Friday, January 21, 2011

Life on Obstetrics


Yesterday I worked a twenty-four hour shift on Labor and Delivery. This is where more often than not, emotions run high. I am impressed with the team of nurses, scrub techs, ward clerks, and obstetricians...as well as the neonatologists and NICU nurses and respiratory therapists that help the new ones 'get on their way'.

Labor is manageable. To some degree, the team can hasten or slow an impending birth. It depends on the medicines given, whether the water is broken, and the position of the patient. There is some stretch in the natural process so that timing will allow an obstetrician to be present for the birth.

The nurses are grounded. Very grounded. They have seen *everything* and nothing fazes them. They are the mother's and infant's best advocate. They set the energetic tone for the place, keeping the expectant parents within a normal range of birthing experience.

What never fails to reach me is the impact of the mindset of the mother on the birth process itself. Most trust in that 'everything is going to be okay' and allow the medical advances to be used for their safety and comfort. Others, are afraid. Often times this fear gets in the way of their own care. The epidural is a source of great fear for many. I take my lead from the mother and adjust my interaction with them accordingly.

For this, I use my Reiki. I go entirely by intuition on the best approach to 'connect' with my patient, be it making jokes, acknowledging their concerns, education, or taking a more 'parenteral' approach. Often times I 'feel' which will be the best interspace to go. The needle is inserted blind, and my hands are sensitive to the tissue structures through which the needle passes. When I have trouble, I say in my heart, 'Cho ku rei', and ask for divine intevention. I do not anticipate the outcome, but patiently keep trying as long as the mother is willing to try. There is a point of relaxation, metaphysically, when I am one with spirit, and the mother relaxes just enough for me to get the needle into the epidural space.

It is a powerful gift being able to relieve pain at a time like this. Reiki makes all the difference. It will work for you if you set the intention.

Namaste : )

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