I had the opportunity to walk through my former Labor and Delivery Unit where I worked as a Nurse for many years.
I remember my time as a Labor and Delivery Nurse with such sweetness. This was a time in my career where:
I learned, I laughed, I cried, I learned some more, I helped bring babies into the world, I helped grieving mothers who lost their babies, and “caught” a few babies who didn’t want to wait on their doctors Did I mention how much I learned?
I remember every moment with fondness- even rushing down the hall with a patient with an abruption going for an emergency caesarean section (c-section), or hearing/watching a baby’s heart tones decel (that’s when the heartbeat drops below normal) and rushing to the room to administer IV fluids, oxygen, turn positions, all while calling the doctor and remaining calm- because you never want mom to fear. Above all, I was there for her and the baby.
I recall those days our team was short staffed and the Full Moon was in all its glory. Yet, we handled it with excellence. Yes, there was challenging days, but the joyous days outweighed the challenging days every time. Every day was different and made me better as a Nurse, a better Person than the day before.
I begin my journey on Labor & Delivery as a new nurse in my 1st year of nursing – and this was my second job. The experienced Nurses took me under their wings and taught me everything they knew, encouraged me to learn as much as I could and grow. They taught me how to listen and observe what is about to happen, anticipate every moment 5-6 steps ahead and always have a plan; especially before calling the doctor. Labor and Deliver was more than a job for me. It’s where I became “Nurse Mary”. I learned what it meant to bond with a family, to be there with a mom when she feels as if she cannot go on, but I could help her go on and triumph to the finish line. To let Dad know he has a role in the delivery room and help him be there in the moment.
I learned how to respectfully honor a baby who was born sleeping, while remaining strong and helping the family through the process. I learned working together as a team, we could do anything; we were, we are #Labor and Delivery Strong.
I gained the confidence that I could learn more and do more- and completed my Master’s while working full time on L/D. Leaving was bittersweet. I love my current role as the Maternal Fetal Medicine Coordinator and my team is THE BEST! I love knowing I am working with my high risk patients at their most vulnerable and helping them make it to Labor and Delivery and have a healthy outcome- for mom and baby. There is no place I rather be in this moment in my career. Everyday lets me know I am making a difference. However, as I walked through the Labor and Delivery unit Listening to the galloping Fetal Heart Tones, Hearing the Grunts of the mothers as they brought forth their babies Seeing the Nurses run to the breakroom to take a sip of their coffee Hearing the laughter; Observing the Comradery; the bond I know Labor and Delivery and all those I met there will always beat in my heart.
To future Labor and Delivery patients -know your nurse is excited and happy to be there with you every moment of your Labor and Delivery journey. Your nurse will be your advocate, your champion; on your team 100%.
To future Labor and Delivery Nurses-yes, it’s as wonderful as you have heard and joining a Labor and Delivery team will be the best decision you will make for your career.
To my former Labor and Delivery co-workers thank you for the memories, thank you for the lessons, and no matter where our path takes us ; we will always be:
Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby
Mary E., RN,BSN,MSN
Wife/Mother/Registered Nurse/ “Champion of All Pregnant Women”