By P. Berman, K. Hecht, & A. Hosack
I am being torn apart. This baby is killing me. This baby must hate me. Will anybody help me?
Nurse Karin checks on Claire a few hours later to find her having intense and fast contractions. Karin stood with her and tried to help Claire breath through the contractions. When transition started, and the severe labor pains came right on top of each other, Claire grabbed Karin’s hand and squeezed it and Nurse Karin hit the emergency button to get a doctor in the room. The baby is “crowning” which means the biggest part of it, the head, is trying to get past Claire’s cervix. Nurse Karin tries to talk to Claire but sees she is now delirious with the pain. She squeezes Claire’s hand briefly and then squats down to catch the baby who she can tell is about to be born. In her delirium Claire screams that she doesn’t want this baby. She hates it. It is killing her. Nurse Karin assures her she will not die and that the pain will be better the moment the head gets passed where it is stuck right now.
The pain just stops. Nurse Karin is saying something, and Claire is becoming aware of what is happening around her again. Nurse Karin hands her a screaming bundle and tells her that he is a little boy. Claire hugs the baby close to her chest, he feels warm again; he stops crying. Claire looks down into his eyes, and says, “your name is Davy.”
After a moment of happiness, Claire begins to tremble as the doctor says Davy had to go to the Intensive Care Unit. Nurse Karin gently and repeatedly explained what was happening and helped Claire calm down. Nurse Karin felt like a real professional whenever she is talking with Claire who listens so intensely to everything she says.
Davy was born at 8 months, weighing five pounds. The doctor knows he wasn’t quite ready to live outside Claire’s body, so he needs help from the prenatal intensive care unit. When Claire first sees Davy in an incubator with tubes up his nose, she feels very cold and hopeless inside. Nurse Karin came by to check on how things are going. She finds Claire trembling and staring at Davy. Nurse Karin took Davy out of the incubator and showed Claire how to hold him. She explained that he would grow faster, and be able to go home sooner, the more Claire held him. Once Claire was smiling again, Nurse Karin left. Alone with Davy, Claire thanked God that he had not only given her this child but that he had given her the power to help Davy grow faster, just by holding him.
Nurse Karin sought out the head nurse. She was very concerned that Claire was completely ignorant of child care and would need help if Davy was to develop normally. Fortunately, the hospital had a relationship with a service that would be just right for Claire. It was called the Nurse-Family Partnership and they could send someone to Claire’s house twice a week for Davy’s first year.
What does Claire need to know to take good care of Davy?
How might Claire’s parents react to a nurse coming to their house?