I hold a baby when I hand him to his mother for the first time, three weeks after his birth date.
I hold a baby when teaching a new mother how to breastfeed her child.
I hold a baby to feed him, to rock him to sleep, to bathe him and bundle him.
I hold a baby when morphine and walking the halls 24 hours a day are the only things that will quiet him down while he’s withdrawing from the illegal drugs his mother took.
I hold a baby’s arm still when my fellow nurse inserts an IV.
I hold a baby’s head still while we bag oxygenated air back into his tiny lungs.
I hold a baby when he has no family to hold him.
I hold a baby when he takes his last breaths because his parents didn’t make it to the hospital in time.
I hold a baby when I’m placing his lifeless, tiny hands in plaster to make a keepsake for his parents… because there is no baby to hold anymore.
I hold babies all day long.