Even though I live in a large metropolitan area, it continues to amaze me how many babies we continue to deliver every month. It's not like we're the only hospital in the city, there are several other hospitals who deliver just about as many babies as we do......and the last few months we've been >350! A week or so ago we had 23 babies in 24hrs...and with only 17 labor rooms that makes for some crazy times!
I've been doing lots of thinking over the last several weeks as we're losing some nurses to day shift and have a new traveler with us and just in general about how much the last 2 1/2 years have changed me as a nurse. We were all sitting around talking (one of our rare moments of peace and quite!) about 'seniority' and off all the nurses on our night shift I'm 3rd on the list for seniority. Not by experience by any means, but by employee time at the hospital. And there are several nurses with less experience too. I don't feel like I've been doing it THAT long!! But having some of the newer nurses come up and ask ME about what I think about a strip or what I would suggest they do in a certain situation...it still surprises me. The things that used to scare me to no end are things that don't really phase me any more and the things that I didn't used to think were necessarily a big deal see the significance in now! I think I've grown up a lot.
I worked an extra 15hr shift last week, went in at 2300 and left the next afternoon at 1400 after the delivery. It was a great bonding experience with the patient and her husband, but I don't think I realized it until how much we bonded until I was talking to them in the NICU a few nights later. They kept saying over and over "you helped us so much. We didn't realize how much our nurse would actually do and how little we would see our doctor. We couldn't have done it without you, you made the whole experience so positive even though it didn't go exactly as we had planned." This was the same couple who had a doula who told me that since I didn't have children of my own I didn't really know what it was like to be in labor...hmmmmmmm. She had a point...but I thought that my point of delivering way more babies than she had was a valid one too. But, I think I will always feel slightly dis-advantaged as a labor nurse until I have my own kids someday.
One thing I always seem to struggle with when I have patients who have doulas is when they ask their doulas for "permission" before they do anything. The patient was thinking about getting an epidural after 10+hrs of backlabor and no real cervical change. She had been talking about it and going back and forth and I asked her if she wanted me to start her fluid bolus prior to her block. She looked right at her doula and said "what do you think?" When her doctor wanted to start pitocin a few hours later after she was comfortable and still not changing her cervix...again she looked at her doula and said "what do you think?" (after waking her doula up from the nap she had been taking on the pull-out mattress) HELLO!! This is not your doula's labor! This is your labor, your baby, your body, your experience! You don't need your doula's permission!!! Doula's are great support people, they're awesome, don't get me wrong. But (most of them...and especially not the one in the previous scenario) they're not trained medical personnel...they're not your doctor or your nurse...don't ask their "permission"!
Several of us L&D nurses have thought that we could make a killing working as doula's on the side :) Best of both worlds!!
Babies total: 108M/119F = 227
Vag:80M/91F = 171
C/S: 28M28F = 56
Babies 'caught' = 2f1.5m