As a registered nurse, I’m required to obtain continuing education credits every year to maintain my licensure. And as a labor and delivery RN, one of those classes is called Advanced Fetal Monitoring. Because in labor, I have two patients: the mom and the baby.
As I take care of both, I’m watching the mom before me, monitoring her vital signs, her pain, and any other need she has. And I’m also watching the baby. I’m watching the heart rate on the monitor, the variability of the beats, and the baby’s response to each contraction. It’s as if I have a view into a dark secret world of that little person inside, ready and waiting to emerge its tiny-little self, right on into this bright new world.
In my last fetal monitoring class, one among many, I learned something new. Because with fetal monitoring, we’re concerned with validating the well-being of the baby–looking for reassuring signs of the baby’s condition inside. The last thing we want is for the baby to have limited oxygen because the contractions are too stressful.
Apparently, one of the latest research studies has greatly simplified our assessment of this. They followed many women in first and second stage labor, and determined that as long as there was a full 60 seconds in between contractions, babies were not born with low oxygen levels.
No more need to worry as much, about the length of the contraction being the problem.
No need to concentrate on whether the contractions are too strong.
And while I’m oversimplifying this statistically significant study, the bottom line of the research was: as long as there is at least 60 seconds in between contractions, the baby will have enough oxygen.
It is oxygen that sustains life–oxygen flooding in. Because the blood is refilling the uterus–refilling it when it’s relaxed in between the contractions.
In between the work.
In between the accomplishment of cervical dilatation.
In between the contractions that bring forth the birth.
It’s the in-between that makes life sustainable, viable, even possible.
In between jobs.
In between relationships.
In between the highs of life.
In between the peaks of accomplishment.
Life is possible because of the in-between.
Because it’s in these down moments, these in-between moments, we are re-filled.
We are re-newed.
There’s time to slow.
Time to reflect.
Time to breathe.
Time for the oxygen we so desperately need to roll in.
We are prone to think nothing happens in the in between. We become discouraged because the line is flat and no peak is seen. The illusion is we are stuck and not moving forward. And the frustration of unmet expectations floods in.
But sweet friend, be encouraged today.
It’s the in-between moments that make your life viable. [Tweet that]
They strengthen you for the next peak.
For the work ahead.
And they keep you safe to make it to the end, when a new thing is finally birthed in you.
Cling to the in-between.
Give thanks for it.
Because life is made possible there.
What in between have you been facing?
How have you seen life sustained in the in between?
I’m joining Lisa-Jo, over at her site today, to take five minutes and just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. The challenge is to write for
5 15 minutes flat with the prompt she gives. And today, her prompt: