Nursing Voices

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sweet and Bitter

Today it's not so much bone tired as totally wired.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of helping a patient who is completely out of control because her labor is barreling like a runaway train towards delivery. A very anxious first-time mom who delivers a couple of hours after feeling the first contraction is going to be understandably agitated by the fact that her uterus chooses to contract every one minute in order to expel the baby, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am! However, screaming at the top of your lungs for your mommy does not (contrary to the popular belief of many patients whose labors progress this quickly), NOT help to get your baby out.

While a delivery like that can be completely draining, it is also exquisitely intense... working and coaching with the patient to breathe and to push, allowing her body to do its work, forcing her to look into my eyes so that she can stay focused and not let the fear take over. I certainly cannot take credit for what these patients accomplish... it is awe-inspiring.

Unfortunately, the babe was not at all impressed with the process of slamming through the pelvis and into a cold, bright and, according to this babe, rather tiresome world. After working with babe for a few minutes, we got pinkness and a few squawks, but the dusky color quickly returned as babe decided breathing isn't all it's cracked up to be, and after working with babe for almost an hour... got tranferred to Neo. Disheartening. Hopefully babe will turn around after basking in the O's for a while, but it was sad to separate mom from her sweet child after all that.

That's the Sweet and the Bitter in my world this morning.



Laura said...

i feel that mama's pain...really. my labor with #2 was 90 minutes from 1st contraction to delivery of the placenta. i assure anyone who comments on my "luck" that this was no walk in the park. your body is literally slammed. i didn't call for mommy perhaps because i was pushing 30 but i did call for the good Lord a lot and i wasn't so prayerful either. i did get through it, like you sai only with some in your face assurances and coahing from my man, the ob and my nurse, whom i had precepted as a student just 4 months prior.
kudos to you, give that mama another ice glove, trust me on this one.
i hope the baby woke up and joined mommy too. it's a little shocking for them too.

Bookwoman said...

Great story.

Mother Jones RN said...

New mamas are lucky to have a nurse like you:-)


apgaRN said...

Thanks, gals...
And thank goodness for blogging therapy. It really does help to cleanse the soul. After that babe last weekend, I've been feeling anxious and distracted. It does help to write about it. Sometimes it's difficult to know that you'll probably never find out how everything turned out for your patients. Most of the time I'm able to let go, but there are those that just stick with you, you know?

Marcia said...

Good job. And odds are the babe was fine.

Kim said...

There is a lot to be said for a slow-starting, gradual increasing labor.

Back in 1980 when Lamaze -don-give-me-any-drugs was all the rage I had a beautiful 12-hour labor with my first daughter and between my husband and I and some great RNs I was thrilled. Transition was quick! I went from 6 to get-the-nurse-I-have-to-push in minutes!

But...occipital posterior meant no descent....and a C-section was done.

But...I will never forget how wonderfully in control my hubby and I were for that 12-hours. Great nurses...very supportive. I was sorry to have the C-section but glad to have had the opportunity to labor.

Why is it the tiny little petite things that have their kids in 10 minutes?