Sutter: Nurses made it all better |

Sutter: Nurses made it all better

Ryan Sutter
Vail CO, Colorado

The best stories no doubt are the ones that carry a bit of emotion. Animals, kids, grandparents, that sort of thing. Pull at the heart strings a bit and you can probably keep the reader on the line for an extra hundred words or so. Every once in a while the choice is easy. The topic just seems to appear, so blatantly obvious and begging to be discussed that you simply start writing. That happened to me last week. Or so I thought.

Two weeks ago to the day I became a father. It was the trifecta: kids, new grandparents and with the introduction of the baby to our dogs, animals, too. Throw in the fact that the birth was unexpectedly early and the baby unexpectedly cute and I couldn’t lose.

As I started writing however, it occurred to me that I wasn’t the first guy to have a child. Though many had tried to explain it to me, the only real way to know the feeling of fatherhood was to experience it. I could try. Maybe some people would reminisce about the birth of their first child or dream about it happening to them someday.

Surely some would enjoy reading of the joy in hearing that first ear-piercing scream or seeing themselves in their baby’s eyes. Some would read to the end but most probably wouldn’t care.

I realized that the experience of becoming a father is a personal one. An experience that is special and unique to each individual dad. The words have yet to be invented to describe that kind of emotion. To try and relate to the reader what I was feeling would be little more than the cheesy doting of a proud father. Appropriate for my journal but certainly not for print.

So there I was, after 11 days in the hospital, exhausted, ready to leave, a deadline approaching and barely able to distinguish up from down. As a nurse checked our car seat, handed us our final discharge papers and helped us carry the rest of our stuff to the truck I realized something. Though I was tired and certainly relieved to be headed home, my stay at the Vail Valley Medical Center was a rather pleasant one. Like most, I try emphatically to stay out of the hospital. Even when visiting I’m in and out as fast as possible. So for me to leave actually feeling a little bit sad was cause for investigation.

Just what do they put in that chocolate pudding there in the OB unit?

The drugs seem to be pretty well regulated, so that couldn’t be it. I suppose the baby thing kind of softened the blow but there seemed to be more to it than that. What I came to realize was that the caring souls and warm hearts of the nurses were what had made my stay tolerable and at times even enjoyable. Their willingness and availability was tireless. I never once questioned the quality of care our baby or my wife received and was amazed at the attention they gave to their patients despite often difficult and hectic situations. Though the nurses certainly see patients come and go, they maintain an aura of genuine compassion that makes each one feel special.

The birth of my first child happened in a way I did not expect and was not prepared for. The nurses and many other wonderful employees at the Vail Valley Medical Center brought health to our baby, warmth to our hearts and inspiration to our lives. Your efforts left an impact that will not be lost or forgotten.

We as a community are more fortunate than we could ever know to have such brilliant and kind individuals in our hospital. I as a citizen and new father cannot thank you enough.

Ryan Sutter of Avon writes a biweekly column for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at

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