Untold Stories of Labor & Delivery: What Most People Don’t Know About Labor and Delivery Nurses

*Warning: There are some real life experiences in here that may not be easy for some to read, but it’s happy in the end…I don’t know how to do these warning things…I feel like the intro to “Untold Stories of the ER” or something…Moving on.

I’m baaaaack! …but only for like 30 minutes while I finish this beer (Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager- try it if you ever see it on the East Coast).

So as you may know nursing school has taken over my life and I have not been able to post on here as much because I’ve been busy writing APA papers (I almost double spaced this…), care plans, and BS-ing discussion boards. 

I have been wanting to post for awhile, but this is a non-fitness related topic. It is however a motivational and inspirational topic for some! It’s Labor and Delivery…ehhhh I guess you could say labor is related to fitness. 

For the past 4 weeks I had my clinical on a Labor and Delivery unit and I fell in love. I was able to experience 6 small, beautiful lives enter this world and it was absolutely amazing.

When we see Facebook posts about nurses we typically see the ER or Trauma nurses, and sometimes the NICU nurses because they see and do a lot of amazing and wonderful things. I also feel like when we think of L&D we think, “oh it’s so happy, and it’s babies!!!” Don’t worry I thought this as well. We don’t stop and think about what they actually do because that’s sad and depressing sometimes.

So going into this experience I was like, “pshhhh sad things can happen, but it’s rare right?” Labor and Delivery is a scary scary place. I love it, but these nurses HAVE to be on their toes 110% of the time. 

What people don’t realize is that every SINGLE birth is different. You can never predict what is going to happen. You cannot plan your birth, as much as you think you can you just can’t. You can monitor and hypothesize about what could happen, but that’s the thing with life, you just never know. 

Out of the 6 births I saw, 50% of them had a scary moment(s), but what were the nurses doing? They were as cool as clams (What does this saying even mean?). They were taking care of the mom and doing what they could for the baby and actively communicating with the physician or midwife. They had to stay calm because any amount of increased stress is going to stress and freak the mom out and in turn affect the baby. 

If you meet these L&D nurses they’re quirky and fun and just goofy. They have to be. Most of the time it’s happy stuff and it’s a celebration of life. They are helping bring life into the world! 

~~~~~Here comes the serious topic~~~~~

These nurses are amazing because they can go from the happiest things in life to some of the saddest most tragic things ever, and then right back to happy. They’re magicians. 

Last week, I witnessed one of the most intense moments of my life. This L&D nurse was bathing twins that had not made it. It is hospital protocol and a courtesy to the family to clean them and get their footprints. It was a lot to handle, but this nurse took it like a champ. She was still loving and gentle towards them. She called them by their names and treated them like her patients and it was very powerful. Obviously she wasn’t all smiley and happy, but she was strong- I am struggling to actually pick the perfect word to describe her because it was so much to handle in just a few moments.

Afterwards, she came out and was helping her other patient and cracking jokes with them. She had put on a different hat. This mother will never know what she had just done, and if I hadn’t known I would have never been able to tell. That’s a talent.

These nurses have intense emotion control because they have to. No one wants to have their first child with a nurse who is a Debbie downer. 

Bottom line: I want to give credit and a huge shout out to all L&D nurses, physicians, and midwives etc. They deserve some love. They have to care for two patients, one they can see and one they can’t. It’s quite the job and they manage to do it with a smile on their face. They keep the patient calm and the family calm. It’s a job that requires intense people skills as well as the ability to joke, laugh, cry, love, sympathize with and their patients.

They see some of the happiest and some of the saddest moments in life and they manage to still come back to work every day with a great attitude. And somehow on top of it all they manage to come into work on their day off and teach us about the world of L&D/OB, and teach it well. 

I observed this in just 4 weeks and it made me want to join their world and be one of them. It also made me want to share what these amazing people do every day with the world!

Thank you to all the L&D nurses out there. You are all super heroes!!!





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