Having a last minute C-section would have been terrifying had it not been for my team of nurses.
Prior to being admitted to hospital, I had heard horror stories about nurses being quick to judge or rude with their patients. With the things they see, the way they endure patient temperament and worried in-laws, I could understand if they weren’t the friendliest of people.
But my girls shattered those rumors.
They made me feel like a person rather than a piece of meat even when I was hollering at their poking and prodding. They answered questions with care and explained everything that was happening and would happen to me. When we buzzed them four times in an hour, they came in and patiently set our minds at ease.
Maybe it was because I was in a smaller hospital in a small town, but they honestly treated us like family. We were on a first-name basis, teased each other and joked about the whole messy business of having babies.
So, with that in mind, we started putting together a kickass thank-you basket for these amazing ladies.
1 – Fitness Tracker or accessories
T has a serious eye for tech. He noticed that almost every nurse we saw had some kind of fitness tracker. At the time we found these Jawbone Up24 trackers at a wicked good deal for about $35 at a few cell phone stores. Have a look at what your nurses are wearing – many of our girls had a Fitbit but we figured the ones who didn’t would appreciate these. If you don’t want to break the bank buying the actual tracker, consider accessorizing. Check out these Fitbit Flex Vibrant Accessory bands (5 pack) $35 at Walmart.ca.
2 – Pens
Every nurse we spoke to either at appointments or pre-natal classes mentioned their painful shortage of pens. To solve the pen drought, I added a 12 pack of these aluminum Xeno retractable ballpoint pens for about $13 from Staples to restock their supply.
3 – Baby Hats
My mother-in-law is a master of needlework. She gave us a bunch of these hats to include for the new babies. Now I’ve heard different things about making these hats. Aside from the obvious use of baby-soft yarn, I’ve been told there’s a certain type of pattern the hospital uses when it comes to baby hats. I’ve also heard that the knit or crochet just needs to be tight enough to keep baby warm. Our nurses were particular with what they deemed worthy of new babies so double-check with them if this is something you’re interested in.
4 – Gum
When I’m stressed I need to chew. This was especially noticeable during contractions. Whether this ends up in the mouths of our nurses or their patients, a few packs should help them get through the day (or night).
5 – Tim Horton’s Gift Card
This one is obvious but was inspired by my nurse Cathy who soldiered the first six hours of her 6 a.m. morning shift without coffee and was still spirited enough to keep us laughing. My heart went out to her and the girls, especially when they come into our room before dawn with drugs or were yelled at by other pain-ridden women in labour. If you can’t get someone to bring them coffee, give them the means to get it. They will thank you.
6 – Snacks
Nurses don’t always get to eat when they want to. Or at all…
We wanted to give them something to keep them happy and relatively satisfied when they’re dealing with crying babies and overly-worried first-time moms. The dollar store has a ton of goodies to stock your baskets.
7 – Hand Sanitizer
Hospitals are fully stocked with the stuff, but we found these portable ones useful on our own adventures. Plus, they make you smell like a person. Not sure if there are rules against scents in hospital but the fact that they can clip these onto their scrubs seemed really helpful. I found this jelly-wrapped mini sanitizer for about $2 at Dollarama.
8 – Hand Cream
With all of the sanitizing, hand washing and assortment of bodily fluids I watched my nurses get their fingers into, I figured at the end of their shift they’d want to soothe their hands. I included a super moisturizing lotion with a soft scent. Try Yves Rocher Organic Vanilla Hand Cream $4
9 – Thank-you Cards
We made a conscious effort to get the names of every nurse who helped us as well as the doctor who performed my C-section and anesthetist who pumped me full of sweet numbness. They worked their butts off to keep me comfortable and I’m a sucker for the written word. Hand-written notes are such a sweet way to solidify your gratitude.
10 – Picture of your little one
The day we left the hospital we were told to bring pictures back on our next visit. At first I thought they were just being nice. They see babies all the time. Obviously he’s important to us, but why them? Truth us, they do really care about your little one. Hell, they’re the first ones to take care of him before mom jumps in. Show off the perfection you created!
Total cost for the basket, wrap and all the goodies was about $80. We splurged on the fitness tracker and pens but you can grab most of this stuff from the dollar store to keep costs down. The only trouble we had in having so many amazing nurses is getting enough of everything for them to share!
I’m sure there are a ton of other great ideas out there, please comment below and share any other goodies we can include. Who knows, if number two comes along, I might need to up my game!