This is one of the best feelings I will ever have.
Today, I helped deliver a baby. Now think about this. Think beyond the blood, and the guts, and the placenta… Think about the fact that this child was born today, that he will grow up, go to school, get married, have a happy long life – and it all started today. And I was a part of it! That’s kind of mind-blowing.
NOW, let’s get to the blood and guts.
We walked in around 7am, and they were already giving her her epidural. By 9am, they ruptured her membrane (water breaking) and by 11am, she was fully dilated. But the baby didn’t come out until 3:03pm! That was apparently the longest labor my nurse has ever had. But since it was my first, I had nothing to compare it to. So for 4 hours, it was just us and the mom paying contraction/push/rest. See, as a nursing student, I thought I’d only be standing on a corner, peeking in, looking around, observing. No. I was in there, in the battle field, in all it’s guts and glory, holding up one leg, holding her hand, and screaming “PUSH! PUSH! PUSH!”
I saw every stage. From being dilated 4cm until breastfeeding! I saw the epidural, the water-breaking, the full dilation, the contractions starting, the baby being OP (baby facing up toward the ceiling versus baby ideally facing the floor), turning the baby the right way, all the scare about having to possibly have a C-section, the mom crying and pushing and being frustrated, promises of fruits and juices after labor, and finally, slowly at first and then all at once, the baby being born.
It was white and pale and wrinkly and small (kind of big for a new infant, actually! 7 lbs and 13 ounces!) and with tiny fingers and toes and tiny eyes trying to make sense of the world. I wanted to cry every time I looked at him. It was….. nothing short of a miracle, really. And the mom! That baby made her work sooo hard, but the way she looked at the baby, even just when he was in the bassinet… It was love at first sight. It was amazing to witness.
And the family was amazing, too! You got the patient’s mom, dad, and brother. All very supportive and funny and praying and singing and encouraging. It was a very loving family. The baby’s dad may not be present, but the patient is very lucky to have a family like that.
All in all, I am very grateful for this opportunity. I might never be able to experience this again. I never saw myself as an OB nurse, but I think the nurse I shadowed might have been successful with her goal today – I might be close to converting to become an OB nurse.