Surprise in Labor and Delivery! Part 1

March, 1982- 11 p.m.-Labor & Delivery

Mary Lou, our assistant nurse manager, wrote our assignments for the night shift on the large white board at the nursing station after we listened to report from the evening shift. We only had 5 women in labor so far, so she gave me Helen in the birthing room and the first admission.  Helen had 2 children at home, was 28 years old, and was dilated 5 cm (halfway). She was at 37 weeks gestation, which was technically 3 weeks early, but typically the baby would have mature lungs and be over 5 pounds in weight.

I walked into the birthing room and introduced myself to Helen and her husband, Mike. Helen was a pretty blond lady with large blue eyes. Her dark haired handsome husband seemed quite attentive to her. She looked exhausted from labor and being pregnant. As a contraction began, she began to do her Lamaze breathing as Mike held her hand. I placed my hand on her swollen abdomen to feel the strength of the contraction.

After it let up, I asked, “Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?” Helen replied, “No, Dr. J. doesn’t believe in doing ultrasounds if the pregnancy is normal. We already have a boy and a girl at home, so we’re ready for either.” I checked her blood pressure which was normal,  and then did an internal exam. The amniotic sac of water around the baby had not broken yet, so we were not yet monitoring the baby’s heart beat internally. She was further along now.

I looked at the external monitor strip which recorded a normal heart rate and variation at an average of 130 beat per minute. I wrote my assessment and initials on the monitor strip, and said to Helen and Mike, “I’m going to call Dr. J at home and tell him to come in. You will probably deliver in the next hour.” Helen groaned and began her breathing as another contraction started. I left the room, wrote my new assessment on the white board, and called Dr. J. and then assessed another patient in labor whose nurse was in the delivery room.

When I returned to Helen’s room, I found Dr. J with her. He was in his scrubs, and said he just broke her water. Since she was fully dilated, he told her to start pushing. As this was her third baby, she would probably deliver quickly. I pressed the call light and asked the tech, Theresa, to come in and assist. I removed the bottom of the birthing bed, put Helen’s heels in the stirrups, raised the head of the bed, and gave her the steel handles on each side of the bed to grip. Theresa wheeled the sterile table out of the closet and uncovered the instruments so they were all ready for Dr. J.

Helen gave 3 pushes, and the baby’s head crowned, covered with blond hair. Dr. J told her to push gently, and a perfectly formed baby girl slipped into his hands. He suctioned out her mouth, she grimaced, and let out a nice cry. The beautiful sound of that first cry never ceased to amaze me! I pulled the Apgar cord and wrote down the birth time: 11:50 p.m. Her one minute apgar was excellent at 8/10 as Dr. J. placed her in the warmer. She appeared to weigh about 5 pounds, which is slightly small for 37 weeks. I congratulated Helen and Mike on their new baby girl and rubbed her dry with the warmed blanket and put a cap on her head to help her retain her body heat.

As Dr. J massaged Helen’s abdomen to deliver the placenta, he said, “You have another baby in here, Helen. You’re having twins!” Helen immediately began to cry and said, “Oh no, how will we ever pay for another baby?” Mike turned pale. My heart quickened as twins are always a high risk delivery, especially surprise twins. I had never delivered twins in the birthing room before, but it was too late now to move her to the delivery room. I pressed the call light and told the tech at the desk what was happening and asked her to get the resident in here and the Neonatal ICU nurse stat! The room quickly filled with extra staff so we barely had room to turn around.

Thankfully, the second baby was also head down and came out equally as easily 5 minutes later. She was also a girl! Dr. J placed her next to her sister in the warmer and we quickly dried her off. She also had excellent Apgar scores and appeared to weigh around 5 pounds. We handed one girl to Helen and the other to Mike to hold, and they both seemed to relax a little as they began to get over their shock of having not one, but TWO new babies!

Surprise twin girls!

Surprise twin girls!

I silently prayed that Helen and Mike would realize that God could give them His love, strength, and finances in Christ Jesus if they would only trust Him. I thought of many childless Christian couples who would absolutely love to raise those beautiful twin girls in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Children are so precious to God because He creates all of us.

Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Happy is the man who s his quiver full of them… Psalm 127:3, 5

The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice, and he that begets a wise child shall have joy of him. Your father and your mother shall be glad, and she that bore you shall rejoice. Proverbs 23:24-25

After I woke up the next afternoon, I was glad it was my day off, giving me some extra time to think and pray. I continued to pray for the new twins to be healthy and receive Christ as Savior at a young age. Sometimes it’s difficult to be content and be single since most of my friends are married and having children. I wonder if God will ever give me a husband and children? I know His will for me today is to simply fix my eyes on Him and be content. I opened my Bible and read,

Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content. Philippians 4:11

It always encourages me to read this and think of the great Apostle Paul who God used to write these words. Apparently he was  a widower during the last part of his life and had to learn contentment also. I decided to get out my cassette tape on “Social Relationships” by Dr Stephen Olford to review Biblical principles of companionship, comradeship, courtship, and singleness. I always feel better after listening to it. Especially when he says, “You dear young people, if God wants you to marry, He will NEVER allow you to miss meeting your life partner!”

Dear Lord, Help me to rest in You in sweet contentment and just live one day at a time. Thank you that I am single today and that Your ways are so much higher than my ways and that You make no mistake. Amen.

Reflection

I was thrilled to find Dr. Olford’s message at the following link:

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=426&min=20&orderby=titleA

I think every single person and parent would greatly benefit and be encouraged by this message. The Lord has allowed me to continue to be single. I no longer fear being single as I did when I was younger, because God has been so kind and gracious to me over the years and has provided for my every need. I praise Him for His precious gift of contentment.

Some years ago, God guided me to the wonderful verse in Isaiah 54:1

Sing. O barren, you who did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the Lord.

After I read this verse, the Lord showed me that there was no limit to the number of spiritual children I could have. How wonderful!

Next week I will continue with the next surprise of that very busy night in Labor and Delivery.

 

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Labor and Delivery Student Nurse

Junior in College of Nursing – Winter Quarter, 1976

Another quarter has passed with its joys and trials and my junior year is completed! Only three quarters to go before I graduate in March 1977. It’s hard to believe I have completed three years of college.The Lord kept emphasizing to my heart again and again that His grace is sufficient and that He wants me to enjoy Him and glorify Him forever.

My nursing courses were excellent this quarter! I studied Reproduction the first half of the quarter and had my clinical days in labor and delivery and post postpartum. Since I only had an 8 hour shift two days in a row, I never was able to see a woman in labor from admission until the birth. But I was so excited when I finally was able to see a baby born during my clinical hours! What a miracle to witness how God brings us into this world! I also sadly witnessed a therapeutic abortion to save the mother’s life. She was 16 weeks along, but her blood pressure was so high that they were afraid she would die from seizures or a stroke, so they did a caesarian section to take the baby.

During the second half of the quarter, my clinical days were in Nutrition and Elimination, so I cared for patients after their gastrointestinal surgeries, urology surgeries, and those who had absorption problems requiring tube feedings. My other two classes were Microbiology and the Modern History of the Nation of Israel. It was fascinating to study how modern day Israel was formed in 1948 and how God has been bringing the Jewish people back to Israel from all corners of the world just as God prophesied! “That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations where the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” Deuteronomy 30:3  I wonder if I will ever visit Israel before I am there in my glorified body during the Kingdom Age?

My greatest joy is simply the Lord. It is so wonderful to be truly satisfied with Him and to be learning more about Him every day. The joy that surges through my heart as I study the Word and meditate upon Christ is indescribable! My greatest trial was when I had a virus the last two weeks of the quarter, and I was too weak to do anything but simply lean hard upon Christ. But it was a privilege to see my nothingness and Christ’s all sufficiency. II Corinthians 12:9-10 became very precious to me: And He said unto me (Paul), My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Reflection

Little did I know in 1975, that the Lord would open the door in 1981 for me to work full-time on night shift on a very busy ten bed labor unit that had 4000 births annually. I witnessed about 2000 births during my two years there, and it never ceased to amaze me the wonder of how God brings babies into the world and that the great majority are healthy. When I studied to become a nurse practitioner, I took a graduate course in Dominican Republic in 1994 and was able to deliver a baby on my own since the nurses do all the normal deliveries.

