December 17, 2011

High risk or Homebirth?

I've decided that I'm a schizophrenic labor nurse. Let me explain. I love high risk OB. I like having to be extra vigilant, looking for subtle changes in a patients condition. I even like when a patients condition means they need delivered RIGHT NOW and we have to get her ready immediately to deliver. Now, before anyone blasts me for hoping for emergencies (which I don't), lets look at what I really mean by that. If an ICU nurse says she likes taking care of her patients, does that mean she hopes for people to be critically ill? No. Emergencies in obstetrics do and will happen. Do you want a nurse who loathes taking care of emergencies, or someone who likes it? I would want someone who doesn't mind because she knows how to handle herself and take care of the woman, not forgetting that there's a scared mother there. I always pray before coming on shift that there are NO emergencies, but I'm ready if one should happen. At the same time, the more high risk patients I care for, the more I want to take care of someone with minimal or no interventions. A nice all natural birth. A mom who comes in at the end of labor just ready to push her baby out...no time for anything but to catch the baby. Love that! My attitude toward home birth has changed drastically during my time as a labor and delivery nurse. When I first started in OB, I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to deliver at home. Now, I understand. At times, I wish I could get out of the hospital setting with continuous monitoring, epidurals, hospital policies, etc and support women birthing their children at home. Just to get back to good ole' fashioned birthing of babies. Maybe I'm glorifying it a bit, but it just sounds like fun. The woman surrounded by the comforts of home and friends/family. See what I mean? How can I like high risk AND think attending a home birth or a no intervention birth at a birthing center? I guess it comes down to the fact that I just like taking care of pregnant women. The majority of the time, there's no need for all the interventions. But I also see that there are times that interventions are necessary to ensure the health of mom and baby. So, there you have it. I'm a labor nurse who enjoys high risk OB but would love to support women in an out of hospital setting as they have their babies.

8 comments:

AtYourCervix said...

I hear you - loud and clear!

Rixa said...

I definitely think it's possible to love and enjoy both worlds. I hope you get some opportunities to observe out-of-hospital births. They really are all they're cracked up to be :)

Could you put out feelers with your local doulas/midwives about attending strictly as an observer? You might find someone who'd be happy to have you sit in a corner and enjoy the action.

Laura Jane said...

I'm completely in tune with what oyu say. I am a CNM who worked in the tertiary high-risk centre for 3 years and took pride in just that - not wishing for stuff to happen, but confident of giving good care when it did, otherwise just enjoying the rare normal.

But I was plotting (and building my skill set) to take myself out into the community. I did what Rixa suggested and apprenticed to a local Independent MW and backed her up for some births. Then when a job came up in our local publicly funded (i.e. FREE) service that supported choice including homebirth I was well positioned to get a job. I could DO complex, but what I wanted was normal.

Over a year later it is shaping up well. I am thriving on the normal,and very comfortable recognising deviations from the normal and transporting for assistance. Win-win! I work in midwifery-led primary care, with respectful collaboration with many other disciplines. The simplicity is there, and so is the help if we need it.

Anonymous said...

You sound like you'd make a great homebirth doula! :D

Online Nursing Program said...

Love your blog! I would definitely want someone who likes taking care of emergencies over someone who hates it! Keep up the great work!

Mama to Monkeys said...

So do it! :)

trying to conceive after miscarriage said...

You can choose the safe way after reading this post.Really good advice.

kmosny said...

Gotta love a high-risk L&D nurse who also is beginning a love-affair with home birth!