((TLDR : OB rotation was amazing, nurses at the hospital I had my rotation at are incredible teachers, practiced and learned so many new skills, human life is amazing -- cherish it, can't wait for Peds!))
Well that flew by faster than I can imagine! I had the amazing opportunity to rotate through postpartum, newborn nursery, and labor & delivery at Mount Sinai twice a week for the past five weeks. I had two incredibly intelligent clinical instructors who were jam packed with knowledge and experience to pass down to my clinical group. At this hospital on the East side of Manhattan, I saw and assisted in deliveries (held up a leg or two...pretty proud), performed newborn assessments on babies as old as a couple hours, observed circumcisions of newborns, performed postpartum assessments on mothers, and learned..so..much. OB is such a special field to go into and definitely takes a strong heart. You see and hear so much in the hospital -- mothers who come in for emergency C-sections due to all sorts of complications - uterine abruptions, cord prolapse, placenta previa, breech, etc. Sometimes it's unfortunate to see the mother go through so much... but delivering a healthy baby at the end of all the trouble is so incredibly beautiful.
The face of a mother when she's holding her newborn or even just talking about her newborn is the most precious thing to me. For 40 weeks, this living, breathing human was developing inside of another human being. Life and the cycle of life is such an amazing thing. It's not something we think about on the daily, but witnessing new life makes you hopeful and appreciative. Our bodies and minds are capable of so much. Our uteruses are capable of SOOOOO MUCH.
I also learned that newborns are strong. Those things squeezed out of a 10 inch hole. They can withstand a few things. It's funny because us nursing students were so soft with them in the beginning, being so cautious when touching them, being extra careful and gentle -- learning how to pick them up, turn them on to their stomaches, changing their diapers, etc. But in all honesty, these babies can endure being smacked on their butts, shifted from side to side, turned around and all that. I definitely got more used to handling the newborns by the end of this rotation. I can now say I think I am pretty expert at changing diapers and swaddling newborns. ;)
It's kind of bittersweet leaving this rotation behind, but I am excited to move on to Pediatrics. OB was the perfect start of the semester. The clinical aspect of this rotation taught me so much and it was really cool to see things I learned in class actually be applied to my day at clinical. Something I also really loved about OB is that there is an incredible amount of patient teaching. Whether we are dealing with a new mother or a mother who just delivered her 12th (Yes.. I had a mom who delivered vaginally 12 times)... there are so many things a mother can be taught -- effective breastfeeding, understanding how the body repairs itself, the changes that are happening to a mom's body, signs and symptoms of distress in the newborn, ways to adjust to a new baby to a family, etc. I am all about health promotion and health education, so witnessing the nurses do this with postpartum mothers was a great way to teach me how to practice that type of dialogue with my patients and future patients.
To the amazing nurses and staff helping nursing students like me....THANK YOU!