This is Labor and Delivery

high-school-musical-victory
This is how I feel when I go to work.

 

really
This is how I feel when someone thinks their water broke…and they’re not wearing a pad.
Brave1
This is how I feel when every single person that comes into triage is SROMed or 8cms.

 

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This is what I imagine my patients must be thinking when I do a vaginal exam.

 

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This is what my face looks like when I’m doing a vag exam and it’s super posterior (I have tiny hands!)
rolling her eyes
This is how I feel when the doctor says ‘failure to progress’ at 5 o’clock.

 

ron
This is what I look like trying to eat before my multip delivers.
vomit
You can talk about body fluids and body parts while I’m eating, but this will make me want to throw up.

 

help
….and then this is how I feel ….
smirk
This is how I feel when my patient is complete, but I lie and say she’s 7 so that the doc will give her a chance to labor down.

 

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This is how I feel when she delivers with one push.

 

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This is how I feel when my patient delivers without an episiotomy or a laceration.

 

breast
This is how I feel when I spend all day helping a mom breastfeed and I come back the next day and she’s been given formula.
screaming woman
This is how I looked during a STAT as a new grad.

 

katara-emo-2
This is how I look during a STAT now (um, with a good charge nurse!).

 

praying
This is what I’m really doing during a STAT (then and now).
lucy-hale
This is how I feel when the baby latches on the first time he’s put to the breast.

 

whitney-i-won-this
This is how I feel when a patient has an anterior lip, and then 15 mins in left lateral gets me a baby.
Charlie-Mcdonnell
This is how I feel when something is nicked in the OR during a cesarean delivery.

 

anger
This is how I feel when the grandmother says “that baby needs a bottle”.
anchorman
This is how I feel now that you have to be at least 39 weeks to electively induce a patient.

 

oprah
This is how I feel when a patient says they don’t want an epidural and no, they didn’t go to any prenatal classes.
sherlock-game-of-shadows
This is how I feel when I leave work.

 

Mom and Link
And this is why I go back.

 I love love love labor and delivery!  It’s crazy and chaotic and there are times when it’s heartbreaking and times when it’s gross, but in the end, the moments that we spend with our patients are so beautiful.  Lots of love to all of my labor patients!

This is Triage

Until my next delivery ❤

 


85 thoughts on “This is Labor and Delivery

  • April 12, 2014 at 12:28 am
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    Omg that is hilarious and true!! I want to add one about this is how I feel when I check the wrong orifice :((((

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    • April 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm
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      And here I thought I was the only one that did this.

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    • April 15, 2014 at 10:29 pm
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      Well you shouldn’t be a midwife if you can’t tell the difference…you should be ashamed to even write such a comment!

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  • April 12, 2014 at 3:42 pm
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    Love love love it! Sooooooo true. Esp. Last comment.

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  • April 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm
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    You mastered controlled chaos long ago, and have the special ability to keep the patient’s welfare first. Delivery is my idea of multi-tasking, and you do it with enthusiasm and skill. Thousands of babies got a better start because you were there. Blessings and best wishes. DAD

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  • April 12, 2014 at 7:26 pm
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    So true, and funny, I could not stop laughing???????

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  • April 12, 2014 at 8:13 pm
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    Love this! So very true, so very true.

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  • April 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm
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    I love the fact that you care that a baby is breastfed. From that… to all the other points, I can see your concern is for the mother and baby… God bless you. Would… that there were more nurses like you! ;-)

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  • April 13, 2014 at 1:41 am
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    Creative and awesome and true! Now, can you find a clip to represent what it’s like to go under the drapes and place four rectal Cytotec DURING a cesarean?

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  • April 13, 2014 at 2:23 am
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    I love labor and delivery, Boy, do I miss it

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  • April 13, 2014 at 3:06 am
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    Love it! And so true!

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  • April 13, 2014 at 3:28 am
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    this was awesome…very creative, yet absolutely spot on

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  • April 13, 2014 at 3:30 am
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    All that is soooo true. And that is why I loved loved loved being an L&D nurse. Miss it so much since I’ve retired.

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  • April 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm
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    So true Barb. Hope you are meeting your new profession with just as much enthusiasm but we miss you in our L&D.

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  • April 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm
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    LMAO it is so true loved it

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  • April 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm
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    Thirty plus years in L&D…retired after 43 years in women’s health. I KNOW how incredible women are! Miss it … Never lost the awe and wonder helping birth a baby!!

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  • April 13, 2014 at 3:28 pm
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    I loved my Job and miss everyone that I worked with.

