Yesterday I spent my entire morning with 2 adorable little 1-day-old babies. One was 8 lbs, the other only 4. I got to assess them and hold them and just get wrapped up in their cuteness. Am I baby hungry now? Heck no! Do I want to go back and hold a few newborns? Yes please!
Today I was with the labor nurse, Carla, who was super fantastic and taught me so much. There was one girl in a labor room when I got there at 6 AM, and she was dilating one cm every hour. I was so worried that she wouldn't give birth until after my shift ended at 1, especially because births don't happen every day in a small hospital. Carla and I spent the morning monitoring her contractions and the baby's heart rate, and popped in on the mom to check dilation and to see if she needed anything throughout the morning. Carla showed me how to feel the stomach for the fundus (top) of the uterus, and I got to feel how hard the stomach gets during a contraction. Carla really was fantastic in teaching me things, and she promised me I would get to see and assist in the birth before I had to leave for work.
Noon rolls around, and I'm supposed to meet up for lunch with all the nursing students. Carla promises me I won't miss anything while I run to grab lunch, so I head to the cafeteria. When we get our food and sit down, our clinical teacher, Gina, rushes in and says we have to go to post conference (a meeting where we discuss what we did that day and ask questions) right away because an RN student had shown up to do his teaching assignment. So I go to the break room pretty convinced I'm going to miss the birth. I'm eating and learning about wound care (thank heavens for my strong stomach) when I hear over the hospital intercom "Courtney Brown please return to OB, Courtney Brown to OB"
I jump up and practically run back to OB. I rush in the room and get there at the same time as the doctor. Carla and I set up the bed and supplies, and the mom is ready to push. The dad and I help hold up her legs, and the doctor says to push. One nice long push later... voila! Cone-head little boy! The nursery nurse takes the baby after a few minutes to do her assessment, and Carla and I start caring for the mom. A few minutes later the placenta is delivered, and the doctor lets me put on gloves and touch it. He was great to show me the anatomy of it, and the dad was so grossed out he couldn't look away. The baby was doing just fine, and so was the mom, so we started cleaning up.Carla cut the cord into a few sections to be kept for a few days in case it was needed for testing (Did you know the umbilical cord will test positive for ALL substances the mother may have taken during the entire span of the pregnancy?) and we did a sponge count to make sure everything was accounted for.
She told me that the afternoon students had been trying to convince her not to find me, and to let them in to the delivery instead of me! Thankfully Carla responded that I had been there all morning long helping to care for the mother, and that if any student was going to see the birth, it would be me. Thank you, Carla!!! I so appreciated her when she told me that! Quality nurse right there.
The best part about watching the birth (aside from the amazing child comes out of a tiny orifice thing) was watching the mom and dad interact with each other. Such a beautiful, loving couple. Kinda made me all sniffly and wistful for the day when I have a husband as loving as he was.
Really cool rotations in L&D, but I'm pretty sure I'm not heading in that direction professionally. Only time will tell I suppose!