I’ve been to a few births in my day, but up until now they’ve all been baby girls. Today though, I got to see my first boy birth (and my first vacuum extraction, which was much less horrifying than I expected. I was picturing a brain-drain situation).
It isn’t actually like that.
For the sake of privacy, I won’t go into details, but even though I wouldn’t describe it as a gentle birth, it was still beautiful and special and made me cry. And then there was a baby boy! The biggest difference that I noticed with a boy versus a girl was that the baby immediately sent an arc of pee into the air (girls don’t usually do that), but otherwise it was pretty much the same. Sugar and spice or puppy dog tails, newborns look pretty gender-neutral.
While I love birth (oh man, I totally do), I don’t think I love Labor & Delivery nursing. I like being around laboring women, and I love the sound of babies’ first cries as they come out, and the kind of musky smell of birth (too much? Maybe too much. Nursing is very full of smells though, so it’s something I think about), but I don’t really look forward to going to clinical the way I did when I was in peds. I didn’t have a patient for the first half of the day today, and I actually wished I could go downstairs and do peds for the day, like old times. I’ll talk birth all day, and I was happy to stay late and listen to a lactation expert talk to us about breastfeeding, but L&D…just doesn’t quite speak to me. I feel like I’m on the outside- I prefer being a doula, and getting to connect with the mom, and not feel like a big buttinski when I tell her that she’s strong, and capable of pushing her baby out, no matter how hard it is (I do it anyway, but it isn’t the same). I’m not changing paths- I didn’t come this far to decide to pass on the whole nursing thing, but I want to be the boss. I want to catch the babies. This isn’t really news, but I’m pretty sure I would rather do another kind of nursing until I’m a midwife (with some doula-ing thrown in on the side. I’m a little sorry now that I’m not going for my DONA certification, but not sorry enough to shell out).
I actually made myself dinner tonight! I’ve gotten into the unfortunate habit of not doing that, but tonight I had meat, starch, and veggies, just like a real person (well, eaten standing up in the kitchen, but closer to real-person status than I’ve been lately)! It was actually nice- I should do it more often. I also baked, because today was one of my clinical groupmates’ birthday, but she didn’t mention it until post-conference, so I didn’t know to make anything before. All in all, I’d say today was pretty solid- I was mature in the face of disappointment (well…mature-ish. I didn’t love not having a patient for the first half of clinical- I’m there to work with patients), I saw a crazy birth, I got to play with a placenta (!), and I played around in the kitchen. What more can a girl ask for?