Today was the first day of ENT (ear, nose, throat = otolaryngology). For years I thought this field would fascinate me, being a long-time lover of singing and music and sound. Maybe it’s the near end of a long year and I’ve mentally checked out, or maybe I’m thinking of all the other projects I’ve wanted to get done before our daughter arrives, or maybe I’m simply on pins and needles about the birth but, frankly, my mind could not care less about ENT at the moment. It kind of saddens me…like I’m wasting part of my education.
The highlight of today was definitely watching two of my friends–brave souls–get scoped by two other med students. Ah, to see the arytenoid cartilages work their magic… The rest of the day was kind of a blur (as in, I fell asleep in most of the lectures and missed the OR to go to my prenatal appointment). So I thought I might share a quick anecdote about my pregnancy and the practice of obstetrics, since I was reminded of this one at today’s appointment. I’m worried that, as the days until my due date enter the single digits, I’ll be posting a lot more pregnancy/birth/baby-related stuff. In all seriousness, please let me know if it gets old. Pregnancy and med school…it’s been a pretty great interplay so far.
At the women’s clinic where I was for part of my obstetrics rotation, I was given the great advice that, if I couldn’t find the fetal heart tones on doppler after a minute, I should (calmly) ask the mother, “Where does your baby like to live?” Totally brilliant. The parents therefore don’t see the med student start to sweat and it gives them an opportunity to contribute a piece of information about their child that only they know…that has to feel a little good after being bludgeoned with information and instructions from the OB or nurse on the fetus living inside them. Probably 90% of the time, mom would be able to give a relatively specific answer: “Oh, yeah, she normally hangs out in my lower left. That’s where the doctor normally hears her heartbeat.”
My daughter loves my upper right quadrant. The higher my uterus extended throughout the pregnancy, the more she liked to wedge herself next to my liver, to the point where my belly looks pretty damn lopsided most of the time. Of course, at this point, it’s mostly knees and feet, but she’s a strong, stubborn one. We can actually grasp what we think is a foot and knead it back toward the midline, but she always squirms her way back into her favorite position with more force than before. John attributes her preference to the fact that he sleeps on my right side and she likes to edge her way closer to him. Adorable, and perhaps somewhat accurate. Either that or she is a budding hepatologist.