Friday, January 18, 2013

Unpretentious Birth

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.


  1. This semester I start my OB clinicals. I have to admit I never thought I would be interested in that specialty but now that we're getting into it I may change my mind. We'll see :)

  2. It is quite a special event :) And really never gets old even after 20 years of watching babies be born. One of the best changes we made was doing skin to skin post delivery...hardly ever use the warmer much any more and the bath is done hours later out on the postpartum unit. Lots better breastfeeding and the mom's love the bonding time. Have fun with the rest of your rotation...want to come work in California when you graduate?

  3. Candi - I hope you love your OB clinical. Ever since I was in high school I loved the special gift of birth, after seeing my niece for the first time. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, and if you can find a job that refreshes and fills you with that kind of excitement then hold on to it. That's what it felt like when I knew my calling was OB. I can honestly say I would look forward to each crazy day at work if I knew I could end up on the OB floor after I take my NCLEX exam!

    babrndeb - I'm glad you say that it never gets old even after 20 years, because I cannot wait to feel the same way as a nurse. Our unit does skin-to-skin as well and it's lovely to see new mamas bond more quickly. We also do initial baths 6 hours post delivery, which some parents don't like and most don't mind. If I wasn't married or didn't have kids, I'd be much more willing to relocate to other places including California. But right now I'd be happy just to get a job on an OB floor, as a new grad.