Even after 18 years working as a registered nurse in labor and delivery, Linda Pulliam never tires of the excitement and joy of bringing new lives into the world each day.
"When they are born it’s just a miracle, and it never gets old," Linda Pulliam, a registered nurse at the NewLife Center at Via Christi Regional Medical Center said. "It’s an exciting place to work because grandma and grandpa are waiting outside the door waiting to hear that baby cry."
When they do, it is music to her ears, "especially after it’s been a long labor. It’s such a relief and joy for everybody to hear that," she said. Besides the cries of newborns, Brahm’s lullaby plays each time a baby is born, to Pulliam’s delight. "It’s exciting to hear the music, even if you weren’t involved in the birth."
For Pulliam, working as a labor and delivery nurse is something of a calling. During her rounds in nursing school something clicked when she went through a rotation in labor and delivery. She just knew she had found her niche.
Over the years she’s been involved in too many births to count. Last year alone there were nearly 3,000 babies born at Via Christi Regional Medical Center’s St. Joseph Campus. The names of the families and infants are hard to recall, too, but a description of a scene during the labor or birth process will take her back to the moment.
"In labor you get to bond with [the patients] because you have been with them and you get to know them. Sometimes I see them in the grocery store and they say, ‘You delivered our baby!’ It’s pretty neat," she added.
Patients can request the nurse they want to help deliver their baby, and Pulliam’s been tapped numerous times. Because of her length of service, she’s starting to see babies she delivered come in to have babies of their own.
"It makes me feel good that they had a good experience and they trust you. There’s a comfort area there, especially if they’re coming in for their second child," she said.
With two daughters, two sons and six grandkids, Pulliam sees her family when she tends a young mother-to-be. "I try to treat each mom as if they were my daughters, and think about how I would like my daughters to be treated," she explained.
"This is still my niche. I love labor and delivery. It never crossed my mind to work some place else. Bringing a new life into the world makes it so special," she smiled.
Printed with permission from the Catholic Advance, newspaper from the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas.