Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Selfless Acts by Allison Silver

Several months ago when I asked my husband what attachment parenting meant to him, he replied with, “putting your child’s needs ahead of your own needs.” This idea of putting your child’s needs first requires parents to do selfless acts on a daily basis.  This can be difficult, especially during times of high stress.
Hurricane Sandy packed a much larger punch this week than many had predicted and, living here on the West Coast, we only saw television reports or heard specifics from family and friends. One report that has really stuck with me is the evacuation of the NYU hospital. One of the units the hospital had to evacuate was the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Nurses from the NICU were required to walk down nine flights of stairs by flashlight while manually squeezing respirators for these fragile babies. Can you imagine having to do that?
Talk about a selfless act! The evacuation of these babies required the nurses to forget about their own needs during this stressful time and put all of their energy into moving these babies. We tend to forget that medical personnel are people too. Each one of these nurses has a family that they were probably concerned about. But instead of worrying about their own needs they put the needs of these helpless babies first.
The parents of these babies also had to commit a selfless act by trusting in the nurses to properly evacuate their children. Can you imagine what kind of stress these families have had to encounter? First, they gave birth to a premature infant, that in itself is highly stressful! Then add on a hurricane and on top of that an evacuation because the hospital is flooding and has lost power. I really don’t know how any of these parents were able to hold it together. I would have been a crazy woman! Our daughter was born five weeks early and thankfully we only had to spend one night in the NICU. However that one night was very stressful so I can only imagine what type of stress these families in New York had to encounter.
From the news stories that I have read and seen on the television, all of the babies in the NICU were evacuated successfully and taken to other hospitals. This is absolutely remarkable. It truly amazes me how people come together during times of crisis and can put their own needs on hold to meet the needs of others.
As a parent I really commend the action of the nurses, doctors, first responders, and families in New York City. I strive to commit selfless acts on a daily basis and yet these heroes didn’t give a second thought to putting their own needs aside and focusing on what mattered most, the well being of these infants. This is a good reminder to me to apply focus to what matters most in my life, the needs of my child, and not to get so caught up in the everyday.
To all of you who were affected by hurricane Sandy, our thoughts and prayers are with you and we pray for the safety and well being of you and your family.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Selfless Acts by Allison Silver”

  2. True, Allison. They also carried frail, elderly people downstairs as well. What you also have to consider is that when you work in a hospital (which I have), there is a total environment of needy and helpers. Every time a Code Red or Code Blue would go off, there would be a flash of white coats running through the halls. It made you want to run too, although you knew your presence would be a hinderance. That’s the “environment” when you work in a medical facility. You are there to assist. You are a team. No questions asked. You just “do.”

    Unfortunately, being a “victim” of this storm, I am seeing more rudeness and callousness on the streets than I ever saw before. People cutting you off while you are driving and screaming at you. Others blocking your way on purpose so that you can’t go through somewhere. Pushing and shoving for limited groceries. Someone even put a sign up in their window, “Charge your technology here: $10/hr.” It’s disgusting. I decided to stay home, have limited supplies and get less aggravated. And I am the type to do at least one random act of kindness per day.

    What you read about NYU is absolutely correct. Yet I am certain that one of those nurses cursed someone out spending 3 hours trying to get back home. The one and only time I saw true coming together and compassion for others was during the aftermath of 9/11. EVERYONE was profoundly affected by that tragedy, near and far.

    We are all getting “cabin fever” here. We can’t get out of our community with so many downed trees and debris. Our kids have been out of school for a week and counting. It is too difficult to arrange play dates because you can’t get to a friend’s house. And it is too cold now to play outside for any long duration of time. Besides, half the parks are in disarray.

    I’m sorry to dampen your much needed uplifting blog. I guess I am jaded by the true reality of what is around me. And honestly, it is not pretty.

    By Cara Meyers on Nov 1, 2012

  3. Wow! Thanks Cara for the reality check! I am terribly saddened to hear the amount of contempt that people are treating each other with. I guess stress can bring out the best and worst in people and I can only imagine the amount of stress that you are all under! It is probably incredibly frustrating to deal with the chaos and disarray from the aftermath of this storm. However, I am happy to hear that you and your family are safe and well. Please let me know if there is any way that we can help ease the burden that you and your community are dealing with.

    By allison on Nov 1, 2012

  4. Allison, after I pressed submit on the computer, I wanted to jump in and delete the post comment. I am a little jaded, as I said, and found out this morning that people are waiting 5 HOURS to get gas for their cars and most gas stations ran out of gas! It is a truly terrible situation.

    On a happier note, I have been asking families without power to come and stay with me, even if they just want to hang out, charge their technology and drink some tea (my food supply is very limited). I finally got a call this morning that a family would like to come over to use the internet, bring their frozen dog, and get warm. I was ecstatic!! I may have others over on Monday as well!! I am reaching out as much as possible and am feeling good about helping others who are desperately in need!

    As long as I stay home, travel locally, conserve gas, and help others, I feel humbled that I can make a small difference! Just like those nurses at NYU! So, thank you for helping those of us that are in this crisis look inside themselves and do what they can for others! :)

    By Cara Meyers on Nov 2, 2012