Graham Crackers and Saltines
If you are a labor doula, nurse, obstetrician or hospital based midwife and you read the title of this blog, you know that graham crackers and saltines mean an all night birth!
So how do we do it?
How do we get into bed after a long full day, fall asleep for 6 minutes, get woken up by a phone call, hop out of bed, get in the car and work all night on no sleep?
We just do it.
The mom is doing it too. If she can do it, we can too.
And so we keep ourselves going the best we can. We stay hydrated and we keep the coffee flowing. When we step away from our laboring client for a brief moment to get her more ice or something else she may need, we grab another cup of coffee for ourselves.
In many hospitals, there is a little stash of crackers in the kitchen. Usually they are there for a mom who can’t take medicine on an empty stomach but on a long night, they become fair game! Those crackers are what keep us all going. When it’s 3am and we are exhausted and the acid feels like it’s burning a hole straight through our stomachs… we reach for a cracker.
In the many years that I have been doing this work, I have had the occasion to share a short visit over a graham cracker in the kitchen with a nurse, doctor, midwife or anesthesiologist.
I must tell you that I work with some awesome nurses, doctors, midwives and anesthesiologists.
They care about their patients physically AND emotionally and they are deliberate about honoring each and every woman as she makes the transition into motherhood. They understand the disappointment of a birth plan gone awry and it is truly their intention to help each individual woman have a healthy baby AND a healthy and positive feeling about their birth experience.
Spending those 2 minutes with you all, dunking graham crackers into my institution coffee while my client is on the toilet, has been some of the most educational moments of my entire career. They are moments that I am eternally grateful for.
As a Doula, building relationships with nurses, midwives, obstetricians and anesthesiologists is incredibly important. When we are invited by a pregnant couple to be part of their birth team, we are exactly that, part of a team. Working cohesively with the other people on the team is crucial to a positive birth experience for the mom.
When I walk onto the labor and delivery unit in a hospital, I recognize, that for the staff, that unit is like their second home. I am respectful of their things, of their space and most importantly of them. And in return, I feel respected by them!
Authored by: The Rock n’ Roll Doula