DENVER (KDVR) — Nurses at the Colorado Springs Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Children’s Hospital Colorado are celebrating Mother’s Day with 22 of them having or carrying babies of their own within the last year.

Eight of the nurses are pregnant and 14 babies have been born to mothers on the NICU staff. The clinical nurse manager, Erin Havrilla, said there may have been up to 10 nurses with babies in a rolling year before, but never 22.

“This is extraordinary,” she said. “That’s why we got everybody together to have a picture and have a shared experience.”

The unit is making Mother’s Day signs with each baby’s hands and footprints for the moms with children there, as part of a daily effort to make having a baby in the NICU feel as normal as possible.

“We will have many mothers that are working Mother’s Day,” Havrilla said. “I think it will be extra special for them to help our parents bond with their babies.”

  • A nurse and her baby are smiling.
  • A nurse and her baby are smiling.
  • A nurse and her baby are smiling.
  • A nurse and her babies are smiling.
  • 22 nurses and 14 babies gathered for a group photo.

The mother nurses have grown a bond of their own with each other. Havrilla said they have connected and created a space to share stories and have comradery within the unit. She said she has seen the team members with “that willingness to jump in and support them.”

She describes the team as a wonderful work group and a big family and believes that is what makes the NICU so strong.

And all of that love translates to the patients and their mothers.

“There’s a shared sense of compassion for what those moms are going through,” Havrilla said. “It’s such a gift to be able to provide care to these patients and families because, in the NICU, it isn’t just the patient — you’re caring for the entire family.”

Havrilla said the nurses were grateful that they could all gather at once for the special moment, and said it felt good to be recognized by the hospital as not just nurses, but mothers as well.