Not Just a STAT Section

I had been a new graduate nurse for about two weeks when I experienced my first STAT section.  Even though I was not working triage that day, I knew to follow every other labor nurse as they ran towards the room. As I made my way in, I saw a mother lying there, soaking in a pool of dark red blood.  Her husband stood wide-eyed in a corner. Feeling temporarily frightened and frozen, I stood back, watching the other nurses.  They all instinctively knew what to do and who was doing it, it looked like they were all performing some sort of silent dance.  I then did the only thing I knew I could do…I grabbed a pen from my pocket and started writing on my hand: FHTs 30’s @… O2 @… IV in @….  As she was rushed to the OR I remember thinking, who called the doctor? Who called the anesthesiologist? But someone had called them and they were there by the time the patient entered the OR.

As the baby was pulled from her mother’s abdomen, I watched the nursery nurses spring into action. The baby was pale and limp, like a rag doll.  The baby made no effort to make a sound, but I could hear my own heart rate pulsating in my ears. I watched the nurses do chest compressions, again in sync with one another.  The mother was under general anesthesia, and in that moment I was so glad she was not awake to know that her baby had no cry, and that the only sound that could be heard was of the nurse saying “one and two and three and breathe” in the most calm and determined voice I had ever heard.

I walked out of the OR and the patient’s husband was pacing outside of the OR door. His eyes pleaded with me to tell him that everything was alright, that his wife was okay and that his baby was still alive. I told him the only thing I knew (or thought I knew) I was allowed to tell him: Your baby was just born and they will be taking her back to the NICU straight away.  Your wife is not awake yet.  You have the best people taking care of your family and the doctor will be out very soon to talk to you. But in my head I was screaming.  I wanted to grab him and shake him and say: oh-my-God. I’m praying that your baby is okay.  When she was born she was as white as that wall and she looked like a doll and I don’t know if she’s even alive.  Instead, I hugged him, and he began to cry into my shoulder.

For the rest of my shift, I could not stop thinking about the people who touched that patient and her baby that day.  Things would have been so much different if everyone did not know what they were doing, if the patient had not come to the hospital.  I watched nurses work on a limp and lifeless baby until a cry was finally compelled from her motionless body.  Before going home, I went to a bathroom and threw up.  I left dying to tell someone what I had seen, the miracle that I had witnessed, and every single event that had occurred. But my husband did not understand.  He listened to me and then tousled my hair and said “I’m sorry you had a bad day.” And all I could think of was what do you mean, a bad day?!?

When I said “dark red blood” every nurse reading this thought “abruption!”  And it was.  As the months went by, I would later realize that the unit secretary was the one who was calling the physician and the anesthesiologist (and lab, and blood bank, and…😉.  At the time, I didn’t think to ask who was watching all of the other labor patients while every labor nurse was dancing in triage.  Later, I would realize that the “ex” labor nurses who were now working postpartum were the ones watching the strips.  The OR techs only had to hear the word “STAT” and they had the OR opened in seconds.Every person on that unit knew what had to be done and everyone was focused on saving mom and baby.

Sometimes the outcomes aren’t as good as this one was.  It doesn’t matter what kind of STAT case we are presented with, we know what we have to do and we do it.  Every single person from the unit secretary to the nurse to the physician is working together to produce the very best outcome.  So the next time you are at work, look at the people around you and value what they can do for you and your patient, and value what you can do together.  Because when we work together during that silent dance, we do absolutely amazing things.

And for any woman out there who has been the mother in a similar scenario, know that our only goal as a nurse is a healthy mom and baby.  Everything we do, we do for you and for the baby that you carry.  If you were the mother who had to leave her baby in the NICU or the mother who did not get to bring her baby home, know that it is never just a STAT section for us.  Our voices may sound calm and determined, but inside, our hearts are beating in our ears and we are all praying for miracles.

 

Until my next delivery ❤

 

.

 


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Jen
Guest

So, they were ok? I am yet to be there for a stat C-section but I know it’s only a matter of time. Thanks for sharing, gosh you are teaching me so much. I have exams this week and have been reading and reading your info!! xx

adventuresofalabornurse
Guest

lol yes :) I just realized I left that bit out. I expect when anyone reads that the baby made a cry that they knew the baby was fine. And the baby was fine :) …this time. <3

Anonymous
Guest

I would love to see more about the teamwork of the nurses with the physicians..

