I was a labor and delivery nurse...

It's a bittersweet day. I've been a labor and delivery nurse for nearly 12 years.
But I'm also a postpartum nurse.
And a lactation consultant.
And a postpartum clinic nurse.
And a mama to three little lovies.
And a wife.
And the coordinator of our MOMS group.

And I want to be more than just competent.  I want to be confident in my roles. I want to know that I'm doing my best, and that my patients are receiving the care they deserve.  I may look like I have it all together on the outside, but when things start to go south, I'm a walking mess on the inside.  The basic, low risk labor patient?  I've got it.  Water birth, land birth, natural, epidural.  Not a problem. It's when things start to look dicey that I get nervous.  Sure, I'll bet that a lot of labor and delivery nurses feel that way.  But I question whether I can really remember what I need to.  There's just so much to keep up on.  Classes to take, ever changing policies and procedures, charting standards.

So today, after much prayer, I gave it up.  I pulled my supervisor over and let her know how I'm feeling.  That my passion when it comes to work is breastfeeding.  I love being there for the miracle of birth, but even more so, I love helping mamas figure out feedings with their little loves.  And to my pleasant surprise, when I pulled her aside and said I needed to talk to her, she responded with, "You feel like you want to cry, don't you.  I knew it was just a matter of time before you wanted to chat."  To be honest, that was such a relief. She knows where my heart is.  She knows it's hard to give up labor and delivery, but she respects that I don't want to work more hours to keep up every last skill.  She knows the value of my family.  And she also values that I'm as passionate as I am about my role as a lactation consultant when I am at work.

Even yesterday, I couldn't have predicted today would be the day.  But as I was praying at work today, I felt a still small voice letting me know the time had come.

And so I must learn again how to describe what I do.  It's no longer, "I'm a labor and delivery nurse, and lactation consultant."  But instead, "I'm a lactation consultant and nurse in a family birth center."

**disclaimer: I feel like I have always been able to give excellent care to my patients, but I want that statement to remain true :) No one's care has been compromised on my watch.


  1. As your momma, I am so proud of you! You have always been a great nurse! To focus on one less area of responsibility is a great way to be completely competent at what you do! I've said many times "if I had half the knowledge you have about lactation I would have been a better mom to you and your sister in that first year of life!" Keep up the good work of educating young moms on how to properly feed their little ones! I love you!


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