Dear Labor and Delivery Nurse:
Hi, it's me, the Birth Doula. We hear it's National Nurses Week, and I'd just like you to know... we appreciate you, and your part in our client's birth story, so very much.
Labor and Delivery nurses are hands-down some of the hardest working, most caring people we interact with in our roles as doulas. Years from now, when clients recall their birth stories, sharing them to friends or family or perhaps, even to the child which you helped safely usher Earthside; I promise, these parents will remember you.
They remember your kindness ...
On one of the most stressful, sometimes-chaotic days of their lives, and when they reach the intensity that comes with active labor, they remember your soothing words of strength and encouragement. They remember you saying that what they're feeling is okay, and a good sign of labor progression; that their body is working exactly the right way.
Likewise, they remember you taking the time to explain their options and what's coming next, or your suggestions of things to try when birth goes off-track from their original vision.
They remember your joy...
As you bear witness to their baby's birth, they remember the look on your face as you smile and encourage them to reach reach down the feel their baby's head. They remember your encouraging of skin-to-skin in the OR, or reminding their partner that it's okay to leave their side to check on their baby until that happens (and that you'll keep them company while they're gone).
They will remember that it was you who took their first family photo.
They remember your compassion...
They noticed and remember your tears when, instead of a healthy, thriving newborn; their arms are empty and their hearts are heavy following birth. They remember the gentleness in which you cared for them in their grief, and the care you gave to their precious baby.
They remember your tenderness, and it made all the difference in that unbearable experience .
They remember your humor...
When their water breaks suddenly, and you're the first one to crack a joke... trust me, they will retell that part of the story to everyone they know. They remember your excitement when they say it feels like they need to poop, or when there's an abundance of bodily discharge during labor.
So nurses, while you're only in these parents' lives for such a short time, you play an unforgettable role in their experience. It's true!
We doulas are the ones who most often hear the birth story retold as those same parents begin to process their emotions around their journey. And I promise, they may not remember your exact name, but absolutely they remember you, and all of the qualities that make you such a great nurse.
It is our honor to work alongside side of you in that experience.