Two infiltrated IV's and four-to-delivered in forty-five minutes; she was crying and cursing and the baby came out en caule, with the amniotic sac still enclosing its little head like a ghostly shroud. I didn't have time to put my shoe covers on.
I live on string cheese from the doctors' lounge fridge.
Today's highlight: she was twenty-something, pregnant, and a privacy patient. She wanted only her best friend to know she was there. The problem was that her mother had called the ambulance for her. Security had to escort the baby's putative father out; he'd heard her screaming in agony and knew where she was. It was a nightmare of trying to keep people away while still letting her best friend in. And then, O Best Beloved, I found out why.
This girl had decided to give her baby up for adoption - she didn't want it at home, she was in a bad situation, she was a strange bird, whatever. Private adoption via a legal firm to some couple somewhere else. But what she'd told her mother, baby's dad, everyone around her was something else: The baby has complications. It might die. And here is this girl planning to go home and tell everyone that the baby died instead of that she was giving it up for adoption. I don't know the legal ramifications of this; she and babydad aren't married. But I do know that the ethical implications are staggering. Literally. So we did the only thing we could: we called social work. And social work will be working with her.
O, Best Beloved, some people terrify me.
Teenagers who seem oblivious to the fact that there is a whole person growing inside them. They come in crying and writhing in pain because they've spent the day drinking Mountain Dew and eating potato chips and walking the mall trying to induce labor. They come in screaming at cervical checks and sometimes they are so tense one wonders how they ever got pregnant. They don't drink, they don't eat right, they don't get prenatal care.
And their mothers who do nothing to improve my outlook for them.
I have good doctors here, good proctors to work with. I have goals for my next call: I need to learn to tie knots two-handed so that Dr. M will let me tie. He was very nice to me. Very nice, and I do not want to ruin my chances for C-section experience by fumbling a two-handed tie the first time I am allowed to do one. I need to be collected and together so that I can deserve all the patience and the trust they put in me here. Today, T grabbed me for a second circumcision. This time, he barely watched me at all; he let me explain to the medical student and to B what I was doing and why; he walked out of the room for a while. He says: "I have utmost trust in you. You've done nothing to show otherwise." Dr. M torments me about knowing the four signs of placental separation; I knew it because I was burned in third year. He insists it was because I was asked earlier that day. Attendings talk about us. I must remember.
These good doctors, some of their patients are wonderful wonderful people. I am waiting for a primagravida to go from nine to pushing as we speak, and she is funny and beautiful and her family is gathered around her. There is a girl with twins who is on magnesium and still has a sense of humor. The woman who screamed when I placed a cervidil - posterior fornix, not a pleasant procedure - laughed up at me a few moments later. "Hi, been great getting to know you." The surreality of intimacy in a hospital, and the unspoken is spoken.
I said I was hoping to sleep last call. Forty minutes later I was awkwardly delivering an infant on the bed; the patient's doctor came in five minutes after that. Hello panic. And I didn't return to my room to sleep until six AM.
We shall see.