Frontline Hero Project- Covid19 Pandemic 2020- The Douwes Family

Through all this I’ve felt so helpless! As my many friends gear up every single day to battle the frontlines of this pandemic, I sit at home trying to find things to occupy my time. With no booked sessions Ive searched for ways to satisfy my need for being creative. I knew I needed to do something… something that lights my soul on fire. But what?

After weeks of not shooting I woke up on April 2nd 2020 and it HIT ME! My feelings of wanting to help and show appreciation combined with needing an artistic outlet made for the perfect recipe to start the The Frontline Hero Project.

Heroes don’t wear capes… they wear scrubs, uniforms, badges, tools on their belts, and yes even Costco name tags!

I am thankful for all of you out there risking everything. You all are true heroes and I appreciate you!

Thank you now… thank you forever. You guys make the difference!

The Douwes Family

BSN Student and Full-Time OB-LVN

My name is Stacey Douwes, and I am a single mother to Kai, River Grace, and Lincoln. I am a full-time BSN student and a full-time OB-LVN in the Nursery/Postpartum. I am 6 months away from my BSN graduation, and in the meantime have the amazing opportunity to serve my community by providing care to new moms and newborns at our local hospital. Managing work, my education and my home as a single mom has always been a heavy task, but the recent Covid19 pandemic has added new pressures that no doubt have required some adjustment.
Prior to Covid19, Postpartum/Nursery was usually a happy place. Families regularly gather around new moms in recovery and babies are welcomed into many arms of love. With the hospital on lockdown, visitors are no longer allowed. Moms have delivered alone, and many have had to recover alone. If their partner is cleared to be present for birth, they cannot leave the unit for any reason or they are unfortunately not allowed back no matter what the circumstances are. This policy has been placed to protect the health of other moms, newborns, and staff. I cannot tell you how many moms I have provided care to that were literally grieving the fact that their family could not be with them for those first fresh days of recovery. As their nurse, I personally make a vow to them that while I am there- I will sit in as their husband, their mom, their friend. Whoever they need, I assure them I will be that. Outside of their medical care, I make it clear that I will watch the baby if they need a few hours of rest, I will sit and listen if they want to replay their birth story, and of course, will do whatever I can to keep them comfortable as their family would. 4 pillows and fresh ice every hour? No problem. This has made my “job” harder but I am thankful to be the person to make this experience easier for them. 
While working in a hospital where Covid19 exists, I am always aware that at any time while brushing shoulders with other staff I can come in contact with this virus. My biggest fear is that I will bring this virus home to my children- who are always waiting with plenty of cuddles for mommy to get home. There is no 6 feet rule in nursing, and because of this, I know that I am always at risk. The realness of this virus is in your face every day when you work in a place where you can hear the codes, and see its effect on other units just a few feet away. 
I always encourage people who are stir crazy to remember that it is a blessing (no matter how difficult it can be) to stay home. You are not stuck at home, you are safe there. 
I have been blown away by all my fellow healthcare professionals and frontline workers during this time. Their bravery, and endless grit in acting out their duty to serve, regardless of the risks, is inspiring to me in so many ways and has made me even more proud of my calling as a nurse. And furthermore, even prouder as a mother to show my kids just how strong nurses are and can be
Be sure to meet the other Frontline Families by clicking here: The Frontline Hero Project

Jenn Tuttle Loveographer

Serving Southern California

Southern California areas including Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Rancho Cucamonga, Wrightwood, Palmdale, Fontana, Riverside, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, and San Diego.