One of the goals of this blog is to share the experiences and wisdom of the amazing peeps who help deliver babies into the world. We will be featuring interviews with midwives, ObGyn’s, and doulas, presenting a wide range of opinions and perspectives. For this Wednesday’s Wisdom, we are talking with Labor and Delivery Nurse, Emmy Voosen, RN. Emmy graduated from UT Austin’s nursing school in 2011. She has worked as an L&D nurse for the last two years and genuinely adores her job. Emmy says that, “Bringing new life into the world is overwhelmingly rewarding and exciting!”
BPP: Emmy, you seem to have chosen the right career path – it is evident how much you love what you do. How did you decide to become a labor and delivery nurse?
EV: It was very easy, actually. My mother was a labor and delivery nurse and I can remember thinking, ‘Man, coolest job ever!’ as a child. I followed my childhood dream, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that this is where I am supposed to be.
BPP: Approximately how many births have you assisted with?
EV: Oh, goodness. Too many to count!
BPP: What has surprised you the most about being an L&D nurse?
EV: The stress level. Although deliveries usually bring smiles and happy times, some nights are so busy (darn those full moons!) that there is little to no time to use the restroom, drink water, or even sit down during the 12 hour shift. It is a good thing I love what I do!
BPP: Any suggestions on how parents-to-be can prepare for labor, delivery and/or postpartum recovery?
EV: Attend prenatal classes. In my experience, mothers and fathers who do so are less anxious and have a better idea of what to expect. Look around your area! Here in New Braunfels at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, multiple classes are offered—including breastfeeding, childbirth preparation, big brother/big sister, and how to take care of mom/baby once you’re home. There are tons of resources out there to help expectant and new moms and their families.
BPP: In your opinion, advantages and disadvantages of having a hospital birth?
EV: After seeing some of the things that can go wrong during childbirth, I could not, in good conscience, recommend that anyone give birth outside of a hospital (just my opinion). Although hospitals can feel sterile and cold, there is a comfort in knowing that you are surrounded by professionals equipped to handle emergencies for mother and baby, and that you are close to an OR if a cesarean section becomes necessary. Some of the benefits of delivering at home or in a birthing center, not within a hospital, would be the comfort and familiarity of the environment and freedom to move and change positions without being on continuous fetal monitoring. However, it all comes down to making informed decisions and personal preferences.
BPP: Do you have a favorite birth story?
EV: Being my cousin’s nurse for the birth of her first daughter (she has 3 boys!) will always have a special place in my heart. It was an honor to be her nurse and witness another miracle of life.
BPP: How can birth partners be helpful to the woman who is delivering?
EV: Take prenatal classes together. Discuss the mother’s plan and wishes for labor so the partner is on the same page and knows how to support her best. Simply be present (examples: hold her hand, rub her back.) Every woman is different, but having a partner there to listen to your needs/requests/complaints and provide unconditional support is extremely helpful during the challenging, yet rewarding, process of labor and delivery.
BPP: How do you interact with doulas and midwives who are in the delivery room with the expecting parents?
EV: We work as a team. It is their job as well as mine to advocate for the patient. We collaborate to provide the best care for the expectant mother and her family.
BPP: You have not become a parent yet. Has being an L&D nurse impacted your views and plans for starting a family?
EV: Definitely! Being an L&D nurse has really opened my eyes. I have seen the love and joy that is brought on with the birth of a new baby, but I have also encountered just how much work this new bundle of joy can be. Having a baby is life changing and I have come to realize that there will be a time for me, but just not right now. ; )
BPP: If you had to give one sanity-saving tip to new parents, what would it be?
EV: This is more for mothers-to-be, but I would recommend becoming educated on the process, while keeping an open mind when it comes to your labor and childbirth experience. Often times, people have rigid and specific birth plans. This can lead to more anxiety and, occasionally, feelings of failure if things don’t go exactly as planned. Also, use the nurses, ask questions, and let us know how we can make you most comfortable during the labor process. We are there to support you during this exciting, yet nerve-racking experience!
Emmy’s Sanity Savers:
- Take prenatal classes with your birth partner so that you both feel informed and prepared for childbirth and postpartum recovery. (We personally recommend a baby proofed parents workshop. Just sayin’.)
- Keep an open mind about the labor and delivery process. Be informed, think positively and then go with the flow.
- Communicate openly and freely with your nurse (or midwife or doula). If they’re anything like Emmy, they feel honored to be part of your birth experience and they want to support you in any way they can!
Thanks Emmy – great pointers for any expecting couple, whether they are planning a hospital or home birth! – C & K ♥