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  • April 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm
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    but she prob was not given a bottle she asked for it

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    • April 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm
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      HAHA that should be in the next one I make. I wonder if the nurse told her how that hinders
      breastfeeding….? <3

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  • April 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm
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    Enjoyed your choice of photos n clips, illustrative of the world of hospital L n D nursing! After 20 years I miss it. Catching a baby who flew out precipitously is missing, tho!

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  • April 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm
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    This is fantastic! It’s great to know we all feel the similiar e on the inside even when everyone sees us as cool and calm on the outside. Thanks for the laughs!

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  • April 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm
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    thank you for being so positive and touching on all the wonderful moments about being a nurse. I love my job and am proud to be a nurse. I hate it when nurses write about nursing in negative ways. Where else could you empower a woman to be her strongest self? Use your wisdom to say just the right thing to the family who just lost their precious baby? Stand by with pride and joy when a new mom says “I couldn’t have done it without you” even though she could have, you gave her strength and support to make it easier. Or the family that remembers you the next time they come in to have a baby, because you were the one that resuscitated their last one and they thank you for that and they feel safe that you are there beside them this time. I’m getting older and slower and long for the days before epidurals and inductions and rising c/s rates. But I am still brought to tears in that first moment when a baby is born, no matter how–c/s, epidural, whatever, however. The moment is a miracle each and every time. How lucky are we to be witness to that, no matter the days we miss lunch and get out late and have to go back with the narcotic keys or to chart something we forgot. A new baby was born and we were there.

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    • April 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm
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      Exactly! We were there :) I don’t care how many times I have to explain something, I love what we do. I –can’t say never, but I can say very rarely– get tired of what we do. We are so lucky to be OB nurses!

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  • April 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm
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    Must go for OB doctors, too, since my daughter is one, and she sent me this. Very proud of all you ladies!

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  • April 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm
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    After almost 20yrs in L&D went to work in an OB/Gyn office but still miss the hospital (sometimes)

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  • April 14, 2014 at 12:06 am
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    When I was ready to ask for critz on my short story ‘Babylon,” “Evil Beyond our Wildest Nightmares,” a look at a successful Obstetrician on the job, I passed it on to a few radical publications, and friends. When they said my facts were straight, I released it as creative non-fiction, and posted it for my longtime writers group. This group is like an on line magazine, where other Christian writers can critz what they want. With 100 members I have always received excellent help in the past, but only a few interested parties. Then if you get five posted responses from our group that’s great. Our best writers might get 10. “Babylon” received 29 the first day, and I responded to everyone. I felt that I had flown in under the enemy’s radar and touched many lives. For the next three days we had a flurry of e-mail activity, with highly interesting results. In this part, I show some critz, and some of my replies, arranged to give the flavor of our discussions. E-mail addresses have been omitted along with some names.
    Hang on tight,

    Neil Sorrells

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  • April 14, 2014 at 2:29 am
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    It’s funny to realize that it doesn’t matter whether you work as an OB nurse in Texas or Wisconsin or anywhere else, we feel the same and pull the same little tricks. But I never, ever ever lie to the doctor that my patient is 7 cm dilated when she’s complete. I keep them at 9 for a while;) But 7 sounds much better. Thank you!

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    • April 14, 2014 at 2:38 am
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      I’ve found that 7 buys you a bit more time! ;) If I “keep them at 9 for a while” they tend to want to check themselves and then —great! we get to push at 0 station :/ lol 7 is my lucky number. I’m sure I’m not as clever as I think I am…the doctors are probably all on to me :)

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  • April 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm
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    You forgot the baby daddy, and the new boyfriend and sometimes the gay best friend….LOL

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  • April 14, 2014 at 4:19 pm
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    I LOVE this! Thank you for sharing. You have a wonderful sense of humor–as is a necessity in L&D! After 30 plus years, I still hold this job as sacred….ushering in new souls. Bless you. ? Namasté.

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  • April 15, 2014 at 12:41 am
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    This is exactly how I feel and I have been at it for over 40 years ;.-)

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  • April 15, 2014 at 1:55 am
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    You Guys Great!!! I’m not a nurse but I’ve helped 5 Mom’s from Dr appt. all the way through to Birth, and I’m starting on number 6. I Love it but it’s not easy. You all should be paid a LOT!!! More Money!!!

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  • April 15, 2014 at 11:45 am
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    Thank you so much for this!

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  • April 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm
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    One of my most favorite jobs ever was as a labor and delivery nurse in a high risk unit. Loved it and absolutely love your creative depiction of the experience!

