Woman becomes labor and delivery nurse to “save babies” from the pain and trauma of their own birth

Mary Duncan

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

I have never understood women who love being pregnant. For me, the best part of my pregnancy was the ultimate act of childbirth, because it meant that the pregnancy was finally over. Some women get very woo-woo about their pregnancies and do things people like me think are crazy. For instance, some women not only forego epidurals, but they decide to give birth in inflatable swimming pools in their living rooms, unsupervised by any medical professionals. These are often also the kinds of women who save their placentas to make artwork, or even to eat them!

Some women are just baby obsessed to the point where they make babies their careers. I knew a woman once who became a doula after having her first home birth experience, and another, Karrie, who eventually became a labor and delivery nurse.

Karrie loved babies, of course, but that wasn’t why she wanted to go into labor and delivery as her nursing specialty.

It was because she wanted to protect and save the babies at the time of their birth.

Karrie held a strong belief that the reason babies cry at birth and wail for a while afterward while they are getting cleaned off and suctioned out is that they are in great amounts of physical and psychological pain. She thinks the act of being squeezed out of the birth canal is painful and traumatizing to the newborn, whose first experience in its life outside the womb is being tipped upside down and manhandled in blinding light and freezing cold.

Therefore, she made it her life’s work to be a savior to these babies, making sure she was in attendance for as many births as possible so as to minimize the harm to the baby and give it extra love in the moments it was away from its mother, like touching and attending the babies in their warmers as they get their APGAR scores, and either placing them on their mother’s chest or swaddling them first for comfort.

Karrie especially took a great deal of care in administering a baby’s first bath in front of its parents so they would learn the most gentle and “trauma-free” way to bathe them. She also made sure to teach parents how to carefully stuff their newborn’s limbs into clothing.

Karrie was a legend at the hospital, often earning awards and accolades for going above and beyond for her patients. However, I think that if everyone knew the real reason she went after that job, they may think it more strange than noble.

What do you think?

Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation: https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan

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I write about the weird complexities of relationships to make a better life for me and my daughter through words. https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan

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