Pam holds baby boy she delivered in Dominican Republic as his Mom looks on.

Pam holds baby boy she delivered in Dominican Republic as his exhausted Mom gazes at him. 1994

God also gave me the great privilege of taking a Bible tour of Israel for ten days. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and helped me “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” as it says in Psalm 122:6. In preparing for the trip, I read many books on the modern day history of Israel. I highly recommend Zvi by Elwood McQuaid, which is the true story of a ten year old Jewish boy who survived the holocaust and found his way to Israel and faith in the Messiah. He was one of the freedom fighters in 1948 and the other wars that followed. (available as e-book or from http://www.foi.org) Our tour group had the joy of meeting one of his sons who is involved in a Bible ministry in Israel. Shalom.

Zvi, the true story of a holocaust survivor.

Zvi, a true story of a holocaust survivor.

New Position?

September 8, 1982 – Labor & Delivery Nurse

I read a book this summer by Margaret Clarkson called, So, You’re Single which was helpful. She is a 60 year old single Christian woman who reviewed phases of her life with her struggles and victories in her singleness. She authored the well known missionary hymn “So Send I You.” I especially like this poem which she wrote at age 22.

Oh, hold my heart, Lord Jesus, within Thy wounded hand;

Its stirring or its stilling must come at Thy command.

My love is Thine, my Savior; No other sway I own;

Bestow it where Thou willest, Or keep it Thine alone.

I am now 27 years old, and sometimes the thought of being single all my life frightens me, but I think I’m facing it more and more as a reality. I probably fear the loneliness more than anything, but then I remember that Christ is my best Friend. It is so comforting to know that Christ was single here on earth and knows what it is like.

Let your manner of life be without covetousness, and BE CONTENT with such things as ye have; for He hath said, I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER (5 times in the Greek) leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5

Each year, more of my friends marry, so the singles are definitely in the minority at church. At work, sometimes 3 or 4 of my patients a night ask me if I have children. Also the other nurses are determined to get me married off and constantly try to match me up with medical students who rotate through each month. I must constantly remind myself that this is the way of the world and not God’s way. The world says, “Be aggressive and go get him!” But God says, “Be still and wait on Me, be content.” I just keep praying that the Lord would make my desires His desires, and that I would not compromise. I know it is not God’s will for me to marry a man who does not believe in Jesus Christ. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? (I Corinthians 6:14) I will be so glad when I get to heaven and these inward struggles are over and marriage is no more! (Matthew 22:30)

I’ve been looking at the job postings at work for a different nursing position, but have not had much success. I think it would help me emotionally and physically to get out of labor and delivery since my back continues to hurt from all the physical labor. I would like a daytime Monday through Friday job so I can attend church more on the weekends. I’m also not sleeping that well during the day and have trouble turning around from night shift. This is a tall order in the middle of a recession, but I know God won’t test me above what I can bear, and that His timing is perfect.

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.  Psalm 62:5

March 5, 1983 – Nursing Staff Development

I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1

Oh, I just want to love and know Christ more, and make Him known to others! “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus” as the old hymn says. In rereading my entry written in September, I can see how the Lord has answered prayer in so many ways. When I had given up finding a new job and was thoroughly enjoying working in Labor and Delivery, the Lord opened a new position for me in Staff Development.

I just started this week, and I think it will be a good fit. I still work night shift Sundays through Thursdays, but I have weekends and holidays off. I will be orienting new nurses on the various units of this 1000 bed hospital, teaching inservices (continuing education)  for the nurses, responding to Code E’s (cardiac arrest), and writing policies.

Answering Code E's was part of my new job.

Answering Code E’s was part of my new job.

The job has good variety and freedom to develop other projects that I can design. The Director seems excellent with high standards, but lets all the staff work independently. For the first time, I feel like a professional and won’t be punching the time clock. I pray that I would be a good testimony for the Lord, and point the many new people I meet to Him.

