Twenty of the babies have already been born to nurses at the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery (NICU) at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri.

By Maressa Brown
Children's Mercy Kansas City

NICU nurses dedicate hours upon hours to care for newborns. In other words, they're a community that deserves a round of applause all of the time. But this year, 36 nurses who work in the the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery (NICU) at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri deserve even more cheer, thanks to their impressive baby boom. All in all, 36 nurses from the unit are expecting babies in 2019.

The first to welcome her little one was Allison Ronco, a critical care education coordinator and nurse, who gave birth to a baby boy named Henry on January 7.  Ronco told Good Morning America: "We always have a baby boom going on like this. For us, it is just our normal. Patients joke to not drink the water in this place unless you want to get pregnant." She's grateful for all of her colleagues who are expecting or already parents, noting, "We have an amazing support system. There is no shortage of parental advice among us."

Ronco is now one of 20 nurses to give birth so far this year.

Children's Mercy took to Facebook on July 23 to celebrate the boom by sharing a photo of the moms alongside the caption: "OH, BABY!! Our Intensive Care Nursery nurses spend their days and nights with little ones from across the Midwest who need the most advanced care. They've also had a baby boom of their own! This photo, taken earlier this month, shows all of the babies born, and still to be born, in 2019. 36 BABIES!! And of the 20 babies so far, only 2 are girls. Congratulations to our growing ICN family!!"

The sweet tribute wracked up almost 4K reactions and over 500 shares.

Children's Mercy Kansas City

Because Children's Mercy's NICU is Level IV, the nurses work with some of the most critical cases in the Midwest, which has definitely colored their perspective of their recent and upcoming births.

Julie Lang, MSN, RNC-NIC, CPST, Nurse Residency Program Coordinator at Children's Mercy Kansas City, who just welcomed her fourth baby, explains, "Being NICU nurses, we care for such sick, complex patients that it can make us anxious about our own pregnancies and newborns. It is always so nice to be able to turn to one another, knowing we are not alone, and have so much support and encouragement around us. After we have our own babies and go back to work, we have such a greater perspective of what our patients’ families are feeling. Our level of empathy skyrockets, and at least for me, it makes all those NICU milestones so much more meaningful. Now, I get emotional every time I get to help a new mama hold her tiny baby for the first time. Such a 'normal' behavior is not taken for granted in the NICU. I leave every shift feeling blessed to have my healthy, happy babies at home."

She's also so grateful for the "special experience" that the boom has offered her and her colleagues. "It has been such a special experience going though pregnancy and having babies with such a large group of us in the same unit," Lang says. "We always have several pregnant nurses or babies just born, but this year has been one to remember."

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