For those of you who have worked long in labor and delivery and before the advent of the epidural, you may, perhaps, can relate to patients such as mine.
Many years ago, I was a labor and delivery RN at a county medical hospital, serving a large population. The hospital only had 3 delivery rooms with one delivery room, that all the nurses hated; it was small and around the corner; kind of hard to get into in a hurry. We had 9 nine labor and recovery rooms, and rarely more than 3 RN's on the day shift. On this particular day, we were slammed, babies were coming out of the woodwork!
I had just come out of the delivery room with one patient and was settling her in the recovering area, when I heard that unmistakable screaming, moaning and grunting that any labor and delivery RN instantly recognizes! It is the sound that says "World, I am coming out! Ready or not!" I looked out in the direction of the sound and saw no one, and so I ran. I found a young black woman, literally coming out of her bed with the contraction and the baby starting to crown. The only delivery room available was the dreaded #3, just around the corner. Since this was her first baby, I felt I had time to get her to the delivery room. So, I grabbed the foot of the bed, screamed, myself for one of the techs that I was going to the delivery room and to come on, NOW! Luckily, because we had been so busy, the delivery room was set up and waiting.
I am a small woman, so it was somewhat difficult to maneuver this bed around the corner into the delivery room, all the while trying to keep the patient calm between contractions. I did manage, thinking that my backup is coming any minute. Wrong! I get the bed rolled to the side of the delivery table, I'm talking to the patient, she's calm, I'm explaining that I am going to help her move on to the delivery table, I'm at the foot of the bed, between her legs, lifting her buttocks, she just needs to move her shoulders over, she says "Okay".
Just as I lift her buttocks, a contraction hits! SHE ARCHES HER BACKS, THROWS HER LEGS, BOTH OF THEM AROUND MY NECK, AND BEGINS TO SCREAM UNCONTROLLABLY, WHILE BEATING THE TABLE WITH THE VERY HANDS SHE WAS JUST HELPING MOVE HERSELF WITH!!!!!! THE BABY IS NOW CROWNING , LITERALLY INCHES FROM MY FACE! SHE IS SCREAMING AND THRASHING SO, THAT SHE CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING I SAY AND OBVIOUSLY, MY BACKUP HASN'T SHOWN UP!
I was yelling for her to "GET DOWN, GET GET DOWN! I CANNOT DELIVERY THIS BABY WITH IT IN MY FACE!" She just did not hear me! In desperation, I popped her backside, and repeated "I HAVE TO DELIVER YOUR BABY! NOW!" Luckily, the contraction, began to subside then and she relaxed, completed the move to the deliver table where I delivered a healthy girl baby, moments later. At which point, my tech walks in and says, "Oh, I sorry, I didn't hear you"!
More than 20 years later, I still see that scene vividly, and
laugh out loud at my predicament. At the time, however..............Last edit by Joe V on Jun 17, '18
Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 5; Likes: 17
Retired; from US
Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in Labor & Delivery; Nursing AdministrationMar 13, '09That's hysterical!! I went to L&D after a short stint on a med/surg floor, at the tender age of 21 in 1982 and worked there for 15 years. So I definitely know what you are talking about LOL! I had a lady from another culture that believed only her husband should see/touch her in the area in question, not even us.She came up to us from the ER(they hated OB patients,especially ones that were about to deliver)She was screaming in the wheelchair and not in english.She stood up and her water broke.She had pantyhose on and every time she screamed the baby would move up and down in her pantyhose like a bungee cord jumper!! I'm cracking up now!:chuckleMar 13, '09Oh, these are only stories i could hope to experience...i want to be in l&d so bad...but i am a new nurse and will probably have to work ltc for a while before i can even step foot in a hospital!Mar 13, '09I hear that a lot about having to 'pay your dues' so to speak. I don't know what state you are in, butyou may want to apply anyway.Never underestimate your abilities or worth! Let me know how it goes!Mar 13, '09That's funny- I literally laughed out loud while reading this post- you painted quite the vivid image! I am a student and I have OB rotation coming up in a few weeks-- I can't wait- but I doubt it will be that exciting! LOLMar 14, '09L & D was my favorite place to work and still holds my heart in nursing. I have many more stories that bring smiles to my face! A great career in Nursing! Good luck!Mar 18, '09I've had a similar "close up" experience as well. Working with a midwife, patient was in a side lying position for delivery with me supporting her upper leg. In the midst of a contraction she swung that leg up and behind my neck. Only my arm braced as hard as I could on the bed kept me from having a very close encounter. Unfortunately the midwife was laughing too hard to help me extricate myself until the contraction ended.Mar 18, '09Thanks for sharing; All these years, I thought I was the only one with such a close encounter!Mar 19, '09OH my goodness, that's incredible!
I'm starting nursing school for midwifery in May - thanks for getting me geared up for the wildest moments to come!
Mar 20, '09You're welcome. One of the most rewarding times of my nursing career and certainly the time that brought the most smiles. Thanks for the opportunity to share.Apr 1, '09are you kiddin???? if you want l and d just apply, most of the hospitals i have worked in lately are hiring GN's to l and d....i disagree with that practice, but it is what it is..
Must Read Topics