Helping an Expectant Couple Achieve Their Birthing Goals

I would get really involved with a couple, and after going through a long delivery with them I’d feel like I was a part of them . . .

My background is mostly in mother and baby, labor and delivery, newborn nursery, those areas.

Being a labor and delivery nurse was always exciting to me because we’d get this wonderful experience at the end. I would get really involved with a couple, and after going through a long delivery with them I’d feel like I was a part of them.

In labor delivery, people have different views about how they want to have their birthing experience. Some want it to be a very natural experience, while others want to be given an epidural, among other options.


I was the nurse for one couple where the woman did not want to have an epidural or any pain medicine. Near the end of her labor she was ready to say, “Forget it – give me the epidural.”

I was her nurse for the entire day. I didn’t tell her she couldn’t have an epidural, but talked her through understanding where she was in her labor, how she would progress, and the pros and cons of doing an epidural at this point.


They appreciated how I talked them through their options without telling them what to do.

Michelle Grate Director of Clinical Informatics at Vocera

She chose to hold with her original plan, and not do an epidural. She delivered her baby within the next couple of hours and had a really good experience.

As a couple, they were a great team. They wrote me a letter a few weeks later thanking me. They appreciated how I worked with them and talked them through their options without telling them what to do or being pushy. They said I helped them get through that experience, so they were able to achieve their original goals.

They were so eloquent in their appreciation, and that letter has always stood out to me. I think I still have it.

Author
Michelle Grate
Author credentials
RN, MSN
Author Bio
Director of Clinical Informatics at Vocera
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Michelle Grate
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michelle-grate
I would get really involved with a couple, and after going through a long delivery with them I’d feel like I was a part of them . . .

My background is mostly in mother and baby, labor and delivery, newborn nursery, those areas.

Being a labor and delivery nurse was always exciting to me because we’d get this wonderful experience at the end. I would get really involved with a couple, and after going through a long delivery with them I’d feel like I was a part of them.

In labor delivery, people have different views about how they want to have their birthing experience. Some want it to be a very natural experience, while others want to be given an epidural, among other options.


I was the nurse for one couple where the woman did not want to have an epidural or any pain medicine. Near the end of her labor she was ready to say, “Forget it – give me the epidural.”

I was her nurse for the entire day. I didn’t tell her she couldn’t have an epidural, but talked her through understanding where she was in her labor, how she would progress, and the pros and cons of doing an epidural at this point.


They appreciated how I talked them through their options without telling them what to do.

Michelle Grate Director of Clinical Informatics at Vocera

She chose to hold with her original plan, and not do an epidural. She delivered her baby within the next couple of hours and had a really good experience.

As a couple, they were a great team. They wrote me a letter a few weeks later thanking me. They appreciated how I worked with them and talked them through their options without telling them what to do or being pushy. They said I helped them get through that experience, so they were able to achieve their original goals.

They were so eloquent in their appreciation, and that letter has always stood out to me. I think I still have it.

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