It’s been a busy winter! Today, I’ve finally had to chance to sit down and do some updating and reflecting on my work from the past few months.
I had the privilege to spend a few days working at Ruby Memorial Hospital this March with the amazing Certified Nurse Midwives who practice there, and even some of the attending doctors and residents. I was able to observe both the beautiful and awful parts of hospital birth. The births I witnessed ranged from normal and natural with wonderful staff, to very managed and medicated with staff who did not outwardly show compassion toward their patient.
When talking about hospital birth, many doulas and midwives tend to focus on the latter type described above. One of my take-aways from my time was that the kind of horror stories that get passed around, while sometimes true, are not the complete picture. Part of what I now understand is how things can line up to create the circumstances for one of these awful experiences, and that no one on the staff is intentionally working toward that. It seem to me that there can be a perfect storm of exhausted, inexperienced, or transient staff that lands on birthing folks without much support. Seeing this only further cements my belief that doulas should be available to anyone who needs one, and that their services should be covered by insurance. While I sometimes feel conflicted about hospital-based doula programs, I would still love to see them more.
That kind of textbook terrble hospital birth was only one of six that I witnessed. I also saw some medicated births which were incredibly well supported. Mothers with epidurals and inductions who had compassionate and knowledgeable nurses that took time and care with them. Labors that ended in beautiful and uncomplicated births, and patients who were very happy with their choices and care. I saw natural, unmediated, and intermittently monitored labors; births where the staff were very hands off and respectful of the process and the time that it takes. I am so happy that this hospital has some incredible humans working in their childbirth center.
One of the most fascinating things I observed were the interactions between nurses, doctors, residents, students, and midwives all sharing the same space and working toward the mutual goal of safe deliveries. I have a deeper understanding now of the whys and hows of hospital birth that were perplexing to me before. I see just how much work it is to simultaneously manage the labor, birth, and postpartum care for so many different individuals. It was a whirlwind week, with long hours, laughs, and so much coffee! I’d like to say another great big Thank You to all the staff that helped me learn more about hospital birth 🙂
After spending some time in Morgantown, I’ve been getting back to work here updating my paperwork and birth log. I am now up to 2 catches and 26 total births! Hooray! I’m now only a few births away from crossing into a new phase of my training. I am about to start working as a primary midwife under supervision. I am really excited to be moving along so quickly and I can’t wait to start catching more babies!! Keep checking on my Facebook and website for more updates, and thanks for reading.