Insider Tips from A Labor and Delivery Nurse and a Babies R Us Give Away!

AUTHOR: | POSTED: August 29, 2012 | COMMENTS: 14 Comments
CATEGORIES: Melanie’s Healthy Mama,

Carolyn Savage

What’s your favorite story to tell? 

For most mom’s, hands down, it’s the story of their delivery day.  In fact it’s inevitable that if a flock of mothers is grouped together for any given length of time the conversation will eventually turn to delivery day!  It’s quite obvious why the births of our children is a favorite go-to topic during coffee clatches and book clubs–after all, who doesn’t love reliving a miracle? 

Among the staple key elements in the plots of our birth stories are a few common characters–a husband or partner, a doctor, and the lifeline for so many of us–a nurse. I cannot state more emphatically what an integral part our labor and delivery nurses have played in the births of our children.  In fact we wrote about the compassion and empathy that flooded Logan’s delivery from a small team of angels that made our time with him, albeit brief, so special. 

I’ll never forget before delivering Drew a wise woman telling me, “Love your nurse!  She’s going to be your lifesaver.”  I had no idea what she meant, but soon learned when I found myself  feet in the stirrups with an epidural that wasn’t working.  Not only did my L&D nurse keep me from ripping Sean’s face off, but she even took great pics when all was said and done!

When Ryan and MK were born, under less than ideal circumstances, our nurses kept us calm, explaining everything the NICU teams were doing.

And when the twins were born, our nurses knew our story and rejoiced in our happy ending.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the delivery room that day.

There’s no surprise as to why this group of professionals are known to so many as angels on Earth. 

But can you imagine the stories they have to tell? 

My friend Melanie’s been an L&D nurse for many, many years.  She’s cracked me up with her stories of regrettable tatoos, far too many potential fathers in a delivery room, and over the top hysterics of family members during a birth.  I swear she missed her calling as a SNL actress, but thank God she’s in the profession she is.  I’m sure there’s nobody more grateful than the expectant moms who’ve become her patients.

It’s my pleasure to bring you her “Insider Tips” for a more enjoyable labor and delivery experience.  They’re a little cheeky, but that’s her.  How else is she supposed to cope with all the crazy stuff she sees?

Insider Tips from a Labor and Delivery Nurse

 Tip #1  –  I’ll Be Your Bouncer…Just Say The Word

Sometimes deliveries can turn into all out parties.  Most doctors are tolerant of as many people present as you (expectant mom) want, but if ever there is someone in attendance that you don’t want in the room, just say the word!  Give me a whisper, and I’ll make an excuse to get the guest-turned-crasher out!  I have no problem being the “bad guy” for you!   (And this includes eager residents and medical students that have asked you for permission to observe!)

Tip #2 –  Think Before You Ink

Tatoos are a trendy way to express yourself–I get that!  What I wish is that tatoo artists would warn their female clients that tatoos stretch oddly, sometimes losing their appeal during pregnancy!  For instance, that sweet little sun that you wrapped around your navel will look more like a solar explosion when you are measuring nine months.  And word to the wise..,those rays of sunshine aren’t likely to go back to their original placement after delivery, so think about the placement of your ink!  You’ll be grateful that you did!

 

Tip #3 –  Leave the  Nursery At Home

We are equipped to dress, diaper, bathe, swaddle and all out generally care for your baby during your hospital stay.  So, give yourself a break by leaving your personal baby care items at home.  Use our stuff!  There’s truly no need to bring diapers, ten changes of baby clothes, an infant swing, bottles, etc to our unit!   Two outfits (one for a picture and one to go home in), and a carseat is truly all you need!  Trust me…you’ll be lugging all that stuff around with you soon enough! 

Tip #4  Leave the Good PJ’s at Home

Post partum is an exciting but messy time for a new mom!  I understand that a pretty robe may be the pick-me-up  you need after delivery, but leave the rest of the ensemble at home in favor of our hospital nighties or some cheap pj’s that you won’t mind tossing after your stay! 

Tip #5  Eat before You Arrive

Labor can last a long time so you may want to consider a light snack before arriving at the hospital!  Why?  Well ninety-nine percent of the time your ob/gyn will put you on a NPO (nothing per oral)once admitted, which means nothing goes into your mouth until your baby comes out!  The NPO  is issued just in case you end up needing anesthesia during delivery!  So eat something before we tell you, you can’t!  You’ll be happy you did!

