Over at the Stir, Annie Krasnow posts the confessions of a labor and delivery nurse — a proud [my emphasis] L&D nurse — living somewhere along the East Coast. Despite her pride, Krasnow’s friend wants her list of confessions printed under the pseudonym, Laborie Delivia.
After reading the list, I can understand why she doesn’t want her real name attached. And I feel sorry for L&D nurses everywhere. Though some no doubt share Delivia’s childbirth edicts, I hope for the sake of birthing women everywhere, they are few and far between.
Among the things that make her and her fellow nurses roll their eyes at you — you excited, nervous and protective mothers-to-be: your level of cleanliness and the amount of hair you have, yes, down there. So, shower before you come in to have a baby. And also? Get to trimming. Sure, you haven’t seen your feet in months, much less shaved your legs. But, for Delivia’s comfort, somehow make it work.
She also wants you to come in educated, but she doesn’t want you to act on what you know. A birth plan is fine and all, she says, but let it go already.
And be strong. Don’t ask for an epidural during those first contractions. You’ve got miles to go and you need to prove yourself to Delivia first (even though she confesses she asked for an early epidural herself). Since you didn’t shower or shave or submit to the internal fetal monitor, you really, really need to give Delivia a win. After all, she might roll her eyes at you.
You know, I understand that childbirth is so incredibly routine to those whose careers center on seeing it daily. I think real credit goes out to those midwives, doctors, nurses and doulas who understand that the women who make Delivia’s career possible don’t see the birth of their first or second or third child as routine or predictable. Who knew that birth is something women could be so stupid at that a caregiver they’re supposed to trust could actually be rolling her eyes at — or grossed out by — them?
I know it’s not all pixie dust and angels singing. But seriously? A trim? Ugh!