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The Secret to a Great Labor and Delivery

My bestie over at Truly Margaret Mary is expecting her first little bundle of joy in a few weeks (eep!) just ahead of my own impending bundle of joy's arrival.  Unfortunately, too many miles, and most likely yucky winter weather, separate us to where I won't be able to perform my protective bouncer/womance duties during her L&D experience that served us so well when we were roommates.  However, her awesome husband and own will and determination will serve her well during this experience.

However, I'm going to let her and you all in on a little secret to a great L&D experience.

Here it is...the nurse(s)

Yes, folks, the job that I could never ever do that is done by so many wonderful was the key to #2's arrival being a surreal experience of, dare I say it, comfort and joy.

Let's travel back in time 6 years ago this week to the arrival of my first son.  My L&D started out textbook.  Lost the plug, water broke a two days later, arrived at hospital showered and ready to go.  Pain wasn't bad.  "I've got this", I thought.  I was hooked up to the gadgets and gismos and that god awful pitocin (why I don't know), but I was still ok. Enter nurse Ratchet, and I quote, "bigger gals like you need to lie down so we can hear the baby's heartrate".  Oh no she didn't.  Thankfully my husband stepped between us.  If you've been in labor, you know that lying still is impossible let alone the furthest thing you want to do.  Top off insulting my weight and I'm going to choke a bitch.  Then she put on that God blessed blood pressure cuff.  Which, was way more painful than any of the stuff going on south of the border.  And bonus, the little f*cker went off every 5 minutes, usually with a contraction! Yay!

Nurse Ratchet: Your BP keeps going up.  I'll get you the epi.
Me: No shit. If you could loosen it or remove it, I bet it would stop going up.
Nurse Ratchet: No.
Me: How much longer are you on shift?
Nurse Rachet: Six hours
Me: Call the anesthesiologist.

Cue the epi, a catheter from Nurse Ratchet that later resulted in a UTI (again, pain worse than delivering a nearly 10lb. baby boy), and I proceeded to sleep for the next 13 hours.  The nurse who was on shift during my actual delivery was worlds nicer.  Thank you sweet baby Jesus for that.

Now let's travel back in time 3 yrs. ago to the birth of my second son.  A scheduled induction.  When I arrived there she was in all her glory, an angel from above dressed in blue scrubs.  Only I didn't know yet she'd be my angel.  This L&D was amazing because of her.  Want food?  Here you go.  Need Tums?  Here you go.  Move around.  Walk the Halls.  Bounce on the ball.  Blood pressure cuff OK? You're doing great and your hair is awesome!

Sigh.  Can you hear the birds singing?

I labored on my own and progressed the way I wanted to and she supported it all.  She left her shift and returned just in time to help me welcome my little man into the world.  It was my husband, doctor, and her in the room.  Peaceful perfection.  I literally laughed during pushing.  Yup, I'm that crazy lady.

Now there are millions of these angelic nurses around the world delivering babies.  Many of them have the special job of helping babies that need extra special care too.  These nurses also help us mommas begin our experiences as moms and how they treat us can result in a charred memory on the experience or just the opposite.  I know these women (and men) deal with a lot and I'm not saying they don't have some horrible patients that require some firm direction, but I'm just not one of those patients :)

So whether you're choosing a doula, midwife, or the luck of the draw of who's on shift when you're ready to go, I hope that you get a great nurse such I was able to have, the 2nd time around.  They just might be the one to help you way more than all the baby books and classes could have beforehand.

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