July 2, 2009

I meant to keep a journal of my summer in Oklahoma but now it’s half over and I haven’t written anything.  I’ve been keeping a birth log, which helps me remember the babies I’ve caught so far and their parents, but already the details are fading and I can’t remember things like names and ages and how many weeks my patients were when they delivered.  I know it’s unrealistic to expect that I’ll be able to remember names, but I want to.  I can picture mother’s faces really clearly and I can remember them with their babies … but I need to write down more than that.

Dad tonight missed his first baby’s birth because he went out to smoke a cigarette.  It was unfortunate that nobody caught him on his way down to the first floor … or thought to call him when mom started pushing.  It was her third baby so he only took a few pushes to get out.  Dad came back after she was already cleaned up … “Are you serious?”  There he was, a little chunk of a baby, much fatter than we expected and just awesome.  Mom had limited prenatal care and was unsure about her last period, so at first we thought she was seriously preterm and gave her MgSO4 to stop labor.  Lucky lady got to puke crazily for a few minutes after that got started.  However: he measured bigger on ultrasound, and he came out bigger than we expected.  I didn’t stay to check on his actual weight.  I had been there 12 hours already and had a headache.  I took myself home and drank a ginormous glass of wine.

Drinking alone is so not very fun.  Also I need to write more about these births.  Also … I am still shocked every time by the amount of traction you can put on a baby’s head to get it out of its mom.  I need to get used to that part.