First, has it really been nearly a month since I posted last?! Oh my, neglecting the blog is never good. I’m down to 5 weeks left in this assignment. No, I’m not staying here. No, I don’t know where I’m going yet. The plan is to be home for the majority of April. Second, someone stole money out of my locker today and I didn’t freak out. I just finished my third 12 hour shift in a row and was feeling chipper. Next time I’ll remember my lock.
But on to the topic of the day!
If you’ve had a baby or visited someone in labor, you know the person present as their second has a pivotal role. Being someone’s support before, during, and after the labor process is important. That means holding her hand, retrieving ice, rubbing her back, supporting a leg, counting for her, or helping her focus. After it means, helping her with the baby, providing support while she’s nursing, being completely present for her when she needs you to be.
Nothing bothers me more than walking into a room when I know mom is exhausted, she’s finally put the baby back down, the baby cries hysterically, and dad is passed out on the couch as though he did everything. I understand you may be tired but she’s ten times more exhausted then you are so get up. The other thing that gets me is the tons of people in the room for the delivery who offer nothing except a headache to the mom. She can’t relax enough to let her body to what it needs to if everyone is in her room being loud and obnoxious.
If you’re not prepared to get up with her while she’s in the hospital, then go home to sleep. If you’re not prepared to help facilitate the type of environment she needs for a successful delivery, go home. And for heavens sake, don’t treat her pain management plans with disrespect. She’s the one that hurts, not you.
This is an exciting moment for her, but it’s also exhausting. I’ve watched mom’s meltdown on day 3 from utter fatigue. Their nipples are cracked and bleeding, their body’s aren’t their own, their emotions are out of whack. They need you to rise to the task of being their support as they transition into being a mom (or a mom of more then one child). The nurse can’t be everything for the patient. Her support has to come through.
Ask yourself what you’re adding and offering to her hospital stay. If the answer is something, go home. Actually go home, make her a casserole, and take it to her when she gets home.
So in summary: find out what kind of support she needs and then be that.
Simple as that.
Travel on, road warriors.