So many inspiring stories gathered at this year’s TEDMED 2016 What if?event. Meet this TEDMED attendee who is a nurse poet and storyteller.
Honestly, it seemed like every person I met there embraced the arts with their science.
When OB/GYN clinical nurse and nurse educator Michele Reisinger, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, goes about her clinical work and teaching nursing students, she incorporates the power of story –– her own and the nursing students. She encourages them to share their clinical experiences through storytelling. Soliciting the student’s experiences has proven be a successful peer-to-peer teaching tool.
As a senior nurse clinician she has provided nursing care to many ethnically and racially diverse families during and after the birth of their child. She has a practice of asking the mother or grandmother to sing a lullaby in their native language to the newborn. She then asks if they would please translate the words of the lullaby in English for her. Intuitively we know that singing to babies is very calming and connecting. The science supports it too. Reisinger is building a repertoire of global lullabies.
Reposted with permission is her poem Birth Song.
by Michele Reisinger
It is a lowing
A deep, guttural sound
Part exhaustion, part pain, part anticipation
A mantra that is bellowed
A prayer without words
Sung softly, then louder
As each contraction wraps its fingers forward from her spine
And presses downward.
She lets her mind take leave
Lets her limbs become loose and heavy
As the sound resonates
Deep inside her chest.
Space does not contain it, this sound,
This signal of new life.
It will finally build,
This birth song,
To a rallying crescendo
She catches it, then, inside her throat,
Uses it to bear down
To bring forth the voice that is waiting
To be heard.
Then, wait for it.
As time pauses briefly.
When her infant
First opens its eyes onto the world
And, himself, sings out.
This segment will be aired on HealthCetera on Thursday, December 22nd at 1:00 PM on wbai Pacifica Radio 99.5 FM and streamed live at wbai.org You can also listen to it on our iTunes channel below: