Archive | 8:52 am

night float, part deux

28 Jul

The best things happen at night…if you’re a medical student, not so much if you’re a patient.  Apologies for the long runs without posts recently.  My excuse this week was night float–both uniquely invigorating and challenging.  I love night float because you get to do and see so much (but it does a number on my sleep-wake cycle).  In trauma surgery, it makes sense that a higher density of trauma happened at night.  Ob/Gyn is more of a mystery.  Why do more women go into labor or have third trimester bleeding or have seizures?  Why do more of them pick 12:04am as the time that they would like to be evaluated for a cramp in their right lower quadrant they’ve been having for the last three days?  (BTW, no judgment–if there’s a possibility of ectopic, ovarian torsion, etc., would much rather patients come in when they’re concerned rather than wait until the next day.)

So, I am now just a little terrified of all the rare things that could go wrong during my own labor and delivery.  Like making it through 18 hours of unmedicated labor only to have to be put under general anesthesia post-delivery for a retained placenta.  No skin-to-skin, no breastfeeding, no being on the same floor as my husband and child during recovery that night.  That would suck.

One of the things that is morbidly relieving to me is the number of emergent births I’ve seen of women who were not as far along in pregnancy as I, and their infants do well!  It’s not ideal, but when your water breaks at 26 weeks and you have a prolapsed cord (when the umbilical cord precedes the baby’s exit from the uterus, resulting in the baby’s blood supply being diminished or cut off), delivery by c-section is the only option–it’s just so wild that it works!

My favorite part of c-sections is when I get to support the head of the newly emerged infant and suction his/her mouth.  What a trip to be involved in helping force the kid to take the first breath!