Nurse Receives The DAISY Award for Coaching Couple Through Pregnancy Loss, Births of Daughters
It was at their 20-week ultrasound that Andy and Megan Severson knew something wasn’t right.
“The tech excused herself,” Megan said. “I turned to Andy and said, ‘There’s no heartbeat.’”
“We had to set up an appointment that day,” Andy said – an appointment to deliver the baby they wouldn’t be taking home.
“We couldn’t stop crying,” Megan said. “All throughout your pregnancy you imagine your life with your baby. And to have that taken away from you is really heartbreaking. You don’t know how to move on initially. You were planning a life that’s no longer.”
It wasn’t until the couple felt the warm, reassuring presence of Methodist Women's Hospital labor and delivery nurse Lyndsey Lynch Nunn, BSN, RN, C-EFM, that their tears stopped flowing. It was right about the time Lynch Nunn’s tears began.
“I remember that day,” Lynch Nunn said. “I sat down, got my assignment and immediately teared up.”
But the nurse, wife and mother of three tucked her emotions away. She knew she had to exhibit what would eventually become award-winning strength as a couple prepared to say hello and goodbye to their very first child.
If there’s anything that stands out about Lynch Nunn’s compassion after baby Charlotte was born, it was making sure Megan and Andy had enough time with her.
“She kept reminding us: ‘Take us much time as you need with her. Do what you need to. Make sure you’re in a good place before you say goodbye,’” Megan said.
But Lynch Nunn’s dedication to her role was evident long before any goodbyes were said.
“She helped us get to that point,” Megan said. “The point of, ‘OK. We’re going to get through this. Here’s where we need to go, and here’s how we’re going to get there.’”
In just 20 weeks of pregnancy, Megan and Andy had not yet attended a birthing class. Lynch Nunn, fully aware, slowly and calmly walked them through every step of the process. She even helped direct their minds elsewhere by encouraging them to plan a trip over Charlotte’s due date.
“And we did,” Andy said. “We went to Denmark and visited some of my distant relatives.”
“A celebration, in a sense,” Megan added. “Celebrating Charlotte. Finding a way to honor her.”
There for the highs and lows
When Megan and Andy became pregnant with their second child, they knew they needed Lynch Nunn by their side.
“It was really scary,” Megan said. “I remember right before I had to push, I had this overwhelming feeling of, ‘Oh, my gosh – I’m going to cry! This is here. This is happening.’ And Lyndsey was right there with us. She got us through it in a way someone who knew our history would.”
A beautiful baby girl named Sadie had finally brought her mother, her father and their nurse turned friend the joy they all had yearned for after the heartbreaking birth of Charlotte. And three years later, baby Norah joined the tribe. Her birth, too, was accompanied by Lynch Nunn, who worked past her shift to witness it.
“Oh, you can’t even imagine breaking that kind of streak,” Lynch Nunn said. “You work all day for that moment, and you just have to see that great outcome. It’s so fulfilling. It’s so worth it.”
It was a big part of the Seversons’ desire to nominate Lynch Nunn for The DAISY Award. In her nomination letter, Megan wrote: “Lyndsey has a young family of her own, whom she adores. Knowing that she unselfishly gave her time during our deliveries when she could have been at home with her family means the world to us. We are so thankful for the care we have received at Methodist Women’s Hospital and will be forever grateful for all that Lyndsey has done for our family. The Meaning of Care: Methodist’s motto and something Lyndsey so proudly exemplifies.”
It wasn’t just Lynch Nunn’s overtime that landed her the award, but also the fact that “she has been with us for the absolute best and absolute worst moments of our lives,” Megan wrote.
It’s something Lynch Nunn considers “part of the job.”
“You come to work on what’s typically the happiest days of people’s lives,” she said. “But when bad days arise, you just do whatever you can to make that horrible experience a little bit better. And it’s something you can never totally make better. You can’t put a Band-Aid on it like a lot of things in medicine. But you do what you can.”