Thursday I took a class, the NRP, at the women's hospital near where I work. It was one of the hardest classes, not the material, I've been an ED nurse, for some time now. But, the whole thing. Being in a classroom right next to the NICU. Knowing that some babies are in there and are fighting for their lives, thinking of how many babies have died in that NICU. Thinking of their parents, their grief, their loss.
Well, I passed but not with flying colors. I was there as a deadbabymama and not an experienced pediatric ED nurse. I couldn't think, my mind was foggy, I was hit with a large dose of grief, right there during my class. We watched a video going over the main points of NRP, and they talked about end of life care. I wanted to vomit. I could feel myself holding back my tears. This was just too close to home. I've been on the receiving end of that care. I've had the bereavement nurse and chaplain at my bedside. Back in May, the bereavement nurse held my hand and told me what to expect. Because, I was there, pregnant with my deadbaby. I was being induced to deliver my deadbaby. I had no freaking clue what to expect. I had never delivered a baby before, and the event I had been anticipating for months was there, too soon and I was totally unprepared. I had no fucking clue on what was to happen.
Fast forward, the video is over. Now we've moved on to the simulated baby in the NICU. I see them there, the ossilators, the ventilators, the incubators. I almost walked out, luckily the room we were in was separated from the NICU with a partition. We are now being evaluated, we will be given a scenario. It's my turn, my scenario, a full term baby delivered via C section. Mother was at OB's office and no heart beat was heard, she had an emergency C section. I almost couldn't catch my breath, this could've been me. Only my baby didn't have a chance, he was already dead when we had the ultrasound. He died during the night.
Like I said before, I passed but barely. Then there was the written test, one of the questions was how long would you "code" a baby with no heart beat after an emergent C section.
A. 20 minutes
B. 10 minutes
C. 30 minutes
D. 60 minutes
My answer was C. 30 minutes. I was wrong. The correct answer was B. 10 minutes
My brain knows this, but my heart, the heart of a deadbabymama says 30 minutes.
Now, that I've taken this re certification class, I'm good until 2010. And by the way, I almost did vomit, I was going through the motions, drying off my 34 week plastic baby, and I gagged right there. I told the instructor, I had not ate breakfast and had a drink of Coke on an empty stomach. Partly true, the real truth was my grief was ever so consuming.