I came back to Baltimore a few days ago, my time in Abu Dhabi having ended. I went out with a bang, of course, working 3 night shifts in a row. Interestingly, I assisted a midwife in delivering twins each night! This was a first for me, as I had not seen twins before! Although twin deliveries are often quite medicalized since they are considered high risk. The first set of twins went to NICU as they were only 32 weeks. The second set did beautifully at 39 weeks and mom was breastfeeding within the hour. The third set of twins was the first time I saw forceps, intubation, and neonatal resuscitation. Insha’Allah those beautiful babies are surviving in the NICU…
I learned much more than I bargained for in Abu Dhabi. I thought my nursing skills would improve, and in so many ways they have. But I cannot tell you how to function as a Labor & Delivery nurse in America. No, unfortunately, that is not the experience I gained in Abu Dhabi. What I did gain was the skill and confidence in being a patient’s nurse. I learned when and how to touch a patient in order to provide comfort; I learned that sometimes even if you’re not sure whether the patient would like comforting, you can provide it. I learned how to calm fears, and provide encouragement. I learned to sit on my hands and wait as labor progressed. I learned the beauty of birth. I watched a child birth itself as the midwife fumbled to pull her gloves on just a moment to late to catch the baby. I learned that babies will come on their own, if given the time, patience and support. I learned to follow my intuition, and ask the patient to change position if I thought it might make a difference. Most of all, I found my “voice”. Every nurse has a voice, a way of speaking with the patients to instill calm, encouragement, support, direction, action, etc, etc.
Coming home was a whirlwind, as I seemed to step directly off the plane into graduation. I received my Alumni pin, I walked across the stage to shake hands with Dean Hill, and I received my giant diploma.So…khalas! Enough! Finished. Moving on from Arabic life (although not Arabic temperatures, it seems), I am ready for the next steps in my life: NCLEX, an RN Acute Care job, and master’s studies in midwifery.
Thanks to everyone who read about my travels!