Coloring with the fat crayons…OB ward stories continue

When delivering a baby, there are certain events that must take place before the baby makes an entrance.  The nurses set the scene with a table of instruments, the bed is broken down, the patient is prepped and draped “in usual sterile fashion”, and the physician is gowned and gloved.  Now, occasionally these steps are interrupted – residents catch babies without their attending, without their gown, and most often without shoe covers.  As much as I love shoes, you’d think I’d remember to protect them from baby juice, right?!  Anyhow, tonight, I had time to protect my shoes, put on my gown, and drape my patient.  The nurse asked if we needed E2.  Nah, we got this.  With a few pushes, the baby made her entrance and came out waving.

“Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head.1

Needless to say, there was a bit of repair work to do.  I consider myself a pretty handy seamstress, but no one wants a Singer at her perineum.  I felt, seriously, like I was coloring with the fat crayons.  Not just the round, first colors.  No.  The triangle ones, bulky and awkward.  So, I asked E2 for backup.  After ½ the shopping cart of suture, it looked pretty darn good, even if I do say so myself.  You know they say if you get two sides of the vagina in a room together it’ll close, but you know me, I like my work done right.

I think I’ve outgrown my training table.  I’m dancing dangerously close to that line in the sand that just on the other side is confidence.  That’s the marvelous thing about residency, this one in particular, at some point you give an order and don’t immediately doubt it.  SL gives you the freedom to grow.  If I’d have wanted E2 to stand next to me and hold my hand, he’d have been right there.  If instead, I wanted my space, he’d have given it (and he did) freely.  For me, I think, “you have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.1” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a resident (or a future physician) who never had to think for themselves.  I’m getting there slowly, but then again, I have a hard head.


1Carol Burnett

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