Julie Bean
Guest

I could not have said it any better. As an OR circulator in L and D I understand completely. It never stops to amaze me at how eveyone knows what to do and where to be at the sound of that phrase STAT C-section. Before you know it, the room is full of staff and you’re wandering how did you know. All, I can says is that there’s got to be an angel in heaven that used to be a labor nurse giving us all the intuition to be where we need to be.

mKatie
Guest

I am a 2 time STAT c-section patient/mom and all 3 of my kids are NICU babies. I thank God often for the entire medical team who helped bring my babies into this world safely and keep me alive during one particularly scary delivery. You are all truly gifted and we as your patients are blessed to have you. Thank you for everything!

Lynn Secrest
Guest

I love your post..It keeps me going back
Labor Nurse RNC-OB
South Carolina

Elaine Plummer
Guest

My heart raced, as many years ago i was one of the nurses who was part of the resuscitation. Amazing how many babies survived the most horrendous birthing situations. Hope this baby did the same. Love your posts.

drrupe
Guest

Great post.

Mary Hunt Goodale
Guest

Ashliegh you are an amazing nurse and I love you very much . Thanks for being with us

laurenolvera
Guest

One of those days you’re always prepared for in the back of your mind, but always praying never happens. Thank you for putting into words what all of us feel but can rarely express. On the dark days, it’s often the knowledge that we’re not alone in our roller coaster of emotions that keeps us going back to make a difference in another person’s life.
-Fellow L&D nurse, RNC-OB

Anonymous
Guest

This happened to me …uterus tore …very scary but the ob nurses were awesome ..and u are right they went right into stat mode …still to this day I am
So grateful …..the doctor told me they all did their job but there was someone up above looking out for me that day ….and I told him I know that person …he is the one true God …Who goes before me ! Thanks for allowing me to post !

Anonymous
Guest

I love this post, when I read articles like this it just makes the fires deep in me burn more furiously. I’m a fairly new RN (2 years) want desperately to be aL&D nurse. Can’t even get a toe in the door of med surg let alone L & D. So envious, I hope to be in your shoes someday.

Anonymous
Guest

Move to Pensacola Florida and your dream will come true!

Anonymous
Guest

New nurse here considering moving to Pensacola. Are there many positions available in L&D?

JJ
Guest

Find a small community hospital…they would LOVE to have you and train you! The cool thing is that you see EVERYTHING in the small facilities, way more than in the big cities, and that makes you more marketable too! Take classes like STABLE and NRP while you look, hospitals love to have you ready to start with proper certs in place. I did it…you will too! Keep up the good work :)

Anonymous
Guest

Also, look at contract jobs, I live in England and work on an LDRP unit on a U.S. Base, we currently have an opening for a contract nurse, the contractor is based out of Colorado :)

Anonymous
Guest

Check if the contracts expect two or more years of L+D experience. They want someone to fill a position NOW. (Often during A
another nurse’s maternity leave) and don’t have 6 months to bring you up to speed. Community Hospitsls are a good choice! Good luck! Best job in the world

Anonymous
Guest

Don’t give up!. Keep coming back and build relationships with any and all RN’s that you can find.

Angela
Guest

I have worked as a labor nurse in two different facilities and the first was very similar to the scene you described. The second and much smaller hospital was not as well prepared. Consider yourself lucky to work in a place that is run that well in such a chaotic time. There is nothing worse than being in a hospital that is completely unprepared when an emergency comes in.

Pinky RN
Guest

Completely agree. Smaller community type hospitals are often not well prepared. I have worked in both large urban hospitals and small community hospitals. Huge difference.

L&D nurse
Guest

The scene in my small hospital would have been the same because we care and plan for anything to come in plus we have all the certifications we need to have a good outcome. Even the LVNS. Plus we pray a lot too.