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  • April 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm
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    This is absolutely great, and oh so true!!

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  • April 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm
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    I didn’t want (and didn’t get) an epidural, and I never went to any pre-natal classes. I delivered my second kid the same way, too.

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    • April 15, 2014 at 4:17 pm
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      I’ve seen women do it, so I know it can be done…but most women don’t think it will hurt like it does and they are unprepared for the pain. And…when did you deliver? When my mom delivered, no one got epidurals and no one went to prenatal classes, but now inductions are rising and so is the use of medications during labor, such as Pitocin. I wish I could have been like you, with no epidural…but I caved after twenty hours ruptured and then finally delivered a 10lb baby lol <3

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      • April 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm
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        2006 & 2009, medium size babies. I was definitely fortunate to have an uncomplicated labor and healthy babies.

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    • April 16, 2014 at 4:14 pm
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      I work in a small hospital in California with a very low percentage of C/Sections and epidurals. Patients come to us with or without prenatal classes and they do a wonderful job. As nurses we are the ones who can support and help them to go through labor with or without epidural. We want our patients to leave our hospital thinking they did their best to have their dream birth… That does not always happen but we do our best.

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      • April 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm
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        You are so lucky to work with such wonderful nurses! Patients would have a harder time with any process without the support of a good nurse by their side <3 I in no way mean to imply that a patient is unable to go through labor without an epidural if she didn't go to a prenatal class.

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    • April 17, 2014 at 11:56 pm
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      Same here. First baby was 8.13 and 22.5 inches and was born in 2002. Second was 7.9 and 21 inches and was born 4 weeks ago. Both were induced. First labor was 9 hours from start of pitocin to finish and second was 10 hours from start of pitocin to finish. Had awful back labor with second baby but both kiddos came out after 3 pushes :)

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      • April 18, 2014 at 12:00 am
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        My first baby, my water broke mec and I took a bath, did my hair, and put on my make up and went to the hospital. I had my daughter 32 hours later. My son I was severe pih and couldn’t see straight. They induced me at 35.4 :(

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  • April 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm
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    Made me laugh, especially the breech, cord prolapse, yes it happeneD to me, and yes, remember throwing up afterwards – 25 weeker – eeekkk xxx

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  • April 17, 2014 at 2:19 pm
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    Wish you’d been my nurse instead of Nurse Ratchett. Thanks for your good work.

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  • April 19, 2014 at 1:03 am
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    So I’m not an L&D nurse, but I am a mom (who 2nd time around gave birth with no pain meds, Pitocin and thank GOD she came out after 2 1/2 pushes!). I had #1 in 2007 without the benefit of prenatal classes, and full intentions of an epidural, but got to 9.5cm before I felt the need to ask for one. I give my L&D nurse so much credit – she was so supportive but didn’t sugar coat things either. She made it very clear that I’d passed the point of no return (LOL), and even with an epidural I’d feel the baby come out. Then she added how strong I’d been while laboring and knew that I could go the distance on my own. I will always have a special place in my heart for her!

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    • April 19, 2014 at 1:35 am
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      That is so nice to hear! It makes my heart thump. One of my favorite patients did it that way…I’ll have to tell her cool story. Xx

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  • April 20, 2014 at 7:44 am
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    I love it!!!!! How about one where you have a precipitous delivery, the head turtles , you call for McRoberts , while supporting the head, pushing her legs back with your body and doing the maneuver with your free hand…. As the ER doc says, “Mc what?!!!”

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  • April 22, 2014 at 5:29 am
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    I LOVE this! One of my L&D nurse friends posted a link on FB to this post. So glad I found you! I am an OB/Gyn and I have a WordPress blog called Rants From The Crib. Come visit me some time! (Now I have to get to bed because I’m on call and I just did a patient transport – another thing that makes me feel like dancing!)

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  • April 29, 2014 at 4:37 am
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    “This is how I feel when my patient is complete, but I lie and say she’s 7 so that the doc will give her a chance to labor down:”

    Wow…that is utter malpractice. Lying about a patient’s state to the doctor in charge is letting ideology instead of the patient’s actual needs color your judgement. How about you post a snarky image about how you feel when your hospital is sued because a baby was brain-damaged because you let the mom labor when the OB in charge–who has more medical training than you–would have moved on to a c-section, because that’s safer for the baby?

    Further, no wonder women who have c-sections feel like failures. You obviously have an agenda to push vaginal births on women whether it’s appropriate or not, and naturally when women want or need a c-section they’re going to feel judged by someone in a position of power over them, like you.

