Only picture I have of me as a baby that I thought I would include just for kicks! Yes I am the very caucasian looking one! Who also looks a bit like a boy too!
Today I had the honor of witnessing, assisting and celebrating in a newborn's birthday. Yes I was able to help at the bedside and count through contractions with a new mom today. I was in awe at how calm and serene she was about the whole thing and how she courageously pushed through each contraction. It was an incredibly thing to be able to see this little baby start to crown as he descended further with each contraction. I could hardly believe it when his little head started to come out! I was overcome by such joy and overwhelming love for this little guy! It was so amazing that his head was fully out but part of him was still in here and that he was even coming out at all was just incredible! Then his whole self was welcomed into the world as he let out a big healthy cry! I was able to see the umbilical cord and the placenta, it was so cool! He is the cutest little baby ever and a tiny guy too! I was able to put the newborn drops in his eyes and give him his first shot of vitamin K! The parents were so proud and happy, blessed day! I truly did witness a miracle today and will never forget the feeling of knowing yes, God exists!
For my class we also had to write about our birth story. It is not quite as happy unfortunately for my mother as the one I witnessed today, but I found it interesting and thought I would share it!
Tears were streaming down here face, she felt terror, and abandoned as she lie on the hospital bed alone in the stark white, framed hallway. She felt completely alone though she knew of the persistent rhythm of her heart beating in time with another. Both of their hearts were racing to keep up with an allegro agitato tempo as if mandated by a composed piano concerto describing the moment. She felt anxious as her crying stifled her ability to breathe deeply into her already compressed lungs. She was gasping for air fighting through the pain and the fear. A nurse merely passing by stops to ask her why she was crying, “after all you’ve done this three times already!” She managed to rebuttal this statement with a loud sob, “that is why I am crying!” She felt the fear of the moment and anticipated what was to come. The surgery had been scheduled but for some reason had been delayed to later that afternoon, with a change in staff but no change in care. She had felt strong contractions that day and had felt the beginning pains of labor along with the anxiety of her upcoming surgery. It had been neglected to give her anything to calm her nerves and the desired epidural came just prior to surgery.
She lay there in the hallway forcing each distressed breathe into her cramped lungs causing her to hyperventilate, and only worsening her anxious state. There was no comforting hand or a calming word of encouragement. Where was the angel she sought, in the white nurse’s cap surrounded by the halo of the beaming overhead fluorescent lights? Still weeping through her panicked, emotional state she was brought into the operating room with finally a glimmer of hope from a familiar face. He tried to calm her nerves but was put to the task of helping her breathe by suctioning out her air passage ways. Together they struggled through the fear, anxiety, frustration, and nausea. The surgeons in a desire to teach someone in the room the meaning of having a “strong stomach” did so by adequately describing all of her visible organs from her horizontal incision just above her symphysis pubis. He held her hand through it all and fought the desire to leave the room to grab hold of a porcelain god instead.
At last a brief glancing look at the reason for the pain, a baby girl, and then her eyes rested on the now single tracing heart monitor. As she looked up at the monitor through her teary eyes she wondered morbidly, “If I die somebody will notice me then.” She did not have much time to consider the idea as her eyes slowly closed in response to the medication streaming through her veins preparing her for what would come next. Never again would she have to obtain the courage necessary to go through this procedure as the surgeons performed the final cut of her tubal ligation.
On May 24th, 1988, my Mother heroically went through a cesarean section and gave breath to my life (the same day as her mother's birth). It was a traumatic birth experience for my Mother and she received horrible care. She felt the nurses were very impersonal and unfocused on her care. She was in extreme need of a nurse’s positive feedback and understanding but rather she received court remarks. She also felt that she was uninformed concerning what to expect postoperatively from her tubal ligation and was unfortunately rushed out of the hospital before she was ready, due to new insurance policies.
I was surprised to learn that this was my birth story and also found it as a slightly ironic teaching guide of what not to do. I was in disbelief that my birth was such a terrible experience and in a very dramatic way. Thankfully this was not an indicative event as to what my life would be or to that of my relationship with my Mother. My Mother’s nursing care that she received is the exact opposite of what I am striving to be as a future nurse. My mother does not remember any of the nurses that day from my birth but does from another sibling’s birth because of their kindness. I fear as well that any joy from giving birth was also overshadowed by this painful experience of hers. My birth even now seems to portray the impersonal nature and care of the nurses present. I feel slightly detached from the event of my birth, something I do not wish for my patients. I want them to feel comforted and supported in this sometimes fearful, but what should be a joyful event for them. I hope to be that presence of optimism and encouragement as I enter in as an honored guest of a child’s birth this week, and to help them remember their birth’s as one of pure elation.