Diane Ruark
Guest
The other day I say a little girl on her grandmother’s Facebook page that I was sure at birth would not have quality of life! She is perfect! That was an amazing C-section. I started the induction and the FHT bottomed out and I said I’m doing a section, somebody find the doctor. What a miracle and what a beautiful family! The father’s brother sang to us at the end of the day: “Amazing Grace! Thank You God for All Your Glorious Blessing! I was blessed to work L&D for 44 years and loved every minute of it!
Anonymous
Guest

You are a very smart girl! You had the presence of mind to do one of the most important jobs. That is the “Scribe”. No-one remembers the exact time certain drugs were given, or they left the room for the OR, Fetal Heart rate etc! Yet when the time comes to re-create the story for the notes it is a great thing to have some idea of who, what , when and where! Well done!

Krista
Guest
I love your blog. I’ve been a nurse for 4 years & doing labor and delivery since this past November. a few months ago, while still on orientation we had a stat similar to this one you described. It was terrifying. Like you said, I could literally hear my pulse in my ears over anything else for a moment in time while I tried to process what was happening. I appreciate your ability to put into words the many things I’ve felt over the last 9 months but have been unable to say. My husband says the same things-‘sorry you… Read more »
Nancy Hewson
Guest

25 years later you will still hear that pounding in your ears and still feel sick when you see the look on the daddy’s face. I say this, because 25 years later, after my first day as a labor and delivery nurse, it still feels that way. If you don’t, you will know it is time to find a new job….but you will never find one more rewarding…..

Anonymous
Guest

Hugs. Those are more then “bad days” I’m grateful for my well coordinated team.

Michelle
Guest

I loved that post and it was everything, Ihave been a surgical tech in L&D now for 10 years and it is the best decision I ever made.

Trisha
Guest

Our story did not turn out as well and I laid in my pool of blood for two hours while my child slowly died. Upon her birth she lived 4 1/2 hours before succumbing to the damage done. She was not in a NICU because there was not one in the hospital and she was not transferred. Wishing u were our nurse on the most terrible day of our lives when it was supposed to be the best…

Anonymous
Guest

So sorry Trish

Jenn
Guest

Oh my goodness. That makes my eyes tear up. I’m so sorry you had to go through that! I’m so very sorry.

Anonymous
Guest

So sad for you and for your family’s loss. Keep telling your story: It will help heal your heart and it will help us stay thoughtful and watchful.

Kimberly
Guest

Thank you for writing this.

Karen
Guest
Well said! I am a NICU nurse and have had to respond to those kind of emergencies. It doesn’t matter how long I have done this job, inside I am shaking. But you are right that on the outside everyone is working like a well-oiled machine. Everyone has a job and we do it, the best way we can. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect us, it does, each and every time! I can’t tell you the number of times I have cried on the way home and prayed for those families. People ask me how can I do… Read more »
redaunt4
Guest

My goal is to one day change a population.
YOU QUOTE
what are you changing?

Lise
Guest

My God, but you can write. I’ve been a nurse for 26 years, and a CNM for 20. Thank you for giving voice to so many of my experiences. Beautiful. You are never alone. We are out here with you.

Anonymous
Guest

True that

Bonnie
Guest
After 16 amazing years, I still love what I do every day. And yes, God watches over fools and babies. I have played every role in an emergency, and I, too have charted on my arm. It never gets easier either. Sometimes we “win” and everyone is okay. Sometimes not. I remember I year ago walking out of the room that was a disaster, with the baby dead, dropping to my knees in the hallway and just starting to sob. As my colleagues came to me, the gaggle of nursing students at the desk just stared and couldn’t say a… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Absolutely beautiful summarization of the way things are supposed to be done! Thank you for acknowledging that EVERY person on the unit has a part in making sure that all “bases are covered” during a STAT, as well as for “routine/normal” deliveries. I’m proud of the position I have as Unit Secretary for our Labor & Delivery Department. I work with amazing nurses & realize the importance of everyone working as a team. Every single person has a part in making it happen “as a well oiled machine”. We may, at times feel like we are overlooked in the big… Read more »
Dawn Turner
Guest

As a former L&D nurse, NICU nurse, now a WHNP….. I’m curious as to cause of abruption?

Brenda L Cochran
Guest

JUST REMEMBER TO THANK A NURSE~THAY KNOW HOW TO CALL THE SHOTS!!!

