We arrived at a Community Health Clinic (CHC) at 19:00. We had been at the clinic for the day shift, but were sent home since the B.Cur (Nursing) students have preference during the day.
The night shift nurses were very nice. A 20 year old primigravida had come in with mild contractions at 18:30.
It was decided that I would do her delivery.
She was slightly uncompliant as she was bearing down at this point already, being only 3cm dilated.
For maternal and foetal well-being, a mother should not bear down until she is fully dilated.
She was in a lot of pain – here I learnt my first important lesson about CHCs: a woman in labour will hardly ever receive analgesics.
We were taught that a primigravida who is anxious and in pain can receive analgesics. Whether the CHC was simply out of stock I do not know.
The patient’s membranes ruptured spontaneously at 19:30. She was convinced that “the baby’s coming”. I believed her for some reason and got ready (in such a rush that I tore my first set of gloves).
Sure enough, a healthy baby girl was born at 19:45. She weighed 2710g. Upon being told her sex, Mommy said, “Damn, I wanted a boy.”
Surprisingly, the patient had no tears – not even first degree. Notable considering her bearing down at such an early stage.
In post-natal later, when I checked up on her for observations, she had fallen in love with her daughter. She asked if her baby is healthy and she thanked me for helping her.
I have heard that delivering your first baby is a life-changing event. Not quite, I don’t think. But it does feel good.