Nursing. School. Life.

First Delivery

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“Okay, who would like to see a delivery? Patient came into the ER last night and now her contractions are about four minutes apart. So if it doesn’t happen now, you’ll definitely see something before we leave. I talked to the mother and she agreed to let one of you watch, but it has to be a female. Sorry S.”

There were three of us in the room at the time, and one was already knocked out. I looked over at my classmate and urged her to go. She wants to go into maternity, and I’ve seen a couple of c-sections already.

“No, ST… you go. I’ll just wait for the next one.”

My clinical instructor sent me off to the lounge where I had to change into another set of scrubs. Unlike the mandatory school uniform, the L&D scrubs fit better and were much more comfy. I headed back to the confrence room and waited for the rest of the group to show up.

“Hey, how come you’re in different scrubs?”
“ST’s going to watch them deliver a baby!”

I wasn’t going to do anything, just watch. So why was I getting nervous?

Our clinical instructor came back in and gave us the rundown for the day. I would be in L&D with the mother until she was moved to the other side of the floor. They didn’t have many patients over in Maternity, so people would have to double. Postpartum assessments, and give whatever medications are indicated.

“Ready to go, ST?”


I followed my instructor to L&D and introduced myself to the nurses I would be following. They seemed nice enough. They knew some people from my school, did I know so-and-so? Nope. I asked how the day went, and it was unusally… nice. Aside from the one active labor, they didn’t get anything else.

I had just cracked open the chart when the doctor came over to ask if it was time to check the patient again.

“The last time you checked was before 10.”
“Really? Let’s go check in on her now.”

I still had no idea what I should be doing, so I went back to the chart. One of the nurses called over to me.

“Hey, do you want to come in?”

We did a tour of the floor on our first clinical day. The rooms are on the large size, but keep in mind it didn’t have a patient, the doctor, three nurses, the patient’s husband, sister, and myself. I did my best to stay out of everyone’s way. You always see on tv a woman in labor as this big mess- crying, screaming, out of her mind. K, was far from that. She was calm, talking to her sister, and just waiting.

As the doctor was getting ready, the nurses talked to the patient to let her know what was going on. Earlier this morning she was dilated at 3 cm, and she needed to get to 10.

Patient was hilarious. “Come on 10! Let’s go 10!” Was that the epidural or just her?

“Guess what K, you’re at ten.”
“You’re kidding me! And I just sent my husband to go over to the office!”
“Don’t worry, we’ll wait for him to get back.”

We didn’t have to wait long. The dad-to-be was back with the cord blood packet and there was just a flurry of activity. Two of the nurses helped K get ready and broke the bed down. DtB was getting his video and digital camera ready. The doctor set up her sterile field and I watched her pour a dark yellow liquid into a medication cup. I didn’t get a look at the bottle, but it looked pretty thick. What on earth could that be for?

“Are you ready to start?” There was a nurse by each leg and the doctor was in between. DtB and Sister were off to the periphery, and I moved around to find a good spot to watch.

“Okay now… push push push push push push. Good! You’re doing great, K.” At this point I could see a bit of hair.

The doctor kept dipping her fingers into the yellow liquid and rubbing it around the skin. Still no clue what it was… lubricant? Not that she really needed any more. Maybe it’s a numbing agent of some kind? But she has an epidural. I was still stumped.

About half and hour later, the baby was out. Unlike what I learned in lecture, K’s support system during labor wasn’t DtB or Sister, but the two nurses and the doctor. They gave her words of encouragement after each pushing session and joked around while they waited to go again. They teased DtB every now and then, mentioning how blond the baby’s hair was (DtB’s hair is jet black).

Baby girl, so cute. Another nurse that was floating in and out of the room, took the baby and placed her in the warmer. She did some quick assessments, and started on the paperwork. Baby Girl was small, and not really crying. She opened and closed her eyes a few times and tried to suck her thumb. When the paperwork was done, DtB came over and met his new child.

“Hey baby… I’m so glad to finally meet you. Your sister is waiting outside and she can’t wait to say hi.”

Tearing up at this point would be acceptable, I think.

While this was going on, the other two nurses were finishing up their documenting and the doctor had delivered the placenta and drawn the cord blood. There was no tearing, lucky K.

I went with the nurse when she brought the baby over to the nursery, and watched the newborn assessment. I need to get this idea out of my head that patients are like porcelain- the way the nurse was moving the newborns’ extremities make me think she was going to pop something out. No no no… they have give, no need to treat them as something fragile.

After plenty of oohs and aahhs, I made my way back to the delivery room and finished up my paperwork. The nurses went in for assessments on the mother, before sending her over to her room. That was a little over 2 hours after giving birth. Once she made it to her room, the baby was brought in and family was finally able to meet the new member.

I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, but I’m sure I’ll be seeing them again before D/C.


Written by stereotypicalone

July 24, 2009 at 00:46

One Response

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  1. That was a lubricant the doctor was using (some midwives use olive oil, not sure what type of oil they use in a hospital setting). And that was a good doctor–rubbing oil on the perineum helps it stretch slowly to prevent or reduce tearing. I love watching childbirth.


    August 7, 2009 at 19:28

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