Monday, January 5, 2009

Nurses Call the Shots

I wanted to be a pediatric nurse. Then I realized much of my time would be spent dealing with the parents.

I wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. Then I realized my time would be spent dealing with women in labor.

While my nursing experience has not been in either of these two fields, I did go to nursing school and have been working for five years. I have had several experiences in both those areas, especially with women in labor. Don't ask me why. Wrong place wrong time? I may not have ever given birth, but I probably have more objective experience than a woman with six children. Your labor story is not objective. Sorry. It might be a good one, but it's anything but objective.

I have on some level been involved in and witnessed two late term miscarriages at 24 weeks, one of which I held the baby for the young woman so she could see the gender of the baby. I opted to step out of a D and C of twins when I found out I knew the woman in the OR. A c-section. Several vaginal births (because I can translate). An un-medicated hospital vaginal birth where the nurse's aide said "Put your hand here and don't let her push too fast. I'll be right back." The doc showed up after the fact to take the credit. A homebirth. And watched the birth of our daughter.

I have watched an epidural be placed. Checked cervical dilation. I am even aware how/when things can go terribly wrong. During my newborn rotation we took care of a newborn whose mother hemorrhaged and bled out. I worked all of high school with special needs children in the school district. I even had a sister who died prematurely at six hours old and remember going to her funeral.

I am no expert. I am not an OB. I am not a midwife. And I have never done this before. But I am not completely naive.

With all of that, now, when it comes time for us to deliver, we have chosen a homebirth. This was a choice we made early on and at halfway through my pregnancy, is one we continue to feel comfortable with.

For some reason when some people find out about our choice we are told every horror story they can come up with to somehow scare me into making a different choice. They must not get that I don't scare so easy. And I just get ticked when I'm punked.

I get that this is not every one's choice. I get that some people don't get it. I get that you might not get it. I get that it scares you. I get that this does not work in every situation- nor should it. I don't think this is a choice every woman and her partner (hopefully husband) should make. And I get that this is not a choice every woman will get to make.

But this is OUR choice. So to somehow insinuate that I may have made a mis-informed decision, or we don't know what we're talking about, or that I would do ANYthing to compromise the health and well-being of ANY child, much less MY child is just going to get on my nerves.

Keep in mind one simple rule-Don't get on the nurse's nerves. If I have any control over karma I may be the nurse that puts in (or worse) takes out your catheter. Something which I can do with my eyes closed, but you wouldn't want me to do that.

Now, if you'd like to debate about something- Boy or girl? We find out later today.

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