Reflection

As I reread this portion of my journal, I asked the Lord about how much to share with you about my ongoing struggles with being single. I searched on Kindle for Miss Clarkson’s book under “Christian Single” and was amazed when over 1800 titles came up! I had to stop the search because I was afraid it would crash my tablet! So I guess I’m not the only one who has struggles with being content in the Lord and waiting on Him. How I praise Him for His grace, tenderness, and patience with me in leading me along over the years and helping me grow in this area of my life. As I shared a couple posts ago, He has truly made me so content in being single. And now I am encountering quite a few widows and divorced women my age and am able to help them with this new stage of their life.

The most helpful book I ever read on Loneliness has this title by Elisabeth Elliot. She was widowed twice. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was martyred 27 months after they married in Ecuador by the Indians they were trying to reach with the gospel. She tells that story vividly in “Through Gates of Splendor”. She raised her daughter alone after his death. She spoke of the early days when she was a new widow and said God had given her the gift of widowhood.

At the cross of Jesus our crosses are changed into gifts. The Love that calls us into being, woos us to Himself, makes us His bride, lays down His life for us, and daily crowns us with loving-kindness and tender mercy, will not, no matter how it may appear in our loneliness, abandon us. Hebrews 13:5. (page 37)

I pray you all may discover that sweet deep contentment in Christ alone.

Cowboys and Emergencies in Obstetrics

June, 1982 – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

After flying all day across the USA to get here, the airport van dropped me off in front of the picturesque hotel where they were holding a week long conference for doctors and nurses on Emergencies in Obstetrics. I was thrilled that my director gave me three educational days and paid for this national seminar as long as I agreed to give an in-service to the labor and delivery nurses when I returned. I was on my own to pay for airfare and hotel. I could not afford to stay at the hotel where the seminar was held, so I booked a room at a cheaper motel down the hill.

The van driver told me there was no taxi service in Jackson Hole. As I was wondering how to get my suitcase down the hill to the motel, a pickup truck pulled up. A cowboy got out and asked, “Howdy, Miss! Do you need a ride somewhere?” I explained how I just needed to go down the hill. He said, “I’m going that way, so hop in! No problem at all!” And he swung my big red suitcase into the back of the truck. I thought to myself, “He seems like an honest friendly guy, so I guess it’s OK.” He promptly drove one block down the hill, put my suitcase on the little porch, tipped his hat, and wished me a good day. I tried to give him a few dollars, but he absolutely refused and said it was his pleasure to help me out. Folks sure seem friendly here!

The cowboy politely dropped me off at my motel. No taxis in Jackson Hole!

The cowboy politely dropped me off at my motel. No taxis in Jackson Hole!

Since the next day was Sunday, I looked in the yellow pages of the phone book for a church to visit. I found the name of one and asked the motel owner for directions, which he wrote down for me. I took off walking to church with my Bible and finally arrived in time for time for morning worship, 5 miles later! I didn’t realize how far outside of town it was, but God richly blessed me with the Bible message. During the welcome time, the Pastor asked any visitors to stand. I stood and a married couple also stood. We introduced ourselves to the small congregation, and I discovered they were a doctor and his wife from the Midwest who were also attending the seminar!

God blessed me at the church I walked to 5 miles outside of town.

God blessed me at the church I walked to 5 miles outside of town.

We became better acquainted after church was over. When they heard I had walked so far to get there, they happily offered me a ride back to town in their rental car.  Then we went to lunch together in a log house called “Jedediah’s Original House of Sourdough”. The history of Jackson Hole on the newsprint menu about Jedidiah Smith’s adventures in the Rocky Mountains in 1829 made for enjoyable reading.

Jackson Square has an archway of elk antlers on each corner!

Jackson Square has an archway of elk antlers on each corner!

The seminar was excellent during the mornings which left the afternoons and evenings free for sightseeing. Dr Earl and his wife, Patty, adopted me for the rest of the week, and we had great times of fellowship as we explored the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, went hot air ballooning in Idaho, and took a rafting trip. As I drove their car during the week for them, Dr. Earl read from the Psalms to Patty and me. It was so refreshing to meet a doctor who fervently loves the Lord!

Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

Jackson Lake - so beautiful!

Jackson Lake – so beautiful

Fabulous balloon ride in Idaho over ranch land!

Fabulous balloon ride at dawn in Idaho over ranch land!

One afternoon, I took the ski lift gondola to the top of the mountain overlooking the town of Jackson Hole. I gazed off into the distance and saw mountain after mountain as far as I could see. As I thought about some low points of a year ago when I had to switch jobs, and then had the severe back pain in December, I just praised God for this week of oasis and renewal.

Still lots of snow in June in Jackson Hole!

Still lots of snow in June in Jackson Hole!

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

On our final day, we took a covered wagon ride through the woods. As we ate our delicious chuck-wagon dinner of barbecued beef, cowboys serenaded us with songs from the Old West. It brought tears to my eyes as they sang “How Great Thou Art” in perfect harmony. What a great finale to the week which began with a friendly cowboy!

Fun covered wagon ride to our dinner in the woods.

Fun covered wagon ride to our dinner in the woods.

Cowboys serenaded us with songs from the Old West

Cowboys serenaded us with songs from the Old West

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees, When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze,

Refrain: Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great thou art! How great Thou art!

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in, That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. Refrain

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art! Refrain

Reflection – 2015

Numerous times God has taken me through a difficult trial in my life, and then graciously blessed me with a time of refreshing like He did in Wyoming. Even though I went to the seminar alone, He gave me sweet fellowship with Dr Earl and Patty the remainder of the week. I never would have met them if I would not have walked those 5 miles to church! I know God saw my heart and longing for fellowship with other believers and brought us together.

By the way, I also learned quite a bit about how to handle Emergencies in Obstetrics and received my certificate verifying the 24 hours of lectures I attended. And I shared my new knowledge with the other nurses in labor and delivery when I returned 🙂

Surprise in Labor and Delivery! Part 1

March, 1982- 11 p.m.-Labor & Delivery

Mary Lou, our assistant nurse manager, wrote our assignments for the night shift on the large white board at the nursing station after we listened to report from the evening shift. We only had 5 women in labor so far, so she gave me Helen in the birthing room and the first admission.  Helen had 2 children at home, was 28 years old, and was dilated 5 cm (halfway). She was at 37 weeks gestation, which was technically 3 weeks early, but typically the baby would have mature lungs and be over 5 pounds in weight.

I walked into the birthing room and introduced myself to Helen and her husband, Mike. Helen was a pretty blond lady with large blue eyes. Her dark haired handsome husband seemed quite attentive to her. She looked exhausted from labor and being pregnant. As a contraction began, she began to do her Lamaze breathing as Mike held her hand. I placed my hand on her swollen abdomen to feel the strength of the contraction.

After it let up, I asked, “Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?” Helen replied, “No, Dr. J. doesn’t believe in doing ultrasounds if the pregnancy is normal. We already have a boy and a girl at home, so we’re ready for either.” I checked her blood pressure which was normal,  and then did an internal exam. The amniotic sac of water around the baby had not broken yet, so we were not yet monitoring the baby’s heart beat internally. She was further along now.

I looked at the external monitor strip which recorded a normal heart rate and variation at an average of 130 beat per minute. I wrote my assessment and initials on the monitor strip, and said to Helen and Mike, “I’m going to call Dr. J at home and tell him to come in. You will probably deliver in the next hour.” Helen groaned and began her breathing as another contraction started. I left the room, wrote my new assessment on the white board, and called Dr. J. and then assessed another patient in labor whose nurse was in the delivery room.

When I returned to Helen’s room, I found Dr. J with her. He was in his scrubs, and said he just broke her water. Since she was fully dilated, he told her to start pushing. As this was her third baby, she would probably deliver quickly! I pressed the call light and asked the tech, Theresa, to come in and assist. I removed the bottom of the birthing bed, put Helen’s heels in the stirrups, raised the head of the bed, and gave her the steel handles on each side of the bed to grip. Theresa wheeled the sterile table out of the closet and uncovered the instruments so they were all ready for

Helen gave 3 pushes, and the baby’s head crowned, covered with blond hair. Dr. J told her to push gently, and a perfectly formed baby girl slipped into his hands. He suctioned out her mouth, she grimaced, and let out a nice cry! The beautiful sound of that first cry never ceased to amaze me! I pulled the Apgar cord and wrote down the birth time: 11:50 p.m. Her one minute apgar was excellent at 8/10 as Dr. J. placed her in the warmer. She appeared to weigh about 5 pounds, which is slightly small for 37 weeks. I congratulated Helen and Mike on their new baby girl and rubbed her dry with the warmed blanket and put a cap on her head to help her retain her body heat.

