Apr 122013

“I don’t catch babies.”  -  L&D nurse to a mother who shared she had two previous births missed by her doctor.

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 April 12, 2013  birth, L&D Nurse  Add comments

  30 Responses to ““I Don’t Catch Babies.””

  1. “Would you clarify please? Are you saying you’re willing to jeopardize my baby’s health because of your personal preferences? Or are you saying you’ll have the doctor here extra-early for me because of my past history? Or are you saying the hospital’s legal position is substantially greater if you allow me to deliver unassisted on the hospital bed while you stand by the door looking nervous?”

  2. Oh, good, because if we were going to have another birth missed by the doctor, my husband was really looking forward to catching.

  3. I had early contractions with my first (33 weeks…UTI) and when I was checking in through the ER the nurse smiled and said, “We’ll have you upstairs soon. We don’t do babies down here.” She went on to say that they’d only had 2 women deliver in the ER and that was because they showed up crowning.

    • I can see that coming from an ER nurse. I would think a L&D nurse would need to accept the fact that, in the rare circumstance, you may need to catch a baby. I know a few L&D nurses, and more often than not they have to catch. Yes, it means more paperwork, but it’s life. Babies come on their own timeline, and unless the doctor is going to camp out in their room, it will happen.

      • Ugh. I hit submit too soon (screaming kids before coffee lol)
        But you basically made my point lol The ER nurse was at least friendly about her “refusal” to catch a baby. I had no doubt that she would have if necessary. I think *her* saying it was to make me feel comfortable and assure me that I’d be upstairs with the “proper” people ASAP.

        Unless the followup was “but I will if necessary” these words shouldn’t have left the nurse’s mouth.

        • Exactly. When I was pregnant with #3 I had to take my oldest to a local hospital that didn’t do deliveries, on my due date. They weren’t snotty at all – they simply made sure they had my husband’s cell # and said something to the effect that if baby came precipitously they would deal with it (they hadn’t had a delivery there in over 20 years, lol). I have a history of going 42 weeks (and #3 was no exception), so I wasn’t worried, but if you ever want to make a hospital full of nurses nervous, go to one that doesn’t deliver babies on your due date, lol.

          • This reminds me of when we had to take my son to the ER with a febrile seizure. He was 12 months old and I was 7 months pregnant with my DD, but we thought I was closer to 8. We were just in a regular hospital, but if I so much as rubbed my belly, I had two or three nurses show up worrying about me!

            Since we were planning to birth at home, I wouldn’t have told them if my labor started anyway. ;)

    • My BIL is an ER tech. Not a doctor, not a nurse. And he has had to catch babies. (The one in the elevator really made his day!). Any one helping a woman in labor should be ready to catch if they need to.

  4. Then why are you here?

  5. You know, I here there are some great openings in the cardiac unit.

    Maybe you could go find your heart there…
    (terrible pun)

  6. I’m glad my mom’s nurse wasn’t like that! My mom knew I was coming quickly and asked if the nurse knew what to do, and she was reassured her that yes, she’d caught not a small number of babies and that everything would be alright. The OB never made it.

  7. Good, cuz I don’t throw ‘em.
    Why don’t you run along and tell the attending that s/he may be attending today? And then when I say I have to push, just take my word for it and don’t get an attitude, K?
    See, I don’t get this one. Why are nurses so huffy and drag their feet when a patient asks them to call their doc because they think they need to push? Because I’ve seen it too many times.
    I’m asking for real – I want to know. Do the docs yell at nurses when they get called for a ‘false alarm’?

    • Some do, yes. Some are pretty opposed to sitting in the room for the entire pushing phase, if it takes a while, and only want to be called for the exciting ending. We all know how perfectly THAT timing can be predicted!

      • With my second baby, I pushed for two hours, mostly because of two awful nurses who physically held me down in a position that prevented me from pushing effectively. Eventually they gave up on me and told me they were going to go schedule my c-section. As soon as they let go of me, and I was able to change positions, my baby started to crown — at which point a third nurse freaked out and held my baby in while screaming for a passing doctor to come in and catch this baby!

        Sometimes, I feel like everything they do is explicitly designed to work against you. I know it isn’t really, but it’s enough to make you seriously wonder.

        • Many of the standard procedures are explicitly designed for the benefit of the hospital and the doctors, is my impression.

          I’m sorry you were held down.

  8. Because we all know, in the birthing process, the real hard part is catching the baby!

    If babe is coming so fast the doc can’t make it, that generally means everything is going fantastic, and your main responsibility will just be to not drop the poor child. It’s really not that difficult.

    • My baby needed to be resuscitated after birth because she came so fast she was a little stunned and needed help to start breathing. But nothing was wrong with the *birth* per se. (The midwife made it but barely. She came running down the hall.)

    • I wouldn’t say this is necessarily true. My middle daughter was born in 45 minutes TOTAL with an APGAR of like 2. She’d turned unexpectedly footling breech, shot out about halfway, and gotten stuck with the cord compressed. The paramedics had to literally reach in and pull her out, and then she had to be resuscitated. She is also believed to have had a seizure immediately after the birth, and injured a nerve in her shoulder during the birth.

      She ended up being fine, with no lasting damage at all, but fast birth does not necessarily equal everything going fantastic.

  9. I was stalled at 3cm for like 10 hours and whent from 3 cm to ready to push in 15 minutes. I said “I feel like I have to push” and the nurse gestured to two doctors I hadn’t noticed when they came in and said “that’s what they are for. Push when you are ready.” No fuss. See, nurse. That is called patient care. Look into it.

  10. So you.. Expect me to catch my own baby? Have dad/doula step in? Put a blanket and pad on the floor and help position me down so low the floor the baby falls onto the pad? Move me to a tub so baby floats out and I retrieve baby from the wayer? Drop them? What does that mean, precisely? If it is drop them, can I have that in writing so you can appropriately lose your job?? I have a feeling you actually mean you want to hold the baby in til the doc gets there, and that is dangerous and you are fired from my care!

  11. When the nurses at my first birth discovered I was moving awfully darned quickly — I went from 3 cm to 7 cm in about five minutes, 45 minutes after my labour started — the first thing they said to me was, “Your own doctor won’t make it in time. We’ll see if Dr. X is finished up with one of her patients in time to assist you, but if she can’t, don’t worry! We’ve caught lots of babies before and we’ll catch lots again.” Probably the most reassuring thing that was said to me over that crazy two hours!

  12. I was having baby #6 and joked with the nurse because my previous 2 babies had been missed by the doctor and and one before was barely caught by the doc (walked in and just sat down, caught the baby). She was horrible to me, I wish I had fired her.

  13. thats the complete opposite to what i got, i was at a prenatal for my VBAC and i was having a chat to the midwife about the hospitals policies etc and she said “i hope im on when you come in, im a great baby catcher!” unfortunately she wasnt on the day that i had my VBAC but i stil had 2 awesome midwives and an OB who was happy to just stand back and watch while the midwives did their job, she said herself that shes only there incase something goes wrong and to stitch me up if i need it. i am pretty sure she was one of the pair of hands passing my bub up to me and she helped me get up on the bed so i could hold him more comfortable while we waited for the placenta. so grateful for my hospital!

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