So this last week has been another full on one on the antenatal ward.
I had three long day shifts this week, with a real variety of cases and situations cropping up. We also had a few postnatal ladies on the ward this week, all of whom had babies on NICU, including one that had been delivered at only 25 weeks – our NICU amazes me daily with the incredible care they can provide to these tiny tiny babies.
Antenatally, we had quite a few women in waiting for induction of labour, and the gridlock in the unit was starting to clear so we were able to get a few of these inductions started, which the mothers were very pleased about!
We also had several women who were in for long stays due to their waters having broken, and a few women in due to some bleeding, and one woman who had been in to have a cervical suture placed and needed to stay overnight afterwards. This woman was 18 weeks pregnant and hadn’t heard the baby’s heartbeat before when I headed in to listen in before we discharged her. Her partner was there and so we had a really special moment where I found the baby’s heartbeat and they got to hear it for the first time – So special!
I also looked after a couple who were undergoing induction, however in the time they were waiting for the induction to start, she had started going into labour. She was coping really well and her contractions were getting more and more regular, however her partner was really anxious. I think we underestimate the pressure and stress that the dads go through – they can’t do anything to make it better for their other half, and all they want to do is take away the pain and make it all happen quickly and easily, but they can’t do anything. This particular dad was really struggling with it and so I asked him what I could do to make it easier on him. I think its so important to recognise that birth can be traumatic for the father as well as the mother, and asking him that question seemed to make such a difference. He told me that it would really help if he could understand what the CTG monitor was reading, so I talked him through how was analyse the trace, and showed him all the positive traits in his baby’s trace, which he was so grateful for. It took me two minutes to do, but it made such a difference to him, he made a point of coming to find me before the end of my shift to thank me for all my care – how lovely!
On my final shift of the week we were pulled away from the antenatal ward to help out on the delivery unit. We were handed over the care of a woman who was 42 weeks pregnant and in labour after induction. We spent the day looking after her, supporting her for her epidural, and hormone drip, and when I examined at 6.00, she was fully dilated. After a passive hour for descent, she started pushing, and as our shift came to an end and we handed over to the night midwife, we were just starting to see a tiny bit of the baby’s head. I’ll be sure to ask the midwife how she got on when I see her next, and if the lady is still in the hospital when I’m next in, I’ll pop down to the postnatal ward to see her and meet her baby – I love seeing how everything turns out.
Image by Alisa Anton
To read last week’s Midwife Mondays post, click here: