Kelli Beaverson Rudy, Alyssa’s beloved mother established the Alyssa C. Rudy’s endowment in honor of her daughter’s alma mater, York College of Pennsylvania. Alyssa’s love and understanding of her nursing career is best said in her own words.
Edited by her mother…may 23, 2018
R.I.P. sweet soul. We love you. 😘
I am an OB nurse.
This specialty is a coveted one and typically hard to get into. Once you start your career in obstetrics, you tend to stay. What we hear…“Oh you have the greatest job, you get to cuddle babies all day long.” “Dang, labor and delivery nursing sounds like it is a lot of waiting around for babies to be born.”
In reality, this specialty is SO much more. So, what do our days look like you ask?
Room 7’s twins are due to feed at 1030 and 1100. Room 9’s pain medications are due at 1045 and the father in room 12 is wondering if he is swaddling his baby correctly. Room 15 calls out wanting help changing her baby’s diaper while room 20 is complaining that you’re taking too long to get her a pacifier so her baby calms down. Room 5 is in tears because she cannot get her baby latched and room 8 is calling because she ordered her food over an hour ago.
I have been the nurse with a family when they found out their baby no longer had a beating heart.
I have had to walk out of my patient’s room to collect my thoughts and wipe my own tears in order to be strong for my patient and her family.
I have delivered a pre-viable baby and watched as he took his last breaths.
I have had to be the one to see a mother and father say their final goodbyes to their precious baby and take their baby from their arms for the last time.
I have been the shoulder to cry on for the mother whose cervix is not competent enough to carry out her pregnancy and is told her baby will not make it to viability.
I have supported the family who was expecting to take their beautiful healthy newborn home in a few short days and only leaves the hospital with footprints and other mementos.
My arms have cuddled the infants who were withdrawing from the drugs their mothers partook in during pregnancy.
I have observed the hope in my patient’s eyes as she learns her baby now has a chance of survival because of our fetal therapy team.
I am the calming force when the team runs into the room because the fetal monitor is showing a heart rate deceleration.
I have cried tears of happiness as a new mom and dad holds their newborn for the first time after years of battling with infertility.
These hands have inflicted the pain of massaging a uterus to get a hemorrhage under control.
I have shared in the joy as a new mom latches her baby on her breast for the first time.
I have witnessed a mother choose to grow her baby while her cancer continued to spread and also shared the bliss of her meeting her baby knowing she would not be around to celebrate his first birthday.
I have held the hand of the mother going under general anesthesia for the riskiest cesarean section of her life, unaware if the surgery would go as planned.
I have coached the mom that pushed 4+ hours to bring her baby into the world.
I have grieved with the mother who lost her baby and her uterus in the same day.
I have been the sole support system for a mom that had nobody able to be present for her delivery.
I have cared for the mother who has miscarried for the tenth time.
I have soothed the frantic mother who we just had to perform a stat c-section on.
I have been the safe zone for the young mom who is delivering her mother’s boyfriend’s baby.
I have changed my scrubs throughout my shift from being covered in all the fluids labor and delivery has to offer.
I have trained my bladder to wait twelve hours and there are days where lunch is forgotten about.
I have stayed later than my shift to deliver that baby I have been waiting 12 hours to arrive.
OB nurses are there for all the happy and sad times that labor and birth can bring. It is touching to know you are a special part of these families’ lives and part of their newborn’s baby books. We even have families that stay in touch to share their baby’s milestones. Not to mention the bliss when you are able to deliver the same family’s second, third baby, etc.
Nurses are leaders, teachers, advocates, cheerleaders, and friends. I will not lose my skills staying in this specialty. I do love my job, but it will never be just a job to me. I live for the days I bring a healthy life into the world and I am a part of a family’s most vulnerable and happy of days. I lessen her fears, build her confidence, and guide her into motherhood. I am the nurse I am because of these experiences that have molded me.
This is OB.
This is why I am a nurse.