all day i dream about.... babies.
i love it there. the past month i have been able to get more comfortable with my surroundings and a few weeks ago i even started doing my own cases. a regular day for me looks like this:
1. Get to the office, ask if anything exciting has happened. Of course, it usually does either right before i get there or right after. blast. (I sort of feel bad because I feel like the surgeons on grey’s anatomy, how they are always stoked for a trauma. Makes me feel like I have no heart..but it really is exciting to be able to be a part of it. I still have a heart, okay?)
2. print off census of the moms in the unit and decide with my supervisor which ones need to be seen. Usually its moms under the age of 18, on financial assistance, or minority moms.
3. the next few hours i visit new moms. its the whole, sanitize your hands, do the 'doctor knock' on their door, say the whole, 'hi i'm nicole with social work department...' shpeel and pretend i know what i'm doing...(which i dont. i still get sweaty and nervous.) 1/3 of the moms are awkwardly breastfeeding when i come in and don't really open up to me and only give me 'yes and no's', which makes it kinda hard to get a feel for how we can help them if they don't open up to us...1/3 of the moms are wonderful and will talk my ear off and will be super easy to help...and 1/3 moms given to me are spanish speaking and i drag the interpreter along, which is a whole nother level of awkward. especially since the interpreter goes off on these long tangents and i can only imagine what he's saying..... (probably something along the lines of 'she's new, bless her heart’)
4. lunch...mckay dee has the HUGEST most delicious hospital food i've ever tasted in my life. om nom nom nom. i eat with the rest of the social workers/child life specialists and pretend i'm a regular...(when in reality i'm a 21 year old joe-shmo who still has her jr. high fear of eating alone in the cafeteria)
5. charting. it is a ridiculous part of medical business i'm not fond of. chart chart chart bla bla bla 3 different systems, printing out case orders, running around finding moms/babies hard copy charts...making copies, getting in the nurse’s way, faxing physician orders..bla bla bla. It takes up a good half of my day.
6. the occasional random/exciting case.
my random case i got to observe was last friday...tore my heart out basically. (i literally felt like i was in grey's anatomy or E.R. or some cool show like that). I was about to leave, and got told by my supervisor we had 'bad birth' just happen on the floor. The mother, who had had 3 previous C-sections decided that for her 4th one she wanted to deliver vaginally. Any moms who have had c-sections know that you just dont decide to change your routine after 3 times of successfully having c-sections…there are too many risks involved. One doctor said it was too dangerous, so she found another doctor who would let her try to deliver vaginally. (sorry i've said vaginally twice already). SO.....she went into labor and the baby was just not having it. The baby did not want to be delivered no matter how hard mom pushed...the baby was under a ton of stress, lost heart tones and oxygen, so they did an emergency c-section. they finally got the baby out, who had suffered brain damage and was whisked off to the NICU. Mom however, hemorrhaged and would not stop bleeding. Turns out she completely ruptured her uterus while trying to push, and was rushed to the O.R. When a mom's uterus ruptures, she basically has a 50% chance of not dying from blood loss. Not good. My supervisor explained to me something along the lines of mother's not having some enzyme while they are pregnant that helps the blood clot...so if they get in a situation like that, their brain just keeps telling their uterous to bleed...(that would make way more sense if i knew exactly what i was talking about..but you get the jist of it.) ANYWHO...i went to the NICU with my supervisor to see how the baby was doing, and they were in the process of putting a 'cool cap' on the little one. this is where they bring the baby's temp down drastically for 3 days by putting this alien looking hat on with tubes stickin out all over, to basically freeze the baby's brain cells to reduce possibility of brain damage. The baby seemed to be responding well, the husband of the mom, however, did not. He was in shock..completely looked like a deer in the headlights. His baby may not live, and his wife had even less of a chance. He stood completely still in the NICU, folding his arms across his chest with tears in his eyes- not moving a muscle. it really was an awful thing to see. Running around the rest of the day i had passed the patients family/friends in the waiting area, and they were all in tears. My next thought was, ‘I bet that’s the last time that mom will try to have a natural birth.'……….welp. to save her life they had to do an emergency hysterectomy.
I checked up on that case today and was told the mom had recently been discharged from the ICU and the baby was stable. Mom was going through a ton of guilt for not doing a c-section in the first place..and also dealing with the fact that she would never be able to have any of her own babies again. Can you imagine? Waking up from a whirlwind emergency delivery, only to find out your baby suffered brain damage and you no longer have a uterus!? I cannot. But….no matter the heartache of not being able to have anymore babies, its worth it. Because that little baby still has a mom, and that husband still has a wife.
My exciting case this week was on Thursday… i got to work on an adoption. I was only able to work with the adoptive parents because the birth mom had already left..but it still was an awesome experience. I was brought up to date about the situation in about one sentence: "birth mom has 3 kids of her own, is currently going through a divorce and the baby is not her husbands."
oh. gotchya. awkward.
it was really sweet to see how flustered the new parents were and how they were sick and tired of all the car seat checks, paper work, etc..because they just wanted to hold their little baby they had waited SO many years for. Watching them with this little newborn was really touching…I’m glad I got to be a part of it. They were so grateful that this mom had made the decision to give her little baby up. Their lives would never be the same, and they knew it, and were so ecstatic about it.
I <3 my job.