Tuesday, January 5, 2010

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 something to debate about- names. The subject of names has been of great debate around these parts and is even a subject I am willing to entertain. Bring it on.


John said...

You should have told them Europe's statistics on home birth and their infant mortality rate. From what I understand, Europe has about 50% of their births at home and have half the mortality rate that we have.

We in America have been brain washed that you must have a child in a hospital and that it is only safe to do it there. Probably another reason why our health care spending is out of control.

Melissa and Michael said...

Wow I envy you. I wanted to do a home birth so bad but the military wouldn't cover having a midwife there with me. Plus, you dont have to lay around in a hospital forever.
Have you come up with any names yet?

cambridgeclan said...

So... Is it a boy or a girl?

Wilkins Clan said...

I think that is great and I love that your husband supports you in it. I would LOVE to do a homebirth. I wish I had that choice. Homebirth is a personal choice done with prayer and mothers instincts. So tell anyone to back off that thinks they know what is better for your family than you!! So when do you announce if it is a boy or girl??

Angela said...

A few months ago I read a couple of books that reaffirmed my desire to avoid a hospital birth if at all possible; Pushed by Jennifer Block and Born in the USA by Marsden Wagner. I recommend both.

As far as names go, you are on your own.. I know every name my friends came up with when I was pregnant just sounded so boring...

Marin said...

This is some of the stuff I always wanted to shout at people while I was going through my pregnancy. Sometimes I felt like no matter what I said, they still had their opinions so I hoped that my actions would speak louder than words. And maybe it worked for some. We had a wonderful homebirth with amazing midwives and I felt fully supported. It is such a personal experience and I agree it's not the right choice for so many but it was for my hubby and I. I hate to see homebirth be a trendy thing too. I agree with John. There is an article in the recent Mothering issue about how it is quite safe, often more than a hospital birth.

Natster said...

I used to be completely against all things homebirth/midwife related. It just freaked me out.Then my cousin had a homebirth and related the amazing experience she had. What a neat thing for your family! I still don't know what I would do, but that doesn't matter! You're having a homebirth and that is Wonderful! I want to hear some of the names you love, hate or whatever. To me that is always a fun process to hear about.

Marti said...

Here are some names from Texas and yes we know boys with these names:
Bo Levi, Colt, Steele, and Crockett and tell John they are all really good football players. Jacob ask that you don't use Jaquiz because he wants this for his son and Matthew wants Shiz, a BOM name, for his son, so please don't use these :)

Angela said...

I have many friends that have had beautiful and (medically) uneventful homebirths. I love that you and your husband have actually done the research and made an informed choice that works for you! I also love that you respect that it does not work for everyone.

I can offer opinions on names for you, but then I'm the one whose mom said, "Are you really going to name her that?!?" when she heard my daughter's name!!

Lisa said...

I think the witnessing of a homebirth would silence all your critics.

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