As Dr. J massaged Helen’s abdomen to deliver the placenta, he said, “You have another baby in here, Helen! You’re having twins.” Helen immediately began to cry and said, “Oh no, how will we ever pay for another baby?” Mike turned pale. My heart quickened as twins are always a high risk delivery, especially surprise twins! I had never delivered twins in the birthing room before, but it was too late now to move her to the delivery room! I pressed the call light and told the tech at the desk what was happening and asked her to get the resident in here and the Neonatal ICU nurse stat! The room quickly filled with extra staff so we barely had room to turn around.

Thankfully, the second baby was also head down and came out equally as easily 5 minutes later. She was also a girl! Dr. J placed her next to her sister in the warmer and we quickly dried her off. She also had excellent Apgar scores and appeared to weigh around 5 pounds. We handed one girl to Helen and the other to Mike to hold, and they both seemed to relax a little as they began to get over their shock of having not one, but TWO new babies!

Surprise twin girls!

Surprise twin girls!

I silently prayed that Helen and Mike would realized that God could give them His love, strength, and finances in Christ Jesus if they would only trust Him. I thought of how many childless Christian couples who would absolutely love to raise those beautiful twin girls in the nurture and admonition of the Lord! Children are so precious to God because He creates all of us.

Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them… Psalm 127:3, 5

The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice, and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bore thee shall rejoice. Proverbs 23:24-25

After I woke up the next afternoon, I was glad it was my day off, giving me some extra time to think and pray. I continued to pray for the new twins to be healthy and receive Christ as Savior at a young age. Sometimes it’s difficult to be content and be single since most of my friends are married and having children. I wonder if God will ever give me a husband and children? I know His will for me today is to simply fix my eyes on Him and be content. I opened my Bible and read,

Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content. Philippians 4:11

It always encourages me to read this and think of the great Apostle Paul who God used to write these words. Apparently he was single, or a widower during the last part of his life and had to learn contentment also. I decided to get out my cassette tape on “Social Relationships” by Dr Stephen Olford to review Biblical principles of companionship, comradeship, courtship, and singleness. I always feel better after listening to it! Especially when he says, “You dear young people, if God wants you to marry, He will NEVER allow you to miss meeting your life partner!”

Dear Lord, Help me to rest in You in sweet contentment and just live one day at a time. Thank you that I am single today and that Your ways are so much higher than my ways and that You make no mistake! Amen.

Reflection – 2015

I was thrilled to find Dr. Olford’s message at the following link:

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=426&min=20&orderby=titleA

I think every single person and parent would greatly benefit and be encouraged by this message! The Lord has allowed me to continue to be single as I near my sixth decade of life. I no longer fear being single as I did when I was younger, because God has been so kind and gracious to me over the years, and provided for my every need. I praise Him for His precious gift of contentment!

Some years ago, God guided me to the wonderful verse in Isaiah 54:1

Sing. O barren, thou who didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou who didst not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.

After I read this verse, the Lord showed me that there was no limit to the number of spiritual children I could have! How wonderful!

Next week I will continue with the next surprise of that very busy night in Labor and Delivery!

 

All About Babies!

Labor & Delivery Nurse – Midwest USA, August, 1981

I have begun my orientation in Labor and Delivery which is 6 weeks on day shift and 2 weeks on night shift. This 1000 bed private hospital in the suburbs of the city seems much more professional and more advanced than the inner city hospital where I worked the past 4 years. I have had many individual classes taught by the various nurses, watched videos, and read medical journals and books about normal labor and delivery, high risk deliveries, and emergencies. They alternate classes with having me work with a different nurse preceptor weekly. Each nurse has a different teaching style and level of experience, so it has been a very thorough orientation for which I am thankful.

