An 18 Year Old Boy’s Experience in the OB Ward

Going into an area like an OB, I prepared myself to enter a place where the only men around were the husbands that were just trying to comfort a spouse that was in labor. I was right on point.

Every nurse, doctor, and cleaning lady around was a female. It was different, because many of the doctors in the ER were male, and I felt like they had a very different outlook on their patients, and medicine in general than the females did.

I was first introduced to Lori, who was my preceptor the whole night. She was awesome. She explained everything to me very thoroughly so I could understand what was going on. Lori was an OB that worked back and forth from the nursery to the delivery rooms.

There were three babies in the nursery, and babies that enter the nursery all have something wrong with them. A pair of twins were both premature and were incredibly small. They had a very hard time breathing when they were first born, so they were brought to the nursery to be kept safe and keep the breathing under control.

After 15 minutes, Lori got a call from a lady in the delivery room that said she needed Lori because a baby was being born. I got to hop in on the journey. I had been told by other students in the residency that I would be just feeding babies and observing them the whole night to make sure they were healthy, but not that Thursday night!

There were actually four women in labor around 8:30ish, and one of the women allowed me to watch the entire birthing process. For an 18 year old boy, it was a surreal but amazing sight to see. I was able to have a clear view of the baby’s head coming out.

Once the baby was born, Lori’s job was to clean the baby up and make sure the skin wasn’t turning a blue color, which would indicate that the baby was cold. Then we took measurements of the baby, as well as footprints for the parents. She had to do a lot of paperwork, but she loved her job.

Back on the other side, the nursery wasn’t bumping at all. The three babies were fed and asleep. As I observed Lori, I figured out what might be the most challenging part of the job: dealing with all of the family that all want to see the new parents and baby!

When babies are born, they are taken immediately to the nursery so they can become healthy, but then the parents are (understandably…) very curious about what is going on. The rule is that an immediate family member may come and bring one visitor, but some families believed their hierarchy as parents was above the rules.

All the OBs had to reiterate these rules over and over, and I kind of wanted to become the security and get rid of them, but I know it was just parents being parents.