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By , Boston, MA
Most people hate hospitals. They think of sickness, sadness, and a place where you don’t want to be. To me hospitals mean quite the opposite. I work at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston as a NICU rocker. Usually no one knows what I mean by that so let me explain. I work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a baby rocker. Many of the babies there are there because they have health problems, whether they were born prematurely or have other issues that make their stay in the hospital a little bit longer. These newborns have to stay in the hospital until they are healthy enough to go home. Their parents can’t be at the hospital all that time because they have other obligations whether it be other children, work, or a good night sleep; that’s what I’m there for.

Each baby in the NICU has a nurse that takes care of them. However, the nurse can’t be at their bedside all the time because he or she has other babies to take care of as well. Being held or cuddled with is crucial to a baby’s development and well being. It helps them grow faster and feel the affection that they desperately need. Newborns usually sleep for many hours of the day, but when they are awake, it’s good for them to be held and have human interaction.

A set of twins were born on May 17, 2013. Suzy was only one pound three ounces and Charlie was one pound six ounces. Their parents were more than worried, they were scared to death. Every single day I saw them in the NICU for most of the day. I think their hope was the only thing that kept them going. Slowly but surely the twins improved, but not without complications along the way. Both Suzy and Charlie had severe acid reflux and had trouble gaining weight. With the dedicated nurses and doctors at the Brigham, however, they were able to go home one hundred and one days later, with Suzy at eight pounds one ounce, and Charlie at eight pounds four ounces. I got close with the parents because I saw them every day for extended periods of time, so, before they left the hospital for good, they asked me babysit. I’ve babysitted twice and am astounded by their impressive growth.

I’ve never imagined I would love a job as much as I love this one. It’s what has inspired me to want to go into the medical field as a nurse. The NICU is a truly amazing place where I get to witness miracles happen every day. I see babies who were born at one pound get bigger and stronger until they finally get to go home at healthy weight and develop as normal children. I can honestly say I didn’t know what hope was until I started working there. Parents are eternally grateful to their nurses for giving their baby a chance to live and have a normal life. There is more love, positivity, and hope then I could have ever imagined in one place. I’ve made lifelong connections to the nurses and parents there and it’s a place where I am truly satisfied.

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