It’s beautiful outside right now.  I am inside, studying flashcards on musculoskeletal & gastrointestinal conditions.  My apartment has so many windows that it’s really not all that bad to sit on the couch when the sun is shining and enjoy it, even if I do have to force details about, oh, gout – and congenital diaphragmatic hernias – and Crohn’s disease – into my head.

Last night I took a friend of mine across the street to the Chabad house.  It just happens to be less than five minutes from my apartment, which is convenient.  We had an awesome seder … really awesome.  Not super long, amazing food, good stories & religious explanations.  The family who hosted it run Chabad at the school.  Their apartment is basically an open house for anyone who wants to spend time there, at any time.  There were people at the seder last night who just happened to be traveling through town and wanted/needed a seder to attend.  I’ve only met this family one time before, but they were so incredibly welcoming and happy that we were there.  My non-Jewish friend was nervous at first, but after chugging the first two glasses of wine she calmed down and enjoyed it like I knew she would.  I love Passover.

On a tragic note: the father of another friend, who lives back in CA still, recently had brain surgery to remove a tumor from behind his eye.  He was given a prognosis of about 6-12 months to live – from now – if he does all the chemo and radiation and everything.  I can’t believe it.  It’s SO UNFAIR.  He’s so young, he shouldn’t be dying, he should not be getting ready to say goodbye to his family forever.  And she has already had so many struggles to overcome in her life.  It’s completely wrong that she will lose her father so soon.  It really pisses me off.  And it puts into perspective everything I might bitch about, because seriously.  What could be worse than what they are going through?  Some things, I guess.  But not much.

I wonder if I’m going to be sick.  In between those two paragraphs I had to jump up and hang my head over the toilet because I was certain I was going to puke.  Yay.  What perfect timing!  Being sick for finals is AWESOME.


a happier thing

April 9, 2008

I got G & S’s 2007 interviews & pictures, done by mom.  There are a few highlights.  I don’t have Grace’s on-hand right this second, and I’m situated on the couch, so I’ll just post a few of my favorites bits from Nini’s.

Q: What do you like to do right now?

A: I like to read with my sister, bike ride, have circus class, & not have Soren mess up our room all the time.

Q: What do you want to do when you grow up?

A: I don’t know but maybe I could be a doctor or an archeologist.  I would like to be an archeologist becuase you get to dig up all this cool stuff.  You might not find anything, but you would know you tried your best.

Q: Favorite movie or DVD?

A: Ratatouille, because it has cooking in it and I think it’s really cool that a rat learned how to cook.

Totally awesome kid … love her.  🙂

OK, now I have to go get Grace’s because there were some fantastic quotes from her too.

Q: Tell me something you liked about school this year.

A: […] I like doing dioramas.  I made a diorama of “The Death of Dorothy Bradford.”  She was William Bradford’s wife, and when they went to the New World, they left their son behind.  She was never able ot see her son again.  She died when she fell off the Mayflower and drowned.

Q: Mom & Dad don’t let you watch a lot of TV, but when you do, what are your favorite programs?

A: Project Runway.  It’s addictive.  I like Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.  Sometimes Tim Gunn says really discouraging things and then says, “Make it work!”  I think that’s funny.


Today was my day in labor & delivery and I just got home feeling frustrated, helpless and somewhat angry.  I guess maybe I need to get over this shit, but it’s not going to happen today, and when — god willing — I make it to being a midwife I’ll at least be able to do something about it.

The nurse I followed today was taking care of a primiparous woman who came in yesterday.  They ruptured her membranes for her (gotta speed things up, after all) and started pitocin (everybody gets pitocin at this hospital, gotta get those babies out quick, after all).  So she labored all night and this morning was at 9 cm/100% effaced when I got there around 8am.  She had an epidural and they gave her a bolus around that time because she was in pain from the pitocin, which was causing extremely strong & frequent contractions.  They were every 1-2 minutes and lasting up to 90 seconds, and the baby’s heart rate was going up to compensate for no recovery period between contractions.

She was 9.5cm at 10am, the baby was -1, she had a tiny little lip of cervix left, and she had a fever of 100.5 degrees.

Approximately 50% of women who get epidurals run a low-grade fever.  The doctors –actually, med students mostly — came in, diagnosed her with chorioamnionitis (infection of the uterus), told her she needed to have a stat c-section.

An hour before that, they had told her that she’d be pushing soon.  She was SO CLOSE.  She spoke no English.  She did not want a c-section.

She cried.  She was scared.

I don’t know, it was awful.  It was like this big cycle of poorly managed medical interventions that caused other problems that caused her to be forced (basically) into major abdominal surgery.  It infuriates me that people who go to this hospital all get pitocin.  I find it sick.  Without that drug, maybe it would have taken a little longer, but she could have pushed that baby out.  The heart rate most likely would have stayed within the normal range.  Or what if they’d given her something to eat?  That might have helped.  No muscle that doesn’t get food for over 24 hours is going to work very well, and that INCLUDES THE UTERUS.

It infuriates me that this doctor has a c-section rate of over 80%.  It’s creepy.  It’s all fear-based, fear of being sued and blah blah blah blah but it’s just fucked.  When we went into that OR, the nurse had to go under the table and push the baby’s head back up so the doctors could grab it.  She was totally down in the pelvis.

UGHHH.  I find myself feeling very militantly midwife-ish.  I’m sure this will probably just increase over time.

I just felt really bad for her.