My first death was a baby. L&D nurse. Baby died inside. So sad. Parents were trying and trying and finally got pregnant and the baby died inside in the days leading up to due date. They were aware babe had some abnormality the entire pregnancy, but was operable at birth. Mother had to give birth to the dead baby. Push and all, like a normal birth. Can you imagine how hard that is? I remember doing postmortem care on this baby boy. I will never ever forget his little face. I couldn't bear going in the room with the parents. I couldn't pull myself together. I kept crying.
As a side note I'd like to add that I understand how you feel about separating yourself from situations because I had another still birth, under different circumstances. Mother was on a bunch of different drugs, crack, etc. I felt the baby was better off. God forgive me for saying that. Postmortem care on this baby was not hard. Talking to the mom was not hard. I was not upset at all.
In L&D, you spend a lot of time with your patients. Depending on how long it takes them to deliver. You get to know them and their family. It's different than the ER or the OR, when you don't know the person or get to talk to them and care for them when they are well (as most laboring moms are)
But long story short....that was my first experience with death. I will always remember that little angels face