January 12th, 2006

White Coat

Tok tok tok tok tok...

First note: Did exceptionally well on the In-training exam. Have set my sights on doing even better next year. I feel good.

Some of you, O Best Beloved, have either delivered a child or been present at the delivery. If you have, then you are likely familiar with the electronic fetal monitoring equipment. In this hospital, we put two belts on the patient and use no wires initially. One of them is the doppler fetal heart tone monitor - and in most rooms, the volume is turned up to a comfortable level, so that when you walk into the room there is a soft "shoop shoop shoop" of baby's heart, a steady hundred and ten to hundred and sixty beats a minute. It fills the air, comforting. Fetal well being.
J was on vacation last call; his patient pregnant with twins appeared in the clinic with advanced cervical dilation at 4-5 cm. She came to my care and changed to 6 cm dilation. I got the ultrasound out and managed to find both heads - pointing downward; vertex-vertex presentation. It was time to have babies, at 33 and a half weeks. I paged just in case he was in town - nobody wants to miss a vaginal twin delivery if they can avoid it - and no call came back. All mine.

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Baby A did well; baby B spent a few days in the NICU learning how to breathe properly. Twins do, sometimes. It happens and especially it happens at 33 and a half weeks. She should be fine.

More stories to tell; it is 0100 on my last OB call and I have told you nothing at all about the month. Next month is medicine. I am an empty vessel.