Per suggestion, I’ve starting tagging the birth stories with letters to make them more identifiable and searchable. Hope this helps!
My collaborating physician was in surgery, and a woman in preterm labor’s baby was crowning. Thus, I entered my first room as an Attending, observing and supporting the Resident’s work. The Resident was chatting up everyone, telling the mom how great she was doing, and laughing with the family in-between contractions.
I introduced myself to the laboring mother and her family, put on gloves, and stepped just to the side of the Resident, who was gowned and gloved and ready. Two medical students stood behind us, watching.
The perineum really started to stretch, bright pink and healthy. The baby’s heartbeat was tocking away happily. The Resident calmly took a needle and injected lidocaine to prepare for a right mediolateral episiotomy. She then puts down the needle, folds her hands together, and looks at me.
She whispered. “You know I don’t want to cut one.”
I smiled. “So don’t. She’s stretching beautifully.”
“…I don’t know.”
“I’m here to support you. Let me know what you’re thinking.”
“It seems like it’s taking a long time.”
“It’s not. This is a normal and healthy birth.”
“…What would you do?”
“I would wait, and then keep waiting. The baby sounds perfect. Let’s see what happens over the next few contractions.”
With the next two contractions and pushes, the baby is born. A slight tear on the upper left side needed three stitches, which the mother slept through. The perineum and vaginal walls were completely intact. Baby is with the nurse at the warmer, due to mom’s exhaustion. The nurse announces that the baby weighs around five pounds.
In the entryway, behind the curtain, but before walking out of the room, I tell the Resident that she did a great job, that she was really wonderful in how she talked with the mother and encouraged her. I reminded her that becoming comfortable with the normal might take as long as getting comfortable with the abnormal, but she was doing great. I told her that I wanted to make sure she knew that. She teared up, thanked me, and we walked back onto the floor.