This labor and delivery nurse explains how her work affects her day to day life and why she keeps doing it over and over again.
I am just a nurse. A Labor and Delivery nurse. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Well…
I am just the nurse who was there during the birth of your child.
I am just the nurse who held your hand, looked you in the eye, and made you feel like the strongest woman in the world.
I am just the nurse who recognized that you had severe preeclampsia and got an order from your physician for magnesium sulfate to prevent you from seizing.
I am just the nurse who carefully monitored your breathing WITH MY STETHOSCOPE because I know the possible complications.
I am just the nurse who vigilantly monitored your baby’s heartbeat and recognized that he was in distress.
I am also just the nurse who had you on the OR table by the time your doctor was in the parking lot to deliver a healthy baby.
I am the nurse who took photos of your baby because you were all alone… Even though I should really be charting and doing about a hundred other things.
I am just the nurse who’s family has to experience another day without me because I stayed 3 hours late to see you through a difficult delivery.
I am just the nurse who maintained your dignity and made you feel comfortable when you were at your most vulnerable.
I am just the nurse who convinced your OB to give you more time before performing a cesarean section.
I am also just the nurse who waited as long as possible to call your OB for delivery so that he wouldn’t cut an episiotomy.
I am just the nurse who held your hand and cried with you when you came through triage… and your baby had no heartbeat.
I am just the nurse who hasn’t had ANYTHING to eat or drink since my cup of coffee I drank this morning when I woke up… at 5am.
I am just the nurse who will let you leave grip marks on her arm while you are getting your epidural, while repeating to you, “You are doing an amazing job. Almost there. You can do it.”
I am just the nurse who reassured a teenage mom that she can be an amazing parent and still get an education.
I am also just the nurse who stood by you while you handed your baby to his adoptive mother. I held you steady. I watched you tremble. My heart ached for you.
I am just the nurse who knows that preventing the primary cesarean helps prevent future cesareans and all of the associated risks for each future pregnancy and, therefore, will do everything in my experienced power to encourage your baby to position herself correctly in your pelvis.
I am just the nurse who held your hand and told you, “She is beautiful. I am so so sorry for your loss.” My heart ached for you. I wanted to hold my children and never let them go that night… but they were already sleeping because I stayed late to be with you.
I am also just the nurse who cried the entire drive home and who’s husband doesn’t even have to ask how my day was.
I felt your joy.
I felt your pain.
I wiped your tears.
I calmed your fears.
I kept your secrets.
I taught you how strong you are.
I saved your life.
I saved your child’s life.
My body aches.
My heart aches.
And I love every minute.
I am JUST a Labor and Delivery nurse.
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