Some days, it is a bit overwhelming trying to absorb and remember all this new information. Every day I pray and ask God to teach me and give me wisdom in every situation. God has been encouraging me through these Bible verses:

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but out sufficiency is of God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5

“I can do ALL things through Christ, who stengthens me. Philippians 4:13

“For the Lord gives wisdom.” Proverbs 2:6

I now understand why they never hire new graduates to work in labor and delivery. My background in medical-surgical nursing is certainly helpful when making split second decisions. Probably the biggest adjustment is taking care of two people at once (mother and baby) but only being able to see one of them until the baby is born.

fetal monitor2

External Monitoring of Baby’s Heart and Uterine Contractions

I passed my course in learning to read fetal monitor strips. I assess my assigned mother every 15 minutes and write my initials and all medications I give her on the paper of the fetal monitor strip. Each baby’s heart rate and the uterine contraction is transmitted electronically to the bank of 10 monitors at the nurse’s station. One of the technicians is assigned to sit and watch the monitors at all times. If they notice a baby in trouble, they immediately notify the assigned nurse. They rotate the techs during the shift since it is difficult to concentrate on the screens for more than an hour.

I am learning so many new skills such as applying the internal fetal monitor lead to the baby’s skull, and inserting the intrauterine catheter that measures the strength of the contractions. The internal exams are the most difficult to learn where I assess the stage of labor. With 2 fingers I feel how far the cervix is open (dilated), how thin it is (effaced), how far the baby’s head has descended. I check the mother first and then the experienced nurse rechecks to see if I’m correct. We go out in the hallway and I tell my preceptor my findings and she tells me hers so I can see if I’m correct. We only ask experienced mothers who don’t seem to mind double exams to help teach a new nurse like me.

After my assessment, I go out to the nurse’s station and write the findings on the 8 foot by 10 foot white board with an erasable marker. Beside each mother’s name is her doctor’s name, nurse’s name, her age, number of pregnancies she has had, time, and exam results. This way anyone can glance at the board and see how many patients we have in labor and what stage they are in. We all constantly help each other and are in and out of many mother’s rooms each shift. We all dread the days when all 10 rooms are filled! That means the next woman in labor has to go in the hallway on a stretcher. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen often! The most deliveries they have had in 24 hours in 28! They have 4000 births here annually.

I have learned how to circulate in a Caesarian section surgery, vaginal delivery, do Apgar scores of the baby at 1 minute and 5 minutes of birth, give pitocin to make the uterus contract harder, give intravenous pain medications, treat preeclampsia when the mother’s blood pressure goes dangerously high, and treat premature labor. I have not participated in an emergency C-section yet…

I have also worked in the recovery room where the mother stays for one hour after delivery. In the birthing rooms, the mother labors, delivers, and recovers all in the same room so I really get to practice all my new skills there. Every evening when I go home, I am so exhausted from so much new information! But next week I get to go back on night shift for the final two weeks of orientation. I think it will be fine once I become more sure of my assessment skills and get in a routine so I don’t have to think so hard about every little thing. Nothing is automatic yet like it was in  medical-surgical nursing. It’s rather unsettling to go from an expert level in diabetes back to a novice nurse in labor and delivery. But I know over time I will become comfortable in this setting like I did in diabetes and medical-surgical nursing.

Reflection – 2014

Over the years, the Lord has allowed me to work in a variety of areas of nursing. Sometimes I have had an excellent orientation and other times it has been “sink or swim” which is extremely stressful. My transition into labor and delivery was very thorough, but still stressful. It is always difficult to go from the expert level back to the novice level when you switch areas. That is probably one reason the labor and delivery nurses seldom left once they found their niche in nursing. Plus, most of them seemed to really enjoy it as did I. But it was probably the most physically demanding nursing I have ever done as I will describe in future posts. It took a huge toll on my body and health.

On the other hand, one of the joys of nursing is having the option of switching specialty areas for those who become easily bored like me!

Rejections and Offers

Float Nurse – 1980-1981- Midwest, USA

I handed in my resignation as Diabetes Nurse Educator because the head nurse was micromanaging my every move. I also became very bored with teaching the same thing in class every week and started feeling like a robot. I feel like I need a new challenge so have decided to work as a float nurse through a temporary nursing agency so I will have a flexible schedule and be available for job interviews. I just applied for a traveling job as a Diabetes Education Consultant for a large company that manufactures insulin syringes. Sadly, they moved the position to another state, so I was not offered it.