Tip #6  Expectant Fathers…Never Eat in Front of A Laboring Mom

Along the same lines as tip #5, nothing can irritate an already uncomfortable laboring mother more than the sound of you chewing or slurping down a meal–especially when she’s hungry (and doing all of the work)!  If you need to grab a bite, scarf it down quickly in the cafeteria or in the hall way.  And if you do leave labor and delivery for a meal–make it a quickie and leave your phone on!  You never know when your presence may be needed!

Tip #7  Dads, Put Your Big Boy Pants On!

Labor and delivery is a challenging feat for a mom!  It’s also painful which can often cause a women to say things she doesn’t really mean!  So consider yourself forewarned.   You may need to disregard a few utterances that are mumbled/screamed during the intensity of labor! 

Tip #8  If You Are Bringing Siblings into The Delivery Room…

We understand that some patients may desire to bring older siblings to experience the birth of their brother or sister.  As nurses, we fully support your decision!  That being said, we implore you to prepare your child(ren) about what they’ll be seeing and hearing during a delivery so they aren’t scared.  Talk about what to expect, read a book, or watch an age appropriate movie so your child will understand what is happening.  And, understand, that as much as we fully support your decision to have an older child present, nurses cannot babysit said child.  Our focus has to be on you and your baby, so make sure you have other adults to help in case your older child needs attention.

Tip # 9       Never Feel Like You Have to Apologize

Know that us nurses have seen it all!  There’s nothing you can do, say that will offend us and there’s no bodily function that will take us off guard!  Never feel like you have to apologize!  This is our job and we signed on for it!  So relax and don’t worry!

Tip #10   A Word About Baby Names

We understand that many, many people like unique names and creativity is what makes our world such a colorful place.  That being said, be aware that if you go WAY outside the box when it comes to a name, it’s likely that you’ll become part of labor and delivery folklore that will be passed down for many years to come!  So to all the parents who’ve used names like Moxy Crimefighter, Apple, and Shepherd–consider yourself forewarned! 

A Baby Inspired Give Away

In honor of Melanie’s wonderful labor and delivery tips, Mama on The Fly is thrilled to be giving away a $30 gift card to Babies-R-Us!  All you need to do to qualify is to leave a comment describing your favorite labor and delivery nurse moment/memory!  Melanie will pick from the comments and the winner will be announced in next Wednesday’s (September 5th) post! 

14 Comments on “ Insider Tips from A Labor and Delivery Nurse and a Babies R Us Give Away! ”

  • Jen Schwiebert | August 29th, 2012 8:36 am

    I have to say that all the nurses I’ve had during my three children’s births have been amazing. Wendy kept me calm when my firstborn’s delivery stalled out – and then when I went from 4cm to delivered in an hour and a half, resulting in a very unplanned drug-free delivery! Chris, Kathy and Julie were great in reassuring me when my last baby was born by c-section. But the most amazing nurses were Donna and Sue, during the delivery of my second child, my son Todd. We went in for a induction because I was high risk, but everything looked fine and all the ultrasounds indicated I would have a 9 lb. baby. Things were going slow but fine all day, and it was nearing midnight by the time I started to push, and it didn’t take long for them to realize two things: the baby was a lot bigger than 9 lb., and his shoulder was stuck. Being at a rural hospital, there wasn’t a surgical team available to do an immediate c-section. It was a terrifying experience for me and my husband, but Donna and Sue were amazing. With very verbal communication between them and the doctor, they all knew immediately what to do. The nurses helped push him out, and at the same time they coached me through everything, keeping me as calm as possible. When he was born and not breathing, they immediately went to work on him and resuscitated him. I was told later that if I had panicked, my son may not have made it. Without Alice and Sue, I’m sure I would’ve panicked – they saved his life that night. Today I have a VERY energetic, very healthy four year old boy, and I thank God every day that he sent Alice and Sue into our lives that night.

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  • Carolyn Savage | August 30th, 2012 9:38 am

    Isn’t it amazing how nurses can take over in a scary experience like Alice and Sue did? I don’t think I could do what they do under that kind of pressure!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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  • Jenni | August 29th, 2012 8:39 am

    After years of infertility, I was determine to labor as naturally as possible. I was induced because of high blood pressure and things ended up moving faster than we thought they would. I was screaming through contractions and even tried to bite my husband. My nurse was my rock, she was the only one that could get me to snap out of it, look at her, and breathe. She also knew just what to say to me while pushing to get me to focus and get things done. I did apologize for my actions afterwards but found that she didn’t care. She was happy and proud that I was able to labor and deliver with the drugs.

