As a student nurse, I saw my first birth. I could go into how in awe I was, or how I knew at that moment I wanted to be a labor nurse. However, that was absolutely not the case for me.
As I watched my very first birth, my thought was “oh my gosh, that is NOT supposed to come out of there.” In that moment I knew I wanted nothing to do with it. Somewhere along the way, I did realize the sheer power and beauty of birth. I realized that “delivering” is what pizza drivers do, but that birth workers “catch” babies. The mindset of “delivering” babies takes the power away from the birthing person and gives it to the provider.
In reality, it’s the strength and magic of the birthing person that brings a baby into the world. At this point in my career, I was a Labor & Delivery nurse, but I knew I wanted to further my education and become either a Woman’s Health Nurse Practitioner or a Certified Nurse Midwife.
I was unsure which route I wanted to go, until I caught my first baby. It was in that moment that my soul ignited for birth work. Fast forward to today and I am working on completing my clinicals to become a Certified Nurse Midwife.
From recommending to running the room
School has prepared me with a lot of educational coursework. This has furthered my understanding of things such as the anatomy and physiology of birthing people and newborns, and the ins & outs of contraception.
School also opened my eyes to the evidence that supports many different things than I was used to as a L&D nurse. I was prepared for the intellectual aspect of things, but was very surprised how much I struggled to switch my mindset from RN to Provider. I’m not just recommending things anymore, but I am actually running the room, ordering meds, managing people, and more.
Being on the other end
It wasn’t until I was actually gowned and gloved, standing at the perineum that I realized my dream was becoming a reality. I was so honored to be able to empower this mother through her pushes, and coach her through her breathing.
You do that as a labor nurse, but it’s different being on the other end. Seeing each effort get the parents closer and closer to meeting this tiny human that they’ve imagined for so long.
Being able to witness firsthand how the human body stretches, and how bones literally spread so that a portal is created for life. Seeing the newborn’s head restitute and watching how the body maneuvers the Curve of Carus as it continues its descent down after the head is born. Suddenly catching this slippery, slimy being in your hands, and placing it on the birthing person’s chest. All of these things fill the entire room with an energy that is indescribable.
You can learn so many things in textbooks, but to combine that physiological knowledge and actually witness it brings an entirely new depth to my passion for birth, and birthing people.
Witnessing a sacred moment
As a labor nurse, once the baby is born, you are busy doing a million things. You don’t have time to take in the birth with the parents until after you’ve cleaned them up and the rest of the commotion in the room is gone.
As a provider, you are able to stand there and actually look at the emotion in the parent’s eyes and take in the sacredness that is birth.
You get watch as the parents study their little one’s tiny features and revel in their cries. I love seeing the birthing partner tear up in awe of the power of their partner. It truly is a sacred moment in time.
Regardless of the mode of birth (vaginal or c-section), I am in complete awe of the power of the human that created this life.