April 30, 2016

little m, little d

     The overhead page declared the need for a doctor to be present at the final moments of birth.  Again.  I excused myself from the woman in triage, who's need for medical attention just became much less urgent than the woman about to deliver.  As I trotted down to the delivery room, out of the corner of my eye I noticed EMS bringing in another pregnant woman.  Judging by the screams, she was in no small amount of pain.  And judging by the size of her belly, she was pretty much full term.  I entered the delivery room but was beat there by the OB resident.  She asked me to go check on the new one in triage.
     Back down to triage I go, consent already in hand knowing this woman was going to be delivering tonight.  As I approached the triage desk, the nurse already had her arm outstretched with her finger pointing back down the hall telling me she was already in a delivery room.  Back down the hall I go, my back beginning a litany of curses.  I enter the room and the delivery nurse, who has been at this much, much longer than I have, orders me in a firm voice, "gown up, this baby is coming now."
     And she was correct.  I got my sterile gloves on and she started pushing.  Not wanting her to tear, I quickly forgot about the gown and gained control of the head and the situation.  The amount of blood and other fluids that would be on my scrubs didn't seem to matter at that point. The baby was out within minutes without any complications.  As I turned to have someone help me with the cord, usually another resident or at least a med student to deliver the placenta, I realized I was all alone as far as MDs.  Just as I was finished the cord and placenta and began to make sure the uterus had stopped bleeding, the OB attending popped in.  "Everything ok?"  I don't think they like to look in the room and see only a family medicine resident without one of their own present.  "Just fine."  The delivery nurse confirmed that everything was under control. 
     My wife jokes that until I finish residency, my MD is a really a lower case md.  I have to earn that the right to capitalize it.  I think I earned a bit of that uppercase that night.

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