Top things to never do/say to your labor and delivery nurse…
- Hey, I have my very detailed birthing plan here. (You are so asking for trouble on this one — it is Murphy’s Law that you will end up with an emergency c/section at three o’clock in the morning, or you will suddenly find yourself humiliated as, at 1 cm dilated, you turn into a raving lunatic who is screaming for her epidural — trust me on this, I have seen it way too many times. Just let things flow naturally and be open to what comes.)
- Can I have my mom, my mother-in-law, my two sisters, my best friend and my dad, along with my husband/boyfriend in the delivery room? (You have got to be kidding me, right? Especially about the dad thing, eww!! Do you really want everyone you know and love to see you in all your messy, raving female glory? Do you want them to forever have them have that image in your mind when they see your beautiful baby? Plus, do you want them to fill up the room so that if there is an emergency it is difficult to scoot your bed down the hall to the operating room? I didn’t think so. Don’t let TV fool you — it is not always a beautiful, at one with the universe experience. Sometimes it is the opposite.)
- Why are you taking my baby away? (To torture you, you ungrateful beast!! Really, we all want you to have the most positive experience possible, and if we immediately whisk your baby off to the nursery, there is probably a dang good reason. We have two patients once your baby is born and most of us love our job enough to want to keep it. You know that if something happened to your sweet angel, you would be suing our tails off because we didn’t do something sooner.)
- I know I am 6 weeks early, but, since I am not in labor, can I please be induced today? (There is a reason God made the gestation period 40 weeks long — so your baby can develop and grow into the sweet, chubby baby you see on commercials. Otherwise, he/she is the scrawny, tube-infested premie you see on neonatal ICU brochures. ‘Nough said…)
- My doctor said he was going to meet me here. (Now this doesn’t make us mad, but it does make us laugh our heads off as soon as you get out of hearing. Don’t you know that your intimate, special relationship with your doctor ends as soon as you enter those hospital doors? The nurses do everything, sister. Then at the end, we call the doctor to come put on his/her mitt and play Pudge Rodriguez(catcher in baseball, for you sports-challenged folks.)
- Can I have a sonogram? (I’ll keep this short and sweet – if your doctor thought you needed a sonogram, you would have one. Otherwise, no way.)
- Can you tell me the name of a good OB-GYN? (I wish I could tell you the names of the BAD ones, but I can’t do either. We have to be impartial. If I hem and haw when you tell me the name of yours, or say “I would not prefer his/her philosophy for my own childbirth experience” run like the wind to change doctors!!)
- Do you have children? (This one bugged me a lot when I didn’t have kids because my question was why does it matter? We tend to be a suspicious lot, what with all the people coming in screaming their heads off and they are only 1 cm dilated, so you make us nervous with this question. If we don’t, will you dismiss our advice? If we do, will you think your labor story will be the same as ours? I know one nurse who lied about having a child just so she would have a good story when someone asked this.)
- Can you take our picture? I am just kidding on this one. In spite of the good, bad and ugly about our job, we love seeing the finished product. Those sweet, soft babies are a far better masterpiece than anything daVinci or Mozart could dream up. So, yes, I will gladly take your picture.
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