Hey. I’m Cecy Robson. Monday through Friday from early morning to late at night, I write stories―telling tales of supernatural creatures and everyday people struggling through their pain in search of their Happily Ever Afters.
What most fans of my series don’t realize is that I’m also a labor and delivery nurse. When the weekend comes, my role switches from creative writing to helping those who have created life. In celebration of National Nurses Day below is brief look at my nursing role and a few moments of many that have been ingrained into my heart. It’s a tough but rewarding job and this is in honor to nurses everywhere — enjoy your day!
A Day in the Life of a Labor & Delivery Nurse (by Cecy Robson):
Emily pants with exhaustion and frustration, her gown clinging to her sweat-soaked body.
“I can’t do this,” she whimpers.
Rivers of scalding tears streak her flushed cheeks. She wants to stop and so does her body. Her breaths are ragged, and her eyes are bloodshot from the hours of overexertion. Emily is done, beaten physically and emotionally into submission.
Emily’s husband, John, waits by her side, his words of encouragement stolen by his increasing worry. There’s nothing he can do to stop his wife’s pain, leaving with a feeling of helplessness and a fear he can’t control.
I place my hand on Emily’s shoulder and smile. “You can do this, Emily,” I tell her. “Your baby wants to meet you. Give me four more pushes. Four more and you get to hold your daughter.”
In Emily’s wide eyes I see doubt and pain. And I see fear, for her, and for her unborn child. She doesn’t believe me, yet I know she wants to. I’ve earned her trust with every kind word and touch I’ve offered throughout our time together. “Take a breath, Emily. When the next contraction comes, I want you to give me all you have because I know you can. And so does your little girl.”
The next contraction arrives too soon. But Emily is ready. She heard my words. So despite the surge in pain that causes her to scream, she listens to me and pushes with all the strength she has left.
Her baby’s head crowns. It’s time. “Push,” I urge. “You can do this, Emily. Push.”
Emily screams as the doctor leads her child into the world. The beeps from the monitor and the IV pump, and the “clamp, clamp” of the umbilical cord barely register over the glorious cries of Emily and John’s sweet little baby. Both new parents sob as the infant is placed against Emily’s chest.
I step back, smiling. Love at first sight is real. I see it every instance a mother and child meet for the first time.
I’ve worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse for seven years. As you can probably tell, my job is both stressful and tremendously rewarding. I give a great deal of myself, each and every time. After all, there is a woman and often several loved ones counting on me to keep her and her baby safe. I still cry at deliveries. Life is such a gift, but it doesn’t always come to fruition.
Sometimes I have to deliver babies that I know won’t cry when they leave their mothers’ wombs, because they can’t. Their souls have left before their births, or their bodies didn’t equip them to survive. But just like with the woman who succeeds in having a healthy child, I am there, to encourage, to hold, to assist through pain, and to often cry with them.
In my career as a Labor Nurse, I have witnessed corporeal and spiritual agony. I’ve handed babies to fathers to rock and cuddle with, and I have held and cared for babies who didn’t take a breath, whose hearts didn’t beat, and whose parents were too aggrieved to embrace them.
I’ve also witnessed love and happiness in its most purest and unconditional form―an experience few will ever know. And I get to relive it, every time I see a child being born.
I use the roller-coaster of emotions to spark my creative side. So when Monday arrives and I return to my writing, my fight scenes are edgier, the tension between my characters is more extreme, and the humor I craft more comical.
Sometimes my nursing profession feels like more than I can manage. And sometimes my writing career feels that way, too. But just like the laboring woman I’m caring for, I continue to push, with strength I often don’t think I have.