Beth Laubenstein, NICU Nurse
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Nominated by Vallerie Wonders
It is said that, “God doesn’t give you the people that you want, he gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you the person you were meant to be.” In April of 2014 God gave us Beth Laubenstein.
When your baby is ill it is a very dark place. A parent’s natural sense is to flock to their child, protect them and fix them. With a 24 week, premature baby we were unable to do that. The care for our child was left in the hand’s of others. We had no control and the ability to hold on to hope and not get lost was difficult. That is when we were given the person we needed and Seth was given the person that helped him and loved him, so that he can someday fulfill the person he is meant to be.
Beth was more than just a nurse. She was a friend, a confident, a beacon of light and hope, and a part of our family. She became Seth’s primary nurse within the first few weeks of his 6 month stay in the hospital. Although her shifts were only 12 hours, I don’t think there was a day that she didn’t spend 13-14 to ensure a proper and thorough report was given to the next nurse for Seth’s care. She was his advocate and ours. When Seth had serious tests or surgery, Beth made sure to arrange or change her schedule just so she could be by his side. She knew that this not only gave us a peace in our hearts, but also that Seth would have his girl beside him.
As with all of her babies, Beth did not look at them nor treat them as just another patient. She learned everything about them. She got to know them as the sweet and innocent fighters that they are instead of just what is told on a monitor or screen. You never want to step away from your baby in fear you might miss something. What if a Doctor comes in? What if he Brady’s? But during the times that we did it was such a reassuring feeling to enter the room and see her cuddling with Seth. She understood how important it was for these babies to feel loved and supported and not just taken care of and treated.
I was sick for a few days and it was the first days I could not come to see Seth. Beth went out of her way to create a get well sign and make handprints from Seth, so that I could feel as if I was there. It was such an amazing and thoughtful surprise.
It truly is hard to express all of the things that Beth did for us. I could go through hundreds of memories, hundreds of examples, but even if I did I still don’t think it would do the justice of what she truly did for our family. She was the first one to tell us how important it was to be with him as much as possible and it was the first time we were directly impacted and connected by the Jackson Chance Foundation as well. We felt like there was nothing we could do and she told us the best we could do was be there. That he felt us and knew we were there. She told us that there was a huge difference on a baby whose parents are there and one’s who cannot be and that rather than just survive they thrive all because of LOVE. For the first time in all of our fear we felt empowered and important. This was all because of Beth.
You never think someone can love your baby as much as you, but when someone tries and shows that even if they can’t, they will do their best in your absence, it means the world. Beth laughed with us, cried with us, and fought beside us and Seth will forever know her as Aunt Bethie.
Thank you Beth and if anyone deserves this you do!