Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Power of Focus

As “Judy” entered the clinic, I could tell she had experience with birth before. She calmly walked to the CR and was patient as I checked her in. When a contraction arose, she breathed well and directed me on where to apply pressure to her back. She knew that this process would bring her baby soon. I monitored her contractions and after checking, found her to be 4-5 cm dilated. She was admitted and I suspected we may not be waiting long as this was her 5th baby. “Judy” labored expertly. She breathed beautifully, frequently changed positions and handled the pain well. She seemed determined that this baby would be here soon.

She told me about her previous births and how with the first 3 she only laid on the bed. Those labors were painful and took a long time. With her last baby she stood and birthed the baby while standing up. She firmly told me that this baby would be born with her standing or “sitting in the air” as she called squatting. I told her this would be possible and as long as there were no complications she could deliver in an upright position. She smiled, happy to hear her wishes would be honored.

She became more active. The wave of contractions became stronger and came faster. The end was in sight. Nearby another patient also labored. This younger woman was giving birth to her 2nd baby. “Judy” suddenly switched her focus to this girl. “Sounds like she is crying” “Judy” would state during her own contraction. I affirmed that she was, but that “Judy” needed to focus on her own baby. My words were ignored. With the next sweep of pain, “Judy” ignored the pain and disassociated herself from her own labor. During a contraction she would speak of this other girl and how she must be in so much pain right now. “Judy” mentioned to me that she didn't cry with her pain. Again and again at the peak, when I was sure baby could come quickly, “Judy” seemed to turn off her focus from her labor and onto this other woman's. I suspected that “Judy” was ready to have the baby but she continued to disassociate herself. Finally I looked into her eyes and said “Judy, I know that you have done this before. You know it will be painful, but you must get through the pain to hold your baby. Focus on you and your baby so he can come.”

I had no sooner finished when the next wave of contractions hit her and she began to again disassociate. I placed my hand on her and told her to focus. She turned her eyes away from the sounds of the other woman and down at me. As the contraction hit, her head raised up and I saw baby's head emerging. Next thing I knew baby's head was born into my hands. I could feel a cord very tightly wrapped around his neck and baby was not coming easily. We helped “Judy” into a reclined position where I was able to help baby rotate and enter into the world shortly after.

Little Frank AJ was born at 11:16am and was a big baby weighing 7 lbs 12 oz. (3500g). *Note: big is a relative term. He was big for a Filipino baby born to a small momma... Besides having a slightly bruised/dusky face, Frank AJ had no problems. After drying his little body, I placed him skin to skin and watched him follow the “breast crawl”. It was an amazing sight! He was able to climb up and self attach to feed withing the first 60 minutes of life.

Shift continued on and business followed. At the end of shift I returned happy and satisfied. I was blessed to witness another precious life entering the world and I learned another valuable lesson. I realized how greatly our focus effects our actions and our life. The mind is extremely powerful! I challenge you to evaluate where your focus is and redirect it as necessary!


  1. Thank you for sharing your experience and heart, Sarah! A great reminder of where my focus should be and what distractions I have that would cause me to take my eyes from Jesus. My prayers are with you.

    1. Thank you so much for the prayers! They are greatly appreciated!