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  • Jenni | August 29th, 2012 8:40 am

    Without the drugs

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  • Carolyn Savage | August 30th, 2012 9:40 am

    You tried to bite your husband. That made me laugh out loud! So glad the nurse got you through it! I can’t imagine how stress-filled their days are!

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  • Jesabes | August 29th, 2012 1:20 pm

    My favorite L&D nurse was the one who mothered me and took care of everything when I was throwing up uncontrollably after birth (bad reaction to the anesthesia). The relief I felt when she talked the doctor into zofran was great.

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  • Carolyn Savage | August 30th, 2012 9:41 am

    Ah…I had a mama-nurse after MK’s delivery! She was well into her sixties and took such amazing care of me. Even knew to turn a fan on me because the drugs I was on for the high blood pressure would make me feel like I was burning. Super proactive and compassionate.

    THanks for sharing!

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  • Trish | August 29th, 2012 4:00 pm

    After a really rough first delivery, I was pretty determined to have a medication-free birth the second time around. Fiona arranged for aromatherapy, dimmed the lights, ran a warm bath and gave me encouragement in the most soothing voice. Most importantly, she helped to guide my husband to help me. She coached my coach so to speak. 🙂 For being one of the most painful experiences of my life, she made it a pleasant one and I’ve always been thankful.

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  • Carolyn Savage | August 30th, 2012 9:41 am

    Gotta love a nurse who arranges for aroma therapy! I love that she coached your coach! Absolutely brilliant!

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  • Michele | August 29th, 2012 5:07 pm

    The nurses at our local hospital are very caring and very professional. My husband and I got to witness this first hand with the birth of our four children. I really thought I seen it all until I gave birth to my first surrogate baby. The nursing staff was extra accommodating to us due to our very unique situation. Not only did they make my stay amazing they also went out of their way to make the intended parents feel like this day was their “birth” day. We were given a larger post pardum room so we all could be together to celebrate this new life and reflect on the long road it took us to get to that day. When we went back to the hospital two years later to deliver a baby brother to my first surrogate daughter the staff was just as warm. Our nurses from the first delivery came to visit us and to see our newest little miracle. I delivered a total of 11 children from 9 pregnancies. The nurses were just as warm and caring with our 4 biological children as they were for each of my 5 surrogate deliveries. I also would like to add that we just recently became foster parents to a now 5 1/2 month baby boy and the love the NICU nurses gave this sweet baby boy went above and beyond their call of duty. They cried the day we were able to bring him home from the hospital and again when we took him back for a visit a few months later. We are so very greatful to all of the nurses who have been a part of our lives because we will never forget the love they showed us over the past 17 years.

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  • Jen | August 30th, 2012 12:56 am

    We had moved to Alaska shortly before I went into labor at 27 weeks. I spent six weeks in the hospital and had my favorite nurse Lauren, who was making the get-to-know-each-department rounds before ultimately headed into L&D. Little did we know we had grown up about five miles away from each other in California. When I went into labor after making it to 35 weeks…she was my L&D nurse!! It was such a relief to have her as she knew my struggles to get pregnant, to stay pregnant, and then the joy of having E. She was incredible!! xoxo

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  • abby arnold | September 5th, 2012 2:22 pm

    We had to move when I was 25 weeks pregnant to a different state and I absolutely loved the nurses at the new hospital! The best nurse I had was one that was training there, she was so helpful and nice!! All the nurses were but she was my favorite.

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  • Nan | August 28th, 2013 3:32 pm

    We had a whole bunch of wonderful nurses with our first child. (I’m hoping for more of the same in about 4 wks. when I am due with our second!:))
    I had brought a music cd to the hospital to listen to during labor. I really like the music and it is very relaxing. Well for some reason it would not play it in the hospital sterio. I was a little irritated but I guess listening to music on the radio would have to do. Pretty soon one of my nurses came in the room with another portable cd player from their training room and had my music going! Bless her heart! Not only did I have my music playing – when I went to try and relax in the shower it wasn’t long and she had it plugged in in the bathroom. It was so thoughtful of her and quite beyond my expectations of what a nurse does for you! It may seem like a small thing but it meant a lot to have her so concerned that I get to listen to my music as I had planned.

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  • Carolyn Savage | August 28th, 2013 5:06 pm

    What a lovely story! Best of luck with the delivery of #2! So exciting!

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