Nothing pleases me more while working on the birthing center, than when the call light goes off for one of the rooms with a laboring mom ready to push. I get all excited and giddy, and pick up the pace to grab a sterile cart that I’ve already prepared for this moment. Usually the nurse I’m following grabs the baby scale and together we enter the room.
The look in the mother’s eyes is not of shock or that we’ve intruded, despite the fact that sometimes her bottom is exposed. Instead her look is of desperation to get the baby out and end the exhaustion that labor is putting her through.
The mother we took care of that day already had given birth once before, that took over two hours of actual pushing, and she was afraid this labor would be the same. The nurse reassured her by saying that every pregnancy was different and we would know more after she started pushing.
Sometimes I am caught off guard by the sounds laboring moms can make, or how they talk to their spouses because of frustration. This mom didn’t say much and every time she felt the pain increase from another contraction, she would cover her mouth as if to control herself to stay quiet. She also purchased a birthing gown prior to coming to the hospital, and the nurse did her best to push it out of the way so it wouldn’t get soiled. However, she was quite modest and kept pushing her gown down to cover her vagina, so her hubby and her mother wouldn’t see her exposed.
The actual pushing of active labor only lasted about half an hour, especially after we talked her into dropping her knees down allowing for a wider opening. Also, we put the head of the bed down straightening out the vaginal canal. I was thrilled to take over the “counting to 10” for my nurse while she caught up on some charting during a few of the earlier pushes. This made me feel like I was the nurse coaching the mom through the labor process, if only for a few pushes.
Moments later, the baby was on the warmer getting cleaned up and healthy apgar scores were being tallied. Mom was saying over and over how beautiful the baby looked, dad was a blubbering mess (which I LOVE to see), and grandma was hugging and kissing her daughter for doing such a good job. To be honest, even my eyes were a bit misty.
This never gets old to me; I love to watch the miracle of birth happen over and over! I am so very blessed and happy with my decision to work here. Now if only I could get a job as a nurse on this unit, I’d be all set! Oh and also, between me and the nurse, together we were able to keep mom’s gown from getting too dirty.