Most of this blog has been consumed with our attempts with trying to conceive. It might make one wonder if I do anything else! Trying to conceive does seem to overtake almost every waking thought I have, but I am still pursuing my dream of becoming a nurse-midwife. I am doing about 36-40 clinical hours each week now - 2 clinic days and 1 hospital day. This past week was my first week in the hospital AND my first official catch! Wahoo!
As a labor & delivery nurse there have been a handful of times where I have caught a baby due to a precipitous birth where the physician did not make it in time, but those times were usually more of a surprise and panic type situation where I was wondering when the physician was going to arrive while catching the baby and simultaneously calling other nurses and techs into help me. In contrast, my first official catch happened in a very serene, calm, controlled and beautiful way. We had a patient who was a G2P1 having a natural birth at 40.4 weeks gestation. She had a doula and did amazing throughout the whole labor. She walked and rocked, sat on the birthing ball and tried a variety of positions until she found what worked for her. But at 0300 and 8 cm she wanted to give up. She started crying and saying she just could not go on, and that she wanted an epidural or something to make the pain go away. I encouraged her to get in the bath tub and she did. She sat in the warm water, pelvis open, rocking side to side and moaning with eyes closed breathing through every contraction. In 15 minutes time she said she felt like she needed to push. She walked back to the bed and began her delivery. Half a dozen pushes later she welcomed her healthy, beautiful baby boy into the world.
For my part, I protected the perineum during the crowning and then supported the head as it birthed. I then gently pulled traction down to release the anterior shoulder and then the posterior shoulder slid right out along with the rest of the baby. It was quite easy as the mother did all the work, but I still need more practice with my hand placement and coordination of catching the entire baby with both hands and then placing on mom's tummy. I am sure though that will all come together in due time with practise.
The birth though was just so magical and beautiful. I know I have said beautiful several times now, but it really was a picture perfect birth experience. The baby needed a bit of transitional support and the nurse even gave the baby oxygen on the mom's belly. In the end, the mother got all that she wished for - a natural birth with no interventions, no lacerations and she was not separated from her baby after the delivery. A perfect birth for the mother and baby, and a wonderful first birthing experience for me!