Thursday, May 27, 2010

Giving Kudos Where They're Due

I love to meet new doctors and residents in the hospitals I work at. Because the residents often spend time at different hospitals like I do, I get quite familiar with some of them.

On occasion you meet someone who is just born to attend women in birth. Within the last couple of months I have worked with an absolutely amazing young resident. Every client of mine who has spoken to him or been treated by him always says, "Wow, I like that guy!"

Many residents, getting grounded in their doctoring career, are focused really hard on gathering clinical skills, doing as many procedures as possible to get lots of experience. Obviously, this is really important. But sometimes it's to the point of forgetting that attached to this pelvis before them is a woman bringing life into the world. She is having a day she will never forget, a day that will shape her early motherhood. Residents sometimes lose sight of the fact they will be in many cases remembered forever, as the day of a child's birth is an incredibly important day in a family's life. A woman at the end of that day will usually grieve insensitive treatment, it being etched into her mind forever, more so at times than the clinical details of her birth. In their lovey/bondey oxytocin high, mothers will remember their caring attendants of the birth of their precious babies with genuine fondness. Forever.

Given all the crazy hard work residents do, I realize it can become easy to forget about contributing to more than just the clinical aspect of hospital birth. So what's great about my new resident buddy is that while he is gathering skill perfecting experience and working crazy hard too, he never forgets to be kind and respectful. If a woman is working to have an unmedicated birth, he absolutely honours that and doesn't offer any interventions, unless necessary, that could potentially throw a monkey wrench into that heartfelt dream of hers. He doesn't judge. He is curious about his patients' lives, and says things like, "The birthing woman is the Queen in the delivery room." If I say something he may not know about supporting natural birth and breastfeeding, he gets curious and doesn't brush me off as non-medical-therefore-irrelvant.

This is a doctor whom I trust and feel very pleased when I see him walking around the halls in the hospital. He has that skill of being able to click with just about anybody. I know my ladies will be in good hands and will not only have their clinical needs tended to, but their experiences enhanced by his presence.

A doula's 2 thumbs up to Dr. C!

I also want to give snaps to my spectacular sister Motherwitties Sesch and Molly for providing me with back-up when I had 2 ladies birthing at the same time and needed to leave the hospital to be with my son during his dental surgery. I was leaving them both with women having quite challenging labours, and they are always able to just go in there, adapt, and get to work in their unique, marvellous ways. I didn't worry about any of my clients at all in their good hands, and was able to tend to my little boy fully present for him, if not a little tired from having been up all night. I am so blessed to have a team of women I know love this work, and are deeply honouring of whatever a woman needs to feel supported and good about herself during her birth process.

Lastly, another Kudos to the great Montreal OB nurses who are the busiest ladies in town, yet manage to make their patients feel special and supported. Nurses, who have FAR more patient contact than doctors during birth and are often running around non stop their entire shifts, don't usually forget that they are part of a future memory, and act accordingly.