Seeing your baby in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) on a normal day is hard in and of itself. Having a baby in the NICU during the holidays can make it even harder. Kendall Regional Medical Center NICU Nurse, Gabriela Valdez, aims to spread some holiday cheer by continuing her tradition of making and creating holiday costumes for her tiniest patients.
Not only is Gabriela is a NICU Nurse, but she is also the mother of three NICU babies, which she claims is the reason she does what she does every single day. “It was very, very hard. It made me realize and see things differently as a NICU Nurse. The fear that you have when all of a sudden, the one thing you’ve been carrying inside of you all along, has to be handed over to somebody else and somebody else has to take care of it,” explains Valdez. “To have the trust in that person and to have to go home, empty handed and leave your baby in the NICU, I know how that feels.”
According to Valdez, it takes a village and her colleagues at Kendall Regional’s NICU Department go above and beyond to make sure the babies feel as comfortable and as happy as possible during her photoshoot. “We all work together to make this possible. These pictures make them look as if they aren’t even in a NICU. They get this one picture of their baby, apart from all the machines and all the pumps and all the oxygen tubing. They get a beautiful picture of their baby during the holidays and it makes them smile.” This is why they do what they do every single day.