    “This is how I feel when my patient delivers without an episiotomy or a laceration:”

    Seriously? You need to go back to school, then, because whether a person tears or not is not really under your control, and not something to pat yourself on the back about. Ever hear of a condition like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? Yeah, they have skin that tears easily. So, what, they’re a disappointment to you as patients? Ableist much?

    “This is how I feel when I spend all day helping a mom breastfeed and I come back the next day and she’s been given formula:”

    And we wonder why so many formula feeding parents are traumatized by their hospital experiences. Maybe that mom WANTED formula. Maybe that baby NEEDED formula. Why the hell do you think you have a right to get all upset over how the baby is fed? Who the hell are you to say that formula isn’t the best choice for that baby? How do you know that mom wasn’t sexually assaulted or sexually abused and decided she’d rather stop triggering herself into a state of panic than keep forcing herself to breastfeed just to please you?

    “This is how I feel when the baby latches on the first time he’s put to the breast:”

    Again, you’re practicing ideology, not medicine. Get the hell out of your profession, please, before you harm any more families with your lactivism. Unless you feel this way the first time the baby latches on to the bottle. Plenty of moms choose to formula feed, and they’re not bad parents unworthy of celebration, like you think they somehow are.

    “This is how I feel when the grandmother says “that baby needs a bottle”:”

    Maybe grandmother is right. Maybe grandmother knows the mom better than you do. Maybe you need to stop assuming you know what’s best for everyone. You’re not God, contrary to what you seem to think you are.

    “This is how I feel now that you have to be at least 39 weeks to electively induce a patient:”

    Not your baby, not your body. I know of at least one baby that has died because of this asinine rule, which narrowly defines when a pre-39 week delivery can happen. There are MANY reasons why it is safer and better for a baby to be delivered before 39 weeks, and not just because they fit that narrow definition. Look up “39 week rule” at change.org and you will see how this rule has caused at least one precious baby to be lost. Get the government out of health care decisions for women and children. And get your misogyny out of our delivery rooms.

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    • April 29, 2014 at 11:59 am
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      I never ever lie, my posts are all in good fun ;) and you are obviously not a labor nurse or you would never say that people should be electively induced before 39 weeks. But thanks for reading my posts xx

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    • May 11, 2014 at 8:17 am
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      Ok. But before the 39 week rule was put into place, way too many doctors were allowing convenience or elective iol’s or c/s’s and most babies ended up in the NICU because there edc’s were not correct or the baby truly was NOT ready to come yet. Baby’s should not be delivered earlier unless mom or baby is having a major problem. Also, when you have a doctor who actually has critical thinking skills, they will recognize that a mom or baby is in true distress and they will deliver the baby earlier. If a doc can’t figure that out themselves, they shouldn’t be an ob.

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    • May 13, 2015 at 7:29 pm
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      Wow Arwen…

      Way to be a buzz kill on a funny blog!!! You clearly are not a labor nurse …you would know that “laboring down” has been scientifically proven to benefit mom and baby …not a cause of fetal distress. what ur not realizing is that she is speaking about an instance where it would apply, tho she did not say this, I’m sure she would NOT allow a pt to labor down if the baby showed signs of distress, also the MD would not either no matter what exam the nurse says the baby would still come first!
      Breastfeeding is hard!!!!! Hard to teach and hard to do (I know from first hand experience) No one said it wasn’t! so, why can’t a victory be celebrated. She never said the bottle was the devil she said how frustrating it is to put in a shifts effort to see that mom Changed her mind…I could care less how a baby is fed at the end of the day but I will still b disappointed that my work didn’t help …I bottlefed my kids btw!!!! I have more but don’t want to waste too much time on a 1%er…so I will end with this…these situations are meant to be funny over generalizations…keep it that Way or keep it moving so we LD nurses can giggle at our crazy days

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  • May 24, 2014 at 10:36 am
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    Arwen…You are the ONLY NEGATIVE person posting to this incredibly positive, funny, and enlightening article. Please take your cynical and warped thoughts elsewhere, so the rest of us can enjoy the positive stories that patients and nurses in Woman’s Health can enjoy!

    Shelley, unfortunately, I needed to retire early due to a disability… I miss working L & D so much. Thank you for helping me remember how wonderful it was. You capture so much of the emotional roller coaster in your writing!

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  • July 28, 2014 at 4:18 am
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    True that. All of that, sister.

