I wrote the following when I got home on Monday:
The other nursery nurse and I sat chatting while we awaited a new baby that we knew was coming our way. We had put together as much of the chart as we could. The warmer was set up. We were set to go and chatted about this and that while we waited. Then we heard the code overhead… the location of the code. We stared at each other wide-eyed, the color draining from our faces, tears pricking at the corner of our eyes. “Jesus Christ,” she said, partly a curse, partly a prayer. I sat in silence and stared at the floor.
The baby arrived at our door as scheduled. No giddy family members looking in the window. No goofy dad speaking in a falsetto voice and marvelling at his baby’s firm grasps on his finger. Just awkward conversation among the nurses punctuated by the baby’s indignant cries.
I did not know the outcome by the time I left tonight. The father eventually appeared with a small group. We invited him in to see and touch his baby, but his visit was short… his mind was understandably elsewhere.
I drove home glad that the route was so familiar so I needn’t think too much about the drive. The radio stayed silent. My usual quick pace was sluggish. I envied the religious tradition of my employer with its ritual prayers for these situations. I couldn’t come up with the right words myself.
I fear what I might learn when I return to work tomorrow.
Sadly that sinking feeling in my stomach foretold the truth. There was no miracle overnight. A man lost his wife and the mother of his children. We are all reeling from what happened… so rare, yet so tragic.