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!

9 comments:

Mom said...

Bethany,
Trust me, even the most experienced have made mistakes like that. At least you have an excuse. God will bail you out, He's good like that... Does me all the time.
Mom

Heidi said...

Love the pics sweets! Ok your mom is right - it happens to everyone but you know what the best part of shifts like that are?... you never need to ask those questions again - you will always remember where the oxytocin is and that it is the one you want when someone is bleeding - because you will remember Irene (or at least how you felt when you walked in with the vitamin K). Hang in there kid and remember you are doing this cold - I wasn't in that situation unitl after I had completed 3 years of school, you haven't even started school yet - have grace for yourself you are doing great!
On the front of after a bad nightshift, i just finished my fourth of five and was feeling very blue lying here in my bed and reading this put a smile on my face, it is good to know others feel like crying at the end of a crazy shfit too. love you miss you tons and can't wait to see you
xoxox

heather said...

Party line (for at least the next 6 months) = "I'm new!"

Works like a charm... at least it did at Starbucks when I would get a drink order wrong. What? Midwifery is more important and complicated than making lattes? Pish, posh - excuse still works. :)

I love you muchly.

Bethany said...

You guys make me cry. Thanks for the encouragement.....what a blessing...I am laughing now...and yes, Heather, "I'm NEW!" But I need to be careful or people will think I'm NUDE! :) Love you guys!

Christina said...

Whats that you say? Bethany's doing midwifery in the nude!!!I think that is more than she bargained on. Oh, well, God has made her so amazing, I know she can handle anything.
Love, Mum

Anonymous said...

Bethany, It has been good to catch up and read all your blogs and fun to see Lois's picture in a few of them. Rough days happen to all but I sure hope Lois wasn't on that shift with you! It doesn't sound like it for she sure knows who you are and that you are new. You were tired and had every right to cry,I would have done the same thing. Look at all the good things. Nothing seriously bad happened, you have learned something you will NEVER forget, some blog readers have also learned something new, and the next shift is a new day and a new opportunity. Even after Lois could catch babies, it seemed she went through shifts when nothing happened and others around her were catching. Her turn came. God bless you, encourage you and make you an encourager of others. Lois's mom

Bethany said...

Thanks, Lois' mom...Lois WASN'T on my shift...she is such a blessing to me and if she had been on that shift...it would've been SO much better. She has that incredible ability to go into any circumstance or any room and brighten it up. What a gift she is to me and I know she is to the women she ministers to. I love her heart....I want to learn from her. Thanks for training her up so good! :) Thanks for the encouragement...you two are a lot alike. :)

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

Bethany - after years of nursing and now teaching - you can take solace in knowing I still make many mistakes and feel stupid often. Partly it lets us know that we are not expected to be perfect (well unless we were neurosurgeons) and that we NEVER stop learning...when I feel silly/stupid/incompetent I remember to stand back, take a breath, look at what I am doing and take my time (even when we are being rushed!), remember that I DO know things and think about what I have left to learn!!! Remember you are a learner and will grow everyday! Especially since you really haven't started school yet!
Good luck and you are doing great!!! Kristin