Lorna from Canada
Guest
Being a retired L&D nurse and with 35 years of nursing from NICU, Emerg and L&D the most rewarding job I’ve had was labour and delivery. It has also been one that repeatedly tested my nursing skills and taught me about people, life and sadly death. As you stated in a crisis every member of the team has their job even the cleaning staff that turns over the OR incase you need it again. Another reward of being a senoir nurse was mentoring the new nurses,teaching all you new then seeing them grow and cope with a crisis. As you… Read more »
Karen
Guest

I am so thankful for the nurses I had when I went through HELLP syndrome. They were amazing and saved me and the baby. Thankful for their dedication!

Anonymous
Guest

my grandson now 5 1/2 was born at 24 weeks this same way from the time the call was made to the time he was born c-section at UAB hospital in Birmingham Alabama could not have been more than 10 minutes the team of young nurses and doctors that moved that day could have only come from heaven above the speed and precision was second to none if there are any from there that reads this i owe you the life of my grandson and of my daughter as well i thank you from the depths of my heart

Vicki Berry
Guest
Thank you so much for what you do! My kids were all preemies, and with my son, it was really scary. He came at 31.5 weeks and was blue at birth, not making a sound. His first apgar score was 2. Then I began hemorrhaging badly and my poor husband didn’t know whether to stay with me or go to the NICU with our son. As soon as I was stabilised, he went down to the NICU, missing the second hemorrhage. But the care my son and I received was amazing!! And after seeing her little brother thru the NICU… Read more »
Marilyn
Guest

Postpartum nurse for 27 years and remember well when I had to deliver stillborn twins at 20 weeks or so. It was so sad. The RN who was covering me couldn’t get over the father not saying anything. I told her that at least he was there …. Being a nurse in general never stops when you retire. It is one of the best choices that I ever made in life, and I went to nursing school at 40.

Anonymous
Guest

A great representation of what really happens in the labor room. I have been an L&D nurse for 10 years and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Samantha McCormick
Guest

Um. Your husband. Doesn’t get how awesome you are.

lex
Guest

They cannot know unless they live it. Be patient and grateful they try

Cobie
Guest

Thirty-six years later am still grateful for the nurses who took care of me, saved me and my son. Always will be. The doctor who allowed me to get in that situation because it was a full moon, and he had other more “immediate” deliveries and was tired? Not so much. I was as tired as he was. I had been in labor for 23 hours after only 2 hours of sleep the night before. But the nurses? They were angels. Truly.

Susan
Guest
Well written! I have enjoyed your blog for a long time but not commented. I just got really snarky with your “just a nurse” comment when challenged on your opinions re BFHI. Please read over the comments I believe you have to be having a bad day there. This, as most of your posts, is spot on. I am not against baby friendly but the critics have legitimate concerns and your responses to critics voices their does us all a disservice. I am apologize but reading a fellow nurse respond to critics, especially critics asking for the evidence behind evidence… Read more »
Susan
Guest
Well written! I have enjoyed your blog for a long time but not commented. I just got really snarky with your “just a nurse” comment when challenged on your opinions re BFHI. Please read over the comments I believe you have to be having a bad day there. This, as most of your posts, is spot on. I am not against baby friendly but the critics have legitimate concerns and your responses to critics voices there does us all a disservice. I apologize with this caveat, reading a fellow nurse respond to critics, especially critics asking for the evidence behind… Read more »
angemack
Guest
I was that Mom with my first born. I am sitting here bawling my eyes out because I was nieve to everything that went into making sure my little baby would live. I was that Mom so out of it on the operating table that I had no clue what was going on, and the Mom who didn’t see her baby in the NICU for almost 2 days. I can’t thank you enough for what you do, there are no words to convey my thanks appropriately. All I can say is I hope one day if heaven forbid you or… Read more »
Judy Still
Guest

Wow! I’m not a nurse and I’ve had 3 “normal” deliveries…BUT I so appreciate all the medical personnel that have cared for me and my family. Thank you for sharing in a very heart-moving way. I am grateful for you and others who serve in the medical field.

Anonymous
Guest

Truly an real example of what we all feel as new nurses, not just for L&D but for any unit. Thanks for sharing!

