It has been absolutely balls to the walls at work the past few weeks. Scratch that. For the past few months.
By the end of the day I'm starving, haven't peed, my feet ache, I'm cranky to my husband and I've been away from my son for over 12 hours, but I still go back to work wanting more. Why? Because I have the best job in the world. Don't get me wrong, when it's a bad day, it's a horrible, unimaginable bad day. But I feel so privileged to be a part of so many women's lives, through the highs and the lows.
Here are 30 things your labor and delivery nurse wants you to know:
1.) Whether your baby comes out the vagina or you had a c-section - it doesn't make you any more or less of a mother.
2.) Same goes for whether you went all natural or had an epidural - it doesn't make your baby any different.
3.) But if it's your goal to go all natural we will bust our butts to help get you there.
4.) We've seen all sorts of vaginas and they're all different, And we won't remember what yours looked like.
5.) Being upright is your best friend - walk, get on the birth ball, dance. Whatever you do don't just lay in bed.
6.) Babies don't come with handles, we can't just yank them out.
7.) Breast or formula, it's up to you, fed is best!
8.) Nipples - they come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
9.) We may tell you you're 8-9 cms, there's a good bet your fully dilated, but we know its best for you and your baby if we let you labor down.
10.) There's alot of swelling that goes on down there so don't be surprised if yours looks like a ciabatta roll the next day. We can make you a magical diaper pack with ice, witch hazel and dermoplast.
11.) We have no problem kicking all your family and friends out of the room so you can rest, have some private time with your partner or if they're simply driving you crazy!
12.) When you came through our doors and there was no heartbeat, please know as soon as we walked out to our car we burst into tears and cried the whole way home.
13.) And when we got home we didn't say a word to our families that night we just hugged our babies tight.
14.) We still pray for you and think of you.
15.) If you come in with a birth plan, we'll start prepping for your c-section because nothing ever goes to plan.
16.) If you're a redhead, we will have every anti-hemmorrhage medication in the room and the hemorrhage cart outside the door because there's a good chance you are going to bleed out on us and we want to ward off any bad juju.
17.) There is no evidence based research as to the benefits of consuming your placenta - just because the Kardashians did it doesn't make it right.
18.) We don't care that you lost your mucus plug and no we don't want to see.
19.) Just because you're 1-2 cms dilated or one day past your due date doesn't mean your in labor - go home and labor in the comfort of your own home where you can eat and drink.
20) Also you're not in active labor until you're 5-6 cms dilated so don't listen to those people that tell you they were in labor for 72 hours.
21.) Also being pregnant does not entitle you to be excused from work so don't ask for a work note - We work 12 hour days on our feet holding heavy epiduralized legs pushing with our patients for 4 hours without eating or drinking and often times work right up until we deliver.
22.) We probably haven't peed since before we left our house for work that day.
23.) And there's a good chance we haven't eaten either unless a family brings us food.
24.) Our families sacrifice alot - were gone most weekends and holidays and at work from sun up until sun down so please don't be rude.
25.) Make sure your partner or support person stays hydrated and fed - we don't have time to pick them up off the floor.
26.) Laboring in the shower, tub or on the toilet can do wonders.
27.) We may contort you into a bunch of crazy different positions that we know have successfully worked to get someone to deliver.
28.) Being in labor and something about new babies brings out the crazy in some people and their families. We've seen it all and nothing surprises us anymore.
29.) You have a right to ask questions and refuse anything. And we will advocate for you.
30.) We still think birth is magical and we have the best jobs in the wor