I’m enjoying floating at three other hospitals in the city so far, mostly on evening or night shift. It really tests my flexibility and ability to quickly assess patients  who are new to me every shift. One of the biggest challenges is finding where things are located. Each hospital gave me a very brief orientation. So far, there has also been a nurse on my shift who works on the unit permanently who is able to answer my questions. I even did a few shifts of private duty nursing for a wealthy lady. It was certainly different staying in one room the entire shift, and being able to read in between attending to her needs and requests.

I applied for a nurse practitioner position at the Veterans’ Clinic and a research lab, but received rejection letters from them also. The VA letter stated, “Your application was carefully considered, along with those of other interested candidates. Another candidate, however, was selected. We appreciate the opportunity of reviewing your qualifications. Your application is being retained for consideration for future vacancies.”

The rejection is hard to take, but then I remembered how my dear Savior, Jesus Christ, has been rejected by so many, even His own Jewish people.

“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1:11″

I asked Him to comfort me and thank Him that I am “accepted in the Beloved; In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:6-7.

After the temporary nurse agency only gave me 3 shifts per week, I decided to return to the float pool of the first hospital where I worked. Eventually I took a permanent full time night shift position on oncology.  I learned so much about oncology nursing, but it was so short staffed that it was very dangerous. Some nights I was the only RN for 32 patients with one nursing assistant. I had to mix chemotherapy for 17 patients at the beginning of the shift and manage all their infusions alone. They also admitted a young burn patient to the unit, so I had to do his dressings in the middle of the night with the assistance of the nursing assistant using sterile technique. While we were both in his room attending to him for an entire hour, neither of us could answer the call lights of the other 31 patients or monitor the infusions of chemotherapy. I asked the supervisor in writing for more staff to no avail. I went home in tears every morning, and finally couldn’t take it anymore, so I left the hospital. This was the darkest period of my entire nursing career, and I felt like a total failure.

But I asked the Lord for another job and in one week, I had five interviews and five job offers! I could hardly believe it after so many rejection letters! The five offers were for a sleep lab nurse, visiting nurse for a cancer clinic, night supervisor at a nursing home, camp nurse, and labor & delivery nurse. After praying about it, I chose the labor & delivery position. My obstetrics rotation in school was not very busy, so I think it will be enjoyable to learn a totally different area of nursing! When I called the Director of Maternity who is a former Army nurse, she said, “Good! I’m glad you don’t have any obstetrics experience so you won’t have any bad habits to break. We can train you the right way!”

It is a very busy L&D unit with 4000 deliveries annually! That is the size of a small town. They are also a referral center for high risk deliveries. They have 4 new birthing rooms where the mother labors, delivers, and recovers in the same room which is a new concept. They also have 6 traditional labor rooms, 4 operating rooms, and a recovery room. There seems to be good staff morale and almost no turnover among the nurses. Some have been there over 20 years! There are 5 RN’s on night shift with an average of 3 deliveries each night, ranging from 0-11 babies born in one shift. I will have to work every other weekend, so will have to miss morning worship. The Lord seemed to confirm this job to me when I read about the midwives in Egypt who preserved the baby boys even after Pharaoh told them to kill them.

“Therefore God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He gave them families.” Exodus 1:20-21

I pray I will walk in godly fear at this new hospital and shine as a bright light to the many new parents.

I was delighted to read my letter from the hospital!

“Dear Pamela, We are pleased to welcome you to the nursing staff of R… Hospital.” It went on to state my salary and orientation start date and date for my physical examination prior to employment. The nurse recruiter concluded, “Please confirm your acceptance of this position by initialing the carbon copy of this letter and returning it in the enclosed envelope.”

Thank You, dear Lord, for your wonderful provision of this new job!

Labor and Delivery Nurse!

Labor and Delivery Nurse!

Reflection – 2014

And so began my time in labor and delivery. I will share more about my orientation and some of my patients in future posts. I enjoyed my two years there and found it very challenging. It could go from total quiet to bedlam in a split second! I learned in this job how to keep a quiet heart in the midst of life and death emergencies as we fought for the life of a newborn baby and sometimes the life of the mother.