Skanded
Guest

Loved your post. As a newborn nursery RN, people seem to think I just sit, feed and rock babies for 12 hours. Fortunately, 95% of my job is the best but the 5% that’s bad it’s devastating. Thank you for showing both sides.

thesciencegeek
Guest

A really interesting post. I work in an office for a large insurance company and your post really made me feel what it must be like to work as an obstetrics nurse and deal with real life or death situations every day!

Kim
Guest

I have had a stat section and I have helped with one. I understand the silent dance it makes the most when you have a great working team. My stat section was because I found a prolapsed cord. It was my 2nd week on my own after L/D training. I later ran into the family at a local store. They gave me a hug and said thank. I love my job even with the worst days.

Marcia Rigamonti
Guest
This was so beautifully and insightfully written with an intensity of feeling that took me back to the birth of my last and fourth child. I was in labor for 5 days with no real results happening. Finally, totally tired out, I went to the hospital. They were ready to send me home, but I begged them to wait until the doctor came in at 7 a.m. She decided to “break my water” (even though I knew it had broken sometime during the night) and as she did, water gushed out of me like Old Faithful of Yellowstone Park! Then… Read more »
oldbuffalo
Guest

In my life I have experienced one miscarriage with my wife plus five healthy births. The last birth was a grandson brought to us from our daughter. I couldn’t do this every day like those of you that do but I am grateful that you do. I don’t think I have a big enough heart for this sort of work. Thank you for your service.

Kat
Guest
I want to give the CST perspective of what happens. We listen, we look at strips, we ask questions We often have the or pulled open and set up before you are rolling down the hall. We leave the door open to listen for the bed and running of nurses. We ask Epidural or going to sleep. We know the reason you are running back most of the time. We also know when to call out for another set of hand. I do not need alot of instruments to get a baby out. The Dance. How about I Am Counting… Read more »
Suzanne
Guest
The CST above knows her job well. I have worked as a scrub for 16 years in Labor and Delivery. The moment you see the FHTs on the monitor dip you stand frozen, willing it to recover. One, two, three… You take off toward the OR pulling on your cap and mask on the run. Busting through the door, you start ripping open sterile packages, before you can scrub, the patient is in the room… No time to count. Splash and dash it is. You are gowned and gloved in less than a second, the patient is draped in a… Read more »
rnmichelle4
Guest

CCRN here!!! I work in CCU…Been on both sides!! Abruption with my 3rd baby at home in the middle of the night!! Wouldn’t let them intubated me. Lost a liter of blood in the OR in addition to all that I lost st home over my walls, bed, and floor. My BP 70/40. They had the baby out in 4 minutes he is completely healthy. ..AMAZED!! ?

Rachel C.
Guest

My sister went through this scenario just this past week with her first baby, and we were SO blessed to have a fast-working team taking care of her! Tiny momma, big baby, and wicked contractions resulted in abruption–SO scary!! Praise God for amazing an medical team and His guiding hands through it all. Thank you for your hard work and for this glimpse into the lives of those who serve in this field!

Anonymous
Guest

As a CNM it’s times like this we are thankful for every person in the unit. Thanks for sharing this

Anonymous
Guest
Wow. Thanks for sharing. I often wonder what the staff in the room was thinking when something similar happened to me (STAT section for eclampsia/HELLP syndrome, I was brought in already seizing). Before the c-section, I fought with the nurses and ripped out an IV. I don’t remember any of that, but I am forever grateful to the people who were there and knew what to do. You guys take a beating and keep going. My 32 week son had to be revived, as well. I am kind of glad I was not aware, but that also means that I… Read more »
Cindy Piper
Guest

My daughter was born STAT and it was just like you described. I didn’t know until later she was limp at birth. I read her discharge papers to find that out. It was just like everyone knew what to do. Thanks to great nurses! My daughter is doing amazing! Thanks to people like you!

triingmythirties
Guest
I’m a mom in a similar scenario… I remember being checked at 8:55 am for progress and my son was born at 9:02 am via STAT c-section. I was chatting with my nurse after she checked me and then she saw the strip. All I remember is being told to get on hands and knees, getting labs drawn in one arm, an IV started in the other. I also remember being told to drink something that tasted pretty bad. I was being rolled to OR and and someone asked how much I drank of it and a nurse said I… Read more »
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