Columbus Parent photographer Alysia Burton followed Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital nurse Madeline “Maddy” Bumgarner through her day as a labor and delivery nurse, which included the arrival of Cecelia and Kevin Doenges’ daughter, Leona.
Hot Topic: Having a Baby
A Life in the Day of a Labor and Delivery Nurse
Story by Jane Hawes
Photos by Alysia Burton
At 8:51 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, a little girl named Leona Marie Doenges was born to Cecelia and Kevin Doenges at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville. Her grandmother, Susan Fox, also was present for her birth. And so was Madeline “Maddy” Bumgarner, the labor and delivery nurse on duty. This is how it happened.
7:00 a.m.: Maddy comes on duty and gets a report from the night-shift nurse about Cecelia Doenges, who had been admitted during the night and is now ready for the final phase of labor and delivery.
7:08: “OK, Cecelia, we’re going to start pushing.”
7:11: “Chin’s to the chest and push hard. Count to 10. Don’t let the air out, push hard.”
7:13: Maddy goes to wash her hands and sanitize them. She’ll do this after every round, and also keep Cecelia washed and soothed with cool washcloths.
7:14: Maddy lowers the bottom half of the bed and raises the top. “This will help her with her legs so she has more power,” she explains to Kevin and Susan.
7:15: “You count,” Maddy tells Kevin. “Curl into your belly,” she tells Cecelia.
7:26: “Again, stronger, stronger, stronger, againagain. Deep breath.”
7:28: Maddy updates the computerized record of the fetal heartbeat and Cecelia’s contractions.
7:33: Maddy knots a bedsheet several times and hands one end to Cecelia. The “tug-of-war” pushing is about to begin. This technique will help Cecelia focus her pushing despite having an epidural in.
7:40: “Push down here. Curl in … Good! Awesome push.”
7:42: The midwife, Katie Waibel, arrives. Maddy gives her an update on the pushing so far.
7:44: “Start breathing. Start pushing, all your might now.”
7:45: Maddy runs to the nurse’s station and orders another bag of penicillin for Cecelia’s IV feed. She chugs down a cup of ice water. “Hydrate,” she says. “Have to stay hydrated.”
8:05: Pushing with the knotted bedsheet again. Maddy explains later that she’s nursing a torn meniscus in her right knee, and by the end of the day, she’s limping. But her strong leg muscles, built through years of competitive soccer playing, make her a potent tug-of-war partner.
8:08: Maddy flattens the bed and flips Cecelia to rest on her left side, elevating her left leg in a stirrup. The change in position will help Cecelia build energy for the final stretch.
8:20: “We’re getting close.”
8:25: Another round of tug-of-war pushing. Kevin asks Maddy, “So you specifically work out for this job?” Maddy replies, “Well, I knew when I came on board this job, you had to be strong.”
8:33: “Oh, yeah! Come on, Mama!” This is the first time Maddy calls Cecelia “Mama.”
8:35: For the first time, Cecelia begins to cry a little. “Hang in, you’re doing it.”
8:37: “OK, we’re breaking the bed down,” Maddy tells Cecelia. “This is it, hang in there.” Thirty seconds later, the bed is reconfigured to accommodate delivery.
8:38: “Let it build. The head is really dropping. That’s what you’re feeling.”
8:39: Maddy turns on the overhead fluorescent lights, brightening the room, which had been dimly lit until then.
8:45: Maddy swabs all of the area around the birth canal with iodine. Katie dons full scrubs.
8:46: With the next big push, the top of the baby’s head is visible when Katie feels for it. Cecelia cries softly.
8:48: “Againagain,” Maddy urges, then runs to the next room to get syringes. “I’m just stealing equipment from next door.”
8:50: “It’s crowning, Mamacita,” Maddy jumps in front of Susan to replace her at Cecelia’s right side. “The head is out, I’m taking over here.” Maddy will explain later that the baby’s shoulder was stuck against Cecelia’s pelvic bone, so she had to quickly press down on Cecelia’s belly in order to pop the baby loose. Maddy then lowers the bed quickly. “She’s coming out!”
8:51: “She’s out, woo hoo! Good job, Mommy!” About 30 seconds later, Leona Marie Doenges starts crying and her skin begins changing color from blue to purple to pink.
8:53: Maddy dials the nurses’ station. “Hey, it’s Maddy. I have a baby for you. 8:51. D-o-e-n-g-e-s.”