November 17, 2013

how a baby is born

if you're reading this, you probably have noticed that I have not written a blog post in over a month and a half. if you know me, you know that that means I probably have a whooole lot to write about. where to begin?

Well, to start, I just completed my month as the intern running the labor and delivery floor. I use "running" loosely, as I'm definitely and positively the intern. I also use "labor and delivery floor" as often it felt more like a cardiac floor or an Emergency Room or a psychiatric ward or a nephrology consulting office.

Oh yes, there were also beautiful normal vaginal deliveries.

One woman had been working for approximately 9 months on her "delivery playlist" which was just amazing - so much Alicia Keys.

One new dad kept saying to me "Can you believe it? Can you really believe it? We are parents!" about a million times with this huge grin on his face like he had just won the world's biggest prize without very much work at all (which, in some ways, is exactly what happened, right?).

One woman delivered her baby and then literally moments later was up walking in the hall with her three year old, saying hello to all the nurses.

One woman delivered beautifully in a squatting position and told me that she thought her delivery was smooth because she had been swimming throughout her pregnancy; in fact, she had been swimming comfortably only hours before her contractions started.

But there were a lot of stat cesarean sections, a lot of baby's born early and requiring more support from the pediatricians than anyone wants their baby to need. There were a lot of sky-high blood pressures that scared us about seizures. There were placentas that broke off the wall of the uterus and threatened to deprive the baby of oxygen and have the mother bleed to death. There were babies that were so big that even making a large incision, delivering them took a lot of strength and pressure.

But birth is amazing.

And the things that we can do - that I can do - to help make it safer and better, are amazing.

Despite having been on for about 6 weeks straight (yes, weekends and all),
there's nothing like looking into the eyes of the world's newest human being and getting to be the first one to say,

"hey baby, welcome to the world; we are so happy to have you here"

more soon.

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