labor nurse has been reborn and shares her experiences as a new nurse-midwife, woman, and blogger

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Midwife Glasses

Today I attended my first birth as a student nurse midwife. And let me tell you how weird it is trying to stay out of the "labor nurse" mindset. As I worked with my preceptor, I found myself drifting off to the things I would be doing if I was the labor nurse. I kept wanting to silence alarms and document nursing things in the computer. I wanted to make sure all of my busy work was out of the way (filling out baby bands in advance, having an organized room, things of this nature). And then I would think...oh, wait, I don't have to worry about that! It didn't help that the real labor nurse kept trying to compare notes, asking how my hospital did things and what not.

And then came time to start birthing a baby. At this point (after 7 hours of trying not to be the labor nurse) I had managed to put my nurse midwife "glasses" on, and boy oh boy! The things I don't pay attention to! As the mom was pushing, there was this quasi-wrinkly tissue hanging out on the anterior aspect of her vagina. The first thing that came to my mind was that she had a cystocele (her bladder bulging into the vagina), but turns out it was good old fashioned vaginal rugae (vaginal folds). Huh... go figure. After all these years being an OB nurse and I never realized this before. I knew of vaginal rugae, but have never seen them kind of hanging there, being pushed forward by a baby's head.

I also got a really good look at "skidmarks". Now, many of the women I have care for have had skidmarks after a birth but I had never actually seen them in such detail. And for those of you scratching your head, thinking of poop stains in the underwear, think again. Skidmarks are used to describe tiny little abrasions that do not require suturing. It's like skinning your knee. Except on and around the perineum.

Oh, the places I will go!

8 comments:

Joyce said...

Very interesting post, Labor Nurse. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Sounds like you will enjoy this clinical and love transitioning over to "nurse midwife". Keep the stories coming!

AtYourCervix said...

Sounds like an exciting first time with your student midwife glasses on! I could easily imagine how difficult it must have been to not fall into your labor nurse role.

Jack and Lexi's Mom said...

I'm a midwife at a very busy practice in Georgia. We take students. Where are you?

Labor Nurse said...

I'm in New England.... far from Georgia. Too bad we weren't closer!

tofu lou said...

congrats on starting school! it sounds great. i wanna go, too! ;) xoxo.

tofu lou said...

Oh, I also wanted to ask you for a little advice. Our L&D rotation is coming up and I'm cringing at the thought of it; I think that I'm partly weary because 1.) Hospital births are just so... wrong. 2.) My lecture teacher is already teaching reproductive things that are incorrect; I dealt with this a few weeks back about HPV, but, now it's reproductive. Why am I getting my panties all wadded up over this? I feel very... protective of laboring and birth. I don't know. So, how do you deal with such issues?

Labor Nurse said...

Tofu lou... love your avatar, you tree hugger! You are a girl after my own heart...the reason your underwear is all in a knot is because you know much of what is taught to nursing students and done to women is not evidence based... and sometimes downright cruel.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

What a great first experience!! I enjoyed reading about it and cannot wait for more of your insight on the "other side" of things!