Monday, August 6, 2007
A difficult birth shift.....
Greetings! I did make it to my overnight birth shift with camera in hand only to find out that there was only one dear lady admitted. It was a long night. So I took pictures of all the things that would interest one who works in a clinic or a maternity ward (yeah....that's you, Heidi!).
For the rest of you all, just bear with me....it was a LOOOONG night and at the end of it, I was mildly frustrated with my lack of abilities.
So this dear lady, Irene, was admitted the day before at only 2 cm dilation. Normally she would go home, but because she lived over an hour away, the clinic decided to keep her.....AND she was the only one there!
So she had mild contractions all night and then by 4:45 am, she was in full labor and I was woken up to quickly begin charting her progress. The only problem was, I really wasn't supposed to be charting. Everyone else was asleep and my supervisor thought I was an intern....she hadn't realized that I was a student-to-be. So I thought she knew that about me, but she thought I was qualified, so I began to chart what she stated.
The labor was LONNNGGGG and difficult....it looked like she needed to be transported to the hospital....she was on oxygen and an IV. Totally exhausted, with the help of two midwives and two attendants, managed to push her little boy named Ken out. She needed a lot of help after that. Then after asking some questions about the charting and trying to help grab towels, gauze and other things, my supervisor asked, "Aren't you an intern?" I, as well as the other midwife, firmly said, "No, I am a student beginning in September." Her eyes got wide and she grabbed the chart. Ooops. I had made some mistakes on the chart, too. Ooops.
Then she asked me to go get the Pitocin shot to help the bleeding. I didn't know exactly where they were so I quickly asked, "In the fridge?". Yup. One labeled oxytocin, the other without a label. I chose the one without the label (it was passed 6 am and I was up most of the night) and as soon as I brought it in, I was greeted with somewhat frustrated eyes...."The one labeled 'oxytocin'!" Yeah, thanks....I'll get right on that. It appears that the one I had brought was the vitamin K shot for the baby. Three cheers for retarded Bethany. Mmmm. By that point, I was feeling useless and stupid. At least dear Irene got her baby and was in pretty good health.
As for me, I wandered home a little after 6am. Sweaty, downcast, tired, on my period (I've been on it for 6 weeks)....and without my house keys. Great. Another zinger for the genius.
After numerous texts to Tim on his phone, a pounding on our fortress metal door, and three thousand buzzer rings, a very sleepy Tim came to my rescue....but at that point, I was in tears. Overtired....frustrated....and disappointed....I apologized profusely to Tim and fell into bed trying to focus on the fact that someday I will know how to do all this and my supervisors and peers won't laugh at my ignorance or be frustrated by my lack of midwifery expertise.
Next shift will be better....that's my prayer. Thinking positive and fighting the urge to get into any self-pity.....such are the learning experiences of a midwife in the observing stage. So the pics are of the clinic....Be blessed and thanks for reading!