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Aug 3, 2010


Why haven’t I told you what I’ve been doing the last few months? It’s like I was being all secretive or something, except I have nothing that I’m hiding. I haven’t been twittering either. The truth is that I have been doing OB at different hospitals in town and while I will admit to being insanely busy and a little overwhelmed, it has been so incredibly super duper awesome that I can barely string two words together. I have been reduced to a stupid bumbling mess at the joy of actually getting to care for women, escort babies into the world, and hang out with fun, interesting people.

I spent June at a community hospital working with two high risk OB guys. It was an interesting month full of women that worried me and babies that were not normal normal. The hours were pretty short, but there were days that were emotionally devastating, so much so that I wondered if I could handle the job at all. What if I froze up? What if I said the wrong thing? What if I made the woman cry and couldn’t console her? What if I started crying and couldn’t stop?

But I made it through the month. I talked women through labor, I held their hands as their babies came into the world months and months too soon, I cried with them when we learned that their babies had died, I distracted their other children so they could concentrate on the doctor, I fetched cold washrags, I cleaned up the bloody mess left behind, I wished their babies a Happy Birthday. I spent time with each and learned their stories.

Then July came and I switched rotations. I went to a county hospital where, as they say, babies are falling out all over the place. There is not time to hold the mother’s hand because this is her ninth baby and it is coming NOW but no one bothered to tell the baby next door who is also coming NOW or the baby down the hall whose heart is not beating like it should be and needs to come out NOW. It was an entirely different experience. Instead of holding women’s hands and crying with them, I had my hands in sterile gloves and were wishing their babies a Happy Birthday as I walked out of the room to run to the next. (I learned to say it in several languages.) My role was completely different and the learning was more It Has To Be Done And There Isn’t Anyone Else Here So Do It than I’ve ever experienced in my life and it was amazing.

Both were intense. Both were incredible learning opportunities. I feel lucky to have had both.

And here is where this story has to take a several month pause. I really want to tell you all about the different impressions that I got and the people that I worked with and how very different the two hospitals are, but there is this pesky thing call residency that I have to worry about all the damn time. See, with this being a public space, I do not want to disclose anything that would influence a program’s position on me. Is that not so dumb? I agree, my friends, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. So we’ll have to leave it at both were super great awesome and see how the story ends in March.

1 Readers rock!:

Debra said...

You are awesome.