I am a labor nurse.
Pregnant women show up at the hospital, sign in, are taken to a room, and then I appear. Determining whether it's time for a baby to come or not, if it is time for an epidural or not, if the baby looks okay or not....these are the decisions that people -- perfect strangers -- leave up to me. I am experienced, I am knowledgable, and I am confident when I make decisions and recommendations. I tend not to get overly excited about things going wrong...there are very few things that a little time and a few interventions can't fix. I have patients I adore, I have patients who make me crazy, and I have patients whose status cause my hair to grey...sometimes a lot. I am surrounded by coworkers who are brilliant and caring and always available to help and offer advice and assistance.
While I have been present for the deliveries of people I know, they are almost always people I have (or currently) work with. Which means that, even though they are a patient in a given situation, they still have the knowledge to understand things from the standpoint of medical personnel, even if they don't like it.
A few weeks ago, two classmates of mine had a baby. They had asked me several months ago if I would come in for their delivery, and I had agreed. Their baby was quite happy inside, so they had been scheduled as an induction. I made all the necessary arrangements and went in to work for their induction. And it taught me something very important:
It is incredibly stressful and overwhelming to take care of - and be responsible for - people that you know.
It doesn't mean I took 'better' care of them than I do my other patients, but there was definitely an added stress of feeling responsible for everything that happened. A stress that I had completely underestimated.
But after a long day and a few grey hairs for me, I think that everyone agrees that the end result was absolutely worth it. Welcome to the world, baby Sophia. You are such a lucky girl to be so loved!
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