I definitely feel the Bronson Positivity with my job.

Ruth Ritzema, Employee

I provide support for families that have babies in the NICU. I give them information, resources, to help them during their stay and beyond. I try to empower them to be advocates for themselves and their babies. I do this by encouraging them to be as involved with their baby as they can, ask questions when they have them, and they understand the answers when they get them.

I feel like it is important for our parents to feel empowered. No one chooses the NICU as a birth experience – and when the parents feel empowered it helps them through their NICU journey.

One of my favorite parts of this role is meeting the families. I love meeting them, talking to them, and seeing the babies grow and graduate from the NICU.

I gave birth to twin daughters in October of 1998. They were born at 23 weeks gestation and had a 25% chance of living. We were told if they did survive, they would be severely impaired. We lost our daughter Katrin on the twelfth day. Rebecca, after a long NICU stay, was able to come home when she was 3.5 months old. Rebecca does struggle in some areas, however, she works hard and she is very successful. She is starting her second year in college.

The reason we started the dinners is because we had a nursery ward. With private rooms it was very isolating for the parents. So I started the dinners for parents to meet with one another and share their journeys. They all have a common bond – and with that bond they can create friendships. This creates support for them through their NICU journey and beyond because they will more than likely remain friends beyond their NICU stay.

I definitely feel the Bronson Positivity with my job. I enjoy being with the families, I enjoy seeing their babies grow, progress, and eventually get discharged. On the flip side, sometimes I feel like the families give something back to me. They have helped me heal from my own experience, and work through parts of what I went through, by sharing their stories.

Take it one day at a time. Sometimes one moment if that is needed. The doctors and nurses are excellent. I always tell people their baby is in very good hands, and they’re the reason my daughter was able to come home. That’s Bronson Positivity.

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