I saw a uterus today. I don’t think I had ever seen one in real life (I don’t know when I would have), and it was beautiful, and not just because it contained a baby (even though that is just short of miraculous- I could see into a woman’s body, and there was a baby inside, just growing, and living, and doing it’s baby thing). Pictures don’t do it justice, and illustrations certainly don’t, because it really does look like a huge pink pearl. C-sections are a tricky business, and seeing one for the first time reenforced how serious they are, and how they shouldn’t be done willy-nilly. All births are special, and this one was fascinating- I was especially interested in the way that the room seemed to forget about the mother the moment the baby was out. The surgeons kept working of course, but the focus had shifted, and it made me feel sorry. There she was, open on the table, with her baby across the room- it made me sad, and I was frustrated that my instructor tried to pull me away to fuss over the newborn. Babies are great, I’ll never knock getting to poke at a newborn, but the mom was still a patient too, and she still needed support. This mom had a family member in with her, so at least there was someone to hold her hand, but it made me worry about mothers who go in by themselves, and wish that doulas were allowed in more ORs.
I don’t do a great job of distancing myself. Today during post-conference we had a guest lecturer talk to us about families whose babies die, and I was a mess. It was ok at first, but then she brought out a bunch of donated handmade baby clothes, and I started to cry because they were so tiny. They were much too tiny for human babies- no person could be that small and live, which I suppose is the point. I just want to seal all of my patients up in bubble wrap, and I can’t, and it’s frustrating. My sister and I were talking the other night and I told her that I want to make sure everyone has what they need- it sounds so simple. If someone is in pain help them deal with it (giving pain medication is insanely gratifying- it can almost immediately vastly improve the quality of someone’s life. There are other ways to help manage pain though- my friend Kimberly is always giving her patients massages, which I think is lovely). If they’re lonely spend time with them, if they’re hungry give them food. It isn’t that easy all of the time, but sometimes it is, and yet people don’t always take those steps. I compared it to throwing a ball for a dog- you do something tiny, but it makes a huge difference to whoever you’re helping, and even if you weren’t that into it at first, seeing how good it made them feel makes you feel good too. I really hope this makes me a good nurse, and doesn’t cause me to burn out from not being able to save everyone, or completely break down when I eventually lose a patient.
On a lighter note: I’m on Spring Break!