Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Congratulations, It’s A Green!

Awkward much?

As an Ob/Gyn, I freakin’ love this cartoon. This moment has happened to everyone in the Ob business, way more than once. The whole issue of paternity is serious, of course, but it can also be seriously funny. We’ve all had those patients, who, on the first visit of their pregnancy, look at you and say, “So. What day did I get pregnant?” And you look them in the eye and say, “Questions about who the father is?” And they say, “Yes. So what day DID I get pregnant?” We of course are not miracle workers, but with a good ultrasound (early) confirming the due dates, we can put the conception in the range of about a week. Embarassingly enough, this does not narrow the field down sufficiently for some people.

Paternity can be established during the pregnancy, if you want to pay a thousand dollars or so and have a needle stuck in your belly to draw fluid from around the baby. We really don’t recommend this route. Amniocentesis is risky, and if you can wait until the baby is there, all you need is a mouth swab and a couple hundred bucks. You have to swab mom’s mouth, the baby’s, and at least one (preferably all) of the potential baby daddies. We find ourselves doing that a bit.

What kills me are the patients who are accompanied by their boyfriend or husband, who look right at you and tell you they need a paternity test because they don’t know who the father is. I’m looking at boyfriend/husband, and all I can think is, “I am so embarassed for you right now.” A lot of them don’t even bat an eye. They are completely and totally not impressed. It blows my mind. I had one couple who was even more memorable. The little girl announced (tongue in cheek, I assume) that when she conceived she had been abducted by aliens and given a probe, and that’s why it wasn’t her boyfriend’s baby. He sat right there with his mom and they both looked at me like, “Help me.”

Those awkward moments as illustrated in yon hysterical cartoon are a little more dicey. We’ve had plenty of caucasian couples who miraculously gave birth to an African-American baby. You can cut the air in the delivery room with a knife when that happens. Sometimes the mom gets falsely accused. If a baby is born light, and was expected to be dark, things can also get a little tense. You can reassure the family that it takes a few days for the baby’s pigment to darken. If you look at the baby’s fingers, or scrotum, or labia, you can see the darker pigment.

When I posted this hilarious (to me) cartoon on Facebook, I got a lot of comments. One person said Yellow had better watch his back. Another said Red’s color was darkening rapidly. Another one said that Blue had obviously been coloring outside the lines. But one of our Labor and Delivery nurses posted an even funnier story. She said a few years back, she was in a delivery room with a young (both 18) caucasian couple, and the baby was born and was fairly obviously Hispanic. She said the dad looked at the baby, and back at the mom, and back at the baby, and back at the mom. The mom kind of burst into tears and said, “I was really hoping it was yours, but you’re gone so much, and the maintenance man was around all the time!” The father said, “That baby is Mexican. What in the world are we going to do? Neither one of us speaks Spanish!”

Think about that one for a minute. That was the funniest damn thing I heard all day. Just had to share!

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