By K. Hecht, A. Hosack, & P. Berman
Dad is coming but he is mad. What is he going to do to me if Davy cries in the car? How can I survive without Nurse Karin?
Claire felt confused and worried and she sat and waited to be taken home. Nurse Karin noticed how Claire looked and was concerned; Davy was finally healthy enough to come home. Claire and her family should be so happy. Nurse Karin asked Claire if something was wrong. Claire didn’t tell Nurse Karin about her parents. It was a strict law in the house that family business stayed in the family. Claire did admit that she feared she didn’t know enough to be a good mom. Nurse reassured Claire that the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) was providing her with a personal nurse. This nurse would come visit her twice a week throughout Davy’s first year.
Claire really likes the idea of having someone like Nurse Karin helping her. What she can’t say out loud is that her parents might not want any stranger in their house. She had never been allowed to have Larry in the house; her parents have never met him. Claire wonders what Nurse Karin would do if she knew how her parents felt about Davy. She might help Claire but…. what if Nurse Karin is lying whenever she says she cares about Davy and helping her be a good mom.
After all, why would anyone care about her and Davy? What would Nurse Karin be getting out of it? How could this strange nurse from NFP care?
Nurse Karin asks Claire when she is being picked up. Claire can’t admit that she doesn’t know when her dad is coming so she says he could be coming at any moment. Nurse Karin helps Claire get ready to go and wheels her, holding Davy, down to the front door of the hospital. Claire isn’t smiling. She wants to live up to her promise to God and be a great mom, but she is afraid her parents might treat Davy meanly like they do her; she can’t let her dad’s belt hit her Davy. What if her dad arrives drunk to pick them up?
Will the hospital staff notice?
As she sits and waits, Claire reads and re-reads the brochure Nurse Karin gave her about NFP. She sees that it is designed for first-time moms like her who not have a job, might be struggling with their finances, or even kicked out of their home and homeless. Claire is relieved the program is completely free because she has no money. She sees all the smiling moms and nurses in the brochure and begins to dream that this program with its amazing, caring staff, will like her and help her with Davy; they would have even helped her when she first got pregnant! Claire doesn’t want Davy to ever be afraid of her, like she is of her dad. She doesn’t ever want to call Davy a waste of space – like her mother does her.
Do visiting nurses make a difference?
The Nurse-Family Partnership has been carefully tracked and tested, and the results show healthier children, happier moms, and thousands of dollars saved through preventing ER visits and hospital stays, in addition to lower crime rates for both mothers and their children involved in the partnership. Claire wondered what the other moms might be like who used this service.
Would you or someone you know benefit from NFP?
Do you want to know more about it?
Learn more about the Nurse-Family Partnership at https://www.nursefamilypartnership.org/about/