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  • April 9, 2015 at 3:44 am
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    I’m expecting #5. I loved the L&D nurses I had for my 4th. I’m so sad that they won’t be here this time, since they were traveling nurses. They were so calm, and kept a wonderfully quiet, calm atmosphere for me to labor in. I had an awesome doctor too, but the nurses were there more. I love this series of graphics.

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  • April 11, 2015 at 11:49 am
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    I am a retired nurse that worked L & D as a young nurse. Your blog made me laugh and to remember some of the great times and horrific times. As you I prayed a lot. After a few years I opted to move to the ER. Go figure!!

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:44 pm
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      I now work in an ER as a labor nurse in case one of them comes to the wrong place. I am getting one heck of a new experience and had a delivery in the ER I will remember for the rest of my life

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  • May 14, 2015 at 1:44 am
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    Our docs, were I work, are real good at letting our Mom’s labor down. We don’t HAVE to lie to them and tell them the pt is only 7cm! LOL. I don’t know if that’s because all of them are women, or what, but….

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:47 pm
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      that is why I work nights…we have a I don’t call you, you don’t call me relationship and can labor them down. I can confess we had a doctor that his worst time to come for a delivery was 0300 because he was dead asleep at that time. He claimed he only came in at that time when I was in charge so I used to go “help” my nurses to get their patients delivered and innocently happened to get them to deliver at that time

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  • October 12, 2015 at 2:54 am
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    I think I’ve gone through just about every thing above,but I loved Labor & Delivery! I’m retired now,but if I could go back to work right now,I would do it in a heartbeat! ❤️??? ?

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  • February 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm
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    My heart goes to all L&D nurses, they are a special breed to me. Now don’t get me wrong ALL nurses are appreciated and are all special in their own right. I grew up in the Home of an L&D mom. She served 42 yrs worth of patients. I got to see how things either made her happy, mad ,sad , frustrated, as well as proud of her profession . I have gone into the medical field due to my mom(s) the other nurses on her floor helped me grow up to be who I have become. I love L&D!

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  • March 5, 2016 at 2:27 pm
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    I was a L&D nurse for 26 years. Lived and loved all the above. I went back to school for MSN in nursing education. Now I TEACH OB. Love to see the look on student’s faces when they witness their 1st birth. …

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  • July 13, 2016 at 4:58 am
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    Arwen…I think you took this a little too seriously. This is a light-hearted look at the job of an L&D Nurse with an incredibly positive spin. I’ve seen some very mean-spirited blogs by L&D RNs. This job is a tough one. We have to celebrate the little successes.
    The post doesn’t demonize formula – it focuses on the frustrations we encounter when we are supporting mamas who WANT to breastfeed and face system/educational challenges (not, mind you, physical challenges… different story).
    Likewise, there is nothing negative said about c-sections and there is nothing in here about “pushing a vaginal birth agenda”. Laboring down has nothing to do with denying a c-section to a patient when its medically indicated. Its about increasing the chances of a successful vaginal birth when there is no indication for a c-section. Statistically speaking, vaginal birth is safer than a c-section. So we all try to achieve a vaginal birth if its possible & safe.
    Elective induction of labor means the patient choosing to induce labor because they are tired of being pregnant. The “39-week rule” is based on evidence that babies are healthier when we don’t ask them to be born before they are ready. The rule does not apply to medical complications; we certainly induce labor prior to 39 weeks if there is a medical reason, ie a risk to the mother or the baby.
    Lacerations/episiotomies. Yes, patients have them, and we take care of them when they do. But sometimes patients don’t have tears and we all celebrate it. That’s all, don’t read into it.

    FYI the goverment is not making guidelines for healthcare decisions. Healthcare providers – doctors, midwives, nurses – follow evidence-based guidelines that are nationally recognized by organizations formed by Healthcare providers with the purpose of looking at the research & evidence to determine “best practice” guidelines. The reality is this: no matter how much we know or how we practice, some mothers and some babies will die. Its awful & sad but medicine cannot fix everything. We simply do the best we can given the knowledge & resources we have.

    The job is taxing, physically and emotionally. Which is why any reason to celebrate is embraced. Which is also why sometimes we need a little humor to get us through the day.

    Sincerely,
    A midwife who finds humor in this blog & thinks Arwen needs to relax

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  • September 4, 2016 at 7:11 pm
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    What is a STAT? Does that just mean a procedure that has to happen stat? #notanurse #clearly

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  • February 22, 2017 at 12:29 pm
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    Hilarious and so true!!! (L+D nurse for 25 years)

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