It feels like I have been working every day of my life recently, with so little time to do anything but charting and paperwork and blogging. Today is my first day off of orientation in the labor and delivery floor – even though I’ve been mostly doing everything myself, this is the first day that I’ve been totally, 100% by myself. Yesterday was a long, exhausting day where nothing went my way and people I was working with gave me lip. I almost fell asleep in a patient’s room, sitting and waiting for her to get the urge to push. I didn’t get home until 9:45, and I had to be back here by 8:30am – I’m just exhausted.
This morning I walked in to see that I had two patients in labor, both of whom I know from her pregnancy. I was sort of on edge to begin with, just feeling kind of anxious about being here alone and so exhausted from working for so many days in a row. Within an hour, though, one of my patients was fully dilated and ready to push. Her water hadn’t broken yet, so as she pushed I kept my hands away and watched the transparent balloon of the amniotic sac bulge from her vaginal opening – small pieces of vernix floating around the baby’s head, hair swirling – and waited. For a first time mom she was amazing, putting her hands down to touch the baby’s head through the amniotic sac and pushing incredibly well. After only pushing for 30 minutes, she gave birth to her beautiful baby in the caul – the sac complete around the baby. I pulled it off the baby’s face and mom reached down and grabbed her baby and pulled the baby right onto her chest. Not only did the placenta come out without a single problem, but the mom didn’t need a single stitch.
So even though I’ve been tired and crabby and sad and worried that I was in over my head, this morning was a small reminder that this can be beautiful and good and I’m here because I love it.