Chopping Tree Branches for Babies in the NICU

Posted by Jewell Sherbourne on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 @ 08:00 AM


I recently had a big lesson in the saying, “If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.”

My husband Tim and I arrived at our BMS office after a big windstorm to discover a tree had fallen down in the parking lot. It fell in the parking lot… not on the fence, and not on anyone’s car. Thank goodness.

Surprisingly, despite the huge mess, it was not a cause for sadness but for giddiness! Tim and I had been “nose to the grindstone” for weeks with travel and office duties. It was almost an excuse to play hooky.

We hurried home to grab the chainsaw and limb loppers and there in the dusk of our empty parking lot, we lopped and chopped until it was really, really dark. For three evenings in a row, I lopped branches into pieces. Tim used the chainsaw on the bigger ones. We filled up the back of our truck three times with the small branches. As I continued to clean up this wonderful mess, I discovered that once all of the little branches were cleaned up, it wasn’t such an intimidating job. We cut up the rounds and Heave-Ho, the job was done!

For those three evenings, it was more than just the branches that were on my mind… It might seem strange but I couldn’t help but think about babies. Babies I had cared for that survived and the babies that didn’t. I thought about tomorrow’s babies and how to keep from losing them. I thought about every baby in the NICU and the things we can do to help keep them safe and growing. No matter what I’m doing in life, there always seems to be some sort of parallel I can find to the NICU. Perhaps that reveals a little bit about me, “saving the world one baby at a time.” Our itty bitty babies in the NICU need so much and I have something to give. Attention, love and hope that they will live to drive their parents crazy as normal teenagers. I also give my ideas, plans to develop products that will help them to ride the big bus. I give them my creativity, and not so usual thinking, which is probably what led me to correlate cutting down a tree to babies in the NICU! But hear me out. What if, just what if, all of the small, minute adjustments and “clean-up” in the NICU made the job of keeping our babies stable seem clearer? There are so many “small branches,” in the NICU. I’m the type of person who looks for those details, seeks them out, and then tackles the questions to find some answers! What if once all of those tiny adjustments were made, the job as a whole was just a little more manageable? And with a gentler Heave-Ho, the job was done? Just a thought…


2Well, anyway, once the tree was cleaned up from the parking lot, I felt good about what we had done. I accomplished something so tactile and right in front of me. It was clear there was no longer a fallen tree where one had once been. Plus, it was so refreshing to use my physical self to address a problem instead of always my brain. There were no marketing tactics, no creative bookkeeping, just cut and throw and cut and throw until the job was done… Now where’s the Aspirin? I’m getting too old for this!






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Author: Kate Beevers

President of Beevers Medical Solutions

Topics: Infant, NICU, preemie, beevers