James/Fotolia

If I Could Go Back In Time, I'd Thank My Labor & Delivery Nurses For These 8 Incredible Things

By
Share

Nurses are some of the most hardworking, selfless, caring, kind, and under-appreciated people on the planet. They spend their days tending to the needs of the young and old, the severely sick and the mildly ailed. They take care of all people regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, and nationality. They nurture the weak and the strong, they follow strict guidelines, and they protect their patients no matter what. That's why I wish I could go back and thank my labor and delivery nurses again. Over and over again, actually. Because without the nurses in my delivery room, I wouldn't have had a successful birth. There's just no doubt about it.

I had a rather difficult delivery with my daughter. I had to be induced a week after my due date and the induction took what seemed like forever. I was in labor for nearly 14 hours, and during that time the nurses came by, kept me calm, reassured me that everything was going to be fine, checked on me, monitored my baby, and literally and metaphorically held my hand through the entire process.

My nurse was my biggest advocate, and made sure I was comfortable and as happy as one could be in my situation. She brought me as many jello cups and ice chips as my heart desired and she chatted with me like we were old friends. She walked me through the process, instilled confidence in my labor and delivery decisions, and continuously found it in her heart to deal with my cranky, I've-had-enough-of-this attitude. Because of her, and only her, I was able to have a vaginal delivery like I wanted to. Because of her, my baby was born healthy and I made it out alive. So if I could go back, I would absolutely give her a hug and thank her for the following:

Thank You For Your Patience

Giphy

I had a lot of questions and even more complaints. It was my first time giving birth, I didn't know what I was doing, and I definitely didn't understand the process or what to expect.

My inexperience gave my labor and delivery nurse another opportunity to be amazing, and she took advantage. She answered all of my questions, she tended to my every need, and she called for the doctor whenever I asked her to. With all of my feelings and emotions, it's a miracle she didn't quit her job that very day, but she stayed and she helped and we bonded.

Thank You For Keeping Me Sane

My labor and delivery nurse calmed me down when the fetal monitor stopped picking up my baby's heart rate. She told me everything will be OK when the Pitocin started wearing off and my contractions slowed down. She guided me through every step of the way. She walked me through paperwork, through every procedure, and she explained how labor and delivery actually worked. She kept me cool, calm, and collected when all I wanted to do was scream and cry and run away.

Thank You For Pushing Me

Giphy

My nurse pushed me hard, you guys, and guided me through the entire delivery process. She told me when and how to breathe and when and how to push. She counted while I pushed, so I had a finish line I could focus on every single time. She pushed me with her words, her kindness, and with her humor. She prepped me and she never slowed down with her pep talk. She was on the ball, telling me I was amazing and keeping me motivated so that I could find the strength to bring my baby into the world.

Thank You For Lying To Me

I pushed for almost three hours and after the first hour and a half my OB-GYN came in and said if the baby doesn't come out within 30 minutes, she would be taking me for a C-section. Hearing that a trip to the operating room was now a viable option was devastating, because I wanted to avoid one at almost any cost. I had mentally prepared myself for a vaginal birth and I was set on having one. Because I shared my feelings with my nurse, she decided to help me have a vaginal birth I wanted. Translation? She told me sweet lies. She told me the baby's head was near in order to motivate me to push. She told me I was doing great, when I was running out of steam. She straight up lied her ass off and succeeded in making me believe her.

Thank You For Holding My Hand

Giphy

Looking back, I can tell you that something wasn't right with my epidural. I was told to be incredibly still as the anesthesiologist numbed me, then inserted the epidural, but something went wrong and it hurt so much I cried and screamed in pain. I squeezed my nurse's hand so tight at that moment and I felt her warmth and her calm, which made me feel slightly better.

My nurse held my hand through the entire process, and as I labored and eventually delivered my baby. She held my hand as I prepared to push. She held my hand as I delivered. She held my hand after my daughter was out. She held my hand through it all. She held it tight and she held it with confidence, almost pulling me through childbirth.

Thank You For Keeping My Mother Calm

One of the best things my nurse did was keeping my mother calm and out of the way. My mother is my best friend and my greatest confidant, but she is terrible in intense situations and all she did in the delivery room was make me more anxious. So, realizing my frustration with my mom, my nurse kept her at bay, occupied, and out of my face.

Thank You For Saving Me

For a few moments during childbirth, I honestly thought I was going to die. Right after the epidural I started to feel lightheaded. The world started spinning and I was about to lose consciousness. The nurse acted quickly and ran after the anesthesiologist, who ran back and gave me a shot to make sure I didn't pass out. Turns out, the epidural can have that effect. My blood pressure dropped incredibly low and my heart was stopping. Because of the nurse I didn't faint, or worse. She saved me.

Thank You For Everything

Giphy

Honestly, there is just so much I could thank my nurses for. They were incredible and I never really got the chance to thank them. I swore to myself that as soon as I left the hospital I would send a basket as a thank you, or a thank you note, or a card, or something. I never did, though, because having a baby was just so overwhelming and all I could think about was basic survival. But I am thankful for them. Every single one of them. I am so very thankful to the nurses who spend their lives taking care of mothers and their babies. I am grateful for their selflessness and for their kindness and for their knowledge and compassion.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries: