Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the tag “baby”

Things That Men Say

Let me preface this for those who do not know my by saying that I am an OB/Gyn – a doctor that takes care of women, doing, you know, women stuff like baby birthing, hysterectomies, icky periods… yeah, that stuff. Because I care for women for a living, I get to spend a lot of time with their men, frequently under bizarre circumstances like childbirth, or a really icky pubic rash. Shhhh… I’ll tell you a secret. OB/Gyns have a saying: “All women are different, but all husbands look alike.” Their men are a constant source of amazement, embarassment, stereotypical behavior, sweetness, and hilarity, planned or not.

I made a previous post about things that patients say that amuse me. This one’s just for the guys! Here’s to you and thanks for all the laughs (and muffled sobs)!

1. When you do her hysterectomy, can you get the mean out of her too, doc?

2. Hey doc, while you’re sewin’ that up, can you throw in a couple extra stitches, just for me?

3. You mean that thing’s an extra nipple? Babe, you’re a FREAK!!!

4. Only YOU would ask the doctor for something like that, Princess.

5. I thought she’d go back to normal after the baby came out.

6. We both dug around and looked for it, doc. Just can’t figure out where the damn thing went!

7. Are you gonna stick that duck thing in ‘er?

8. I’m leavin’ the room. I don’t wanna see this.

9. Oh, my God, what’s THAT?

10. What’s that brown stripe in the middle of her belly for?

11. Hey, if you’re gonna do that to her, you oughta at least buy her dinner first!

12. I dunno, doc. She got off your scale and just started cryin’.

13. What do you mean, she got pregnant in April? I wasn’t here in April!

14. What’s THIS for?

15. Is it OK if we keep the litter box in the kitchen?

16. Don’t worry, doc. I ain’t gonna pass out. It’s just like guttin’ a deer, right?

17. If it’s a girl can you put it back?

18. If it’s a boy, you only got one dick you gotta worry about. If it’s a girl, you’ve gotta worry about ’em ALL!

19. She caught that somewhere else.

20. I AM payin’ attention, hon. You just keep pushin’!

21. I’m just gonna sit over here.

22. I feel a little…. THUNK!

23. There ain’t another un in there, is it?

24. You swear it ain’t twins?

25. Does that hurt, babe? That looks like it hurts! What do you mean, shut up??

26. OW! You’re gonna rip my fingers off!

27. What do you mean, this is all my fault? You was there too!

28. My wife is hurtin’! Fix that Goddamn epidural thing, NOW!

29. She done broke her water all over my truck upholstery!

30. What do I do? What do I do?

31. Damn, Babe! You’re big as a frickin’ HOUSE!

32. Is she gonna be OK?

33. I am NOT drunk!

34. Can’t you just grab its ears and pull?

35. Why’s his head all pointy? Is that gonna go away?

36. What do you mean, you don’t want my mom in here?

37. Some things a man just shouldn’t have to see.

38. What do you mean, she can’t just have it now?

39. Can you just spay her?

40. Damn, I can’t even look at her but she gets knocked up with another one!

41. What do you mean, we can’t have sex til the baby comes?

42. Seriously, what do you mean, we can’t have sex until the baby comes?

43. How long do we have to wait to have sex?

44. Tie her tubes? Cut ’em the hell out, set fire to ’em and STOMP ’em!

45. Semen analysis? Hell no, doc, I know it ain’t ME! Ain’t nothin’ wrong with ME!

46. How soon can you do a paternity test?

47. Where’d the red hair come from?

48. She said it was a alien probe! That’s funny Babe! Ain’t that funny?

49. I can’t wear one ‘a them things! Like taking a shower with a raincoat on!

50. It can’t just get lost up in there, can it?

51. Damn, looks like you’re stickin’ your whole HAND up in there!

52. Oh my God! I shouldn’t’a looked down there! Oh, CRAP!

53. What’s that stuff comin’ out of her now?

54. That is just so GROSS!

55. Gawd, doc! How’m I gonna compete with THAT thing?

56. She told me she couldn’t get pregnant.

57. Can you give her somethin’ to make her wanna, well, you know… ?

58. Why’s she squallin’ like that?

59. Damn, her boobs got BIG!

60. Her nipples look like dinner plates!

61. Her boobs are bigger than my kid’s HEAD!

62. That thing makes her look like she’s on a milkin’ machine! OW, Babe!

63. I can’t pick him up. I don’t know how to hold his head.

64. COOL! He blew poop out his diaper right up his back! THAT’S my boy!

65. What do you mean, I get to have the next one?

66. I swear I didn’t think that thing’d get stuck up there.

67. Oh my God! Why’s that woman next door SCREAMIN’?

68. Did you really have to go into labor right in the middle of the Iron Bowl?

69. Do some jumping jacks, Babe. We need to have that thing this year – we need the deduction.

70. Can’t tell if she’s walkin’