs for Nurses by Philis Boultinghouse Copyright © 2002 by Philis Boultinghouse. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Philis Boultinghouse is the author of the best-selling Hugs for Sisters and several other books. She has served as managing editor for Howard Publishing since 1991. As a speaker to women's groups, Boultinghouse brings her understanding of the needs of women to her insightful writing. Married for thirty-two years, she is the mother of two grown children, Jason and Crystal.

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