birth

Hurricane Sandy and the NICU

Five months ago yesterday, my son was born. Yes, it amazes me that time has flown by so fast, but today what is really on my mind is where he was born.

I labored, delivered, and cared for my son in the first days of his life at NYU Hospital. The very same one that was evacuated late on Monday night when Hurricane Sandy hit New York City–hard.

When Benjamin was born (and my daughter Abigail too, for that matter), I knew that the folks at NYU were stellar. They took excellent care of all of us, constantly doing more than I would have expected in order to keep everyone healthy and happy.

But it pales in comparison to what the nurses, doctors, administrators, and staff did on Monday to take care of patients. Especially those tiny little NICU babies who needed to get from the 9th floor to the ambulances waiting outside, without elevators. My heart was breaking as I watched the coverage on television. It’s not every day that I get to see heroism in action like that.

Each night, I sing to my children. Sometimes off-key, but always a song. Now that my daughter is 3, she gets to choose, but for my son, I get to pick. And I constantly go back to my favorite song–
hashkivenu
. This prayer asks God to shelter us at night, and allow us to wake up in the morning. I know the prayer isn’t the reason that my family woke up in safety after this storm, but last night, I prayed it all the more fervently.

For so many, Hurricane Sandy was an end to their homes, sending them to find literal shelter at local schools or community centers. Or for those teeny tiny babies, sending them racing to another hospital that could keep them safe (and thankfully, it seems that those transfers were all successful). As I sang hashkivenu last night, I tried to open my heart and fit all of New York City into it.

Today, as always, I am proud to be a New Yorker.

(If you want to support New York City, or another city or town impacted by the hurricane, it seems that the Red Cross is your best bet. And if you’re local, check your town website to see if they’re taking donations, or if they have any other ways you can help. Or, even better, post below to share your ideas with others.)

Amy Deutsch

Amy is a Jewish educator and a mom. After graduating from Brandeis University she received a master’s degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary where she was a Wexner Fellow. Over the past 10 years Amy has developed experience in teaching, family education, camp, curriculum writing, and most recently, has begun teaching “Baby & Me” classes.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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