Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Funny Things You Might Hear a Midwife Say

In response to a woman in labor saying she feels nauseated or just vomited "That's wonderful!" midwife.

Woman in labor "the contractions are getting really long and very close together", midwife "That's perfect! That's just what we want."

39 1/2 week pregnant woman "Will this baby ever come?" Midwife, "You are getting closer every day." Apprentice "at least we can assure you that you are not getting any further away."

The rules are different in labor land than just about anywhere else. In labor land it is exciting when someone vomits (unless it is the husband). Bowel movements and urine are also very good news and can not happen too frequently and must be announced to everyone present. Labor land is also one of the only places that being splashed with blood or other body fluids during a momentous birth actually lends to the excitement and is something to be laughed about afterward.

I've had some really great birth experiences lately. A few weeks ago I was able to help gently ease an almost 11 pound baby into the world for a mom having her 9th child. The sun had just risen and the light shining in through the windows was so beautiful. This experienced mom and her husband were an awesome labor team and it was such a blessing to be present for her birth. This was one of the 1st births that I did certain maneuvers instinctively, to the point that I really couldn't recall after the fact what precisely I did.

Then 2 first time moms had babies last week. Again wonderful experiences, but in different ways. Both were major learning experiences, especially the 2nd one, where I was able to do several things to help the baby's descent that I had not previously tried, and also things to comfort the mom during her labor which really seemed to help. I also got to help the dad catch his own baby. Again the husband and wife made an awesome team and it was so special and sacred being present. I have really felt the Lord lead me during these labors and births and help me to know and or think of things that I might not have otherwise done. What a blessing to know that he hears and answers prayers and that the birth of these babies is just as important to him as to the moms and dads who are having them.

As a side note, I just had to share a couple of silly orders that doctors wrote on my patient's today "Where is the peak and trough I ordered on this patient yesterday", which the unit clerk promptly looked up on the computer and printed for him; and "Please move this patient to a room with a working air conditioner, please!". :)


  1. Liz, did I know you were thinking about becoming a midwife? I would have had all of my five with midwives if I could have figured out how to do it. We'll have to talk some time. My last one finally was, and was a twelve pounder. A great experience, too.

    Do you know Jackie Griggs? Her birthing center is in Pasadena. She has helped most of my children have there babies. You would really like her!

    Let me hear from you.
    Kaye Ohlendorf (formerly Robinson)

  2. Hi Kaye! I'm not sure if we talked about me wanting to be a midwife, but we may have. I know we talked homebirth an midwives a few times. I've heard of Jackie, but do not know her. We should definitely catch up some time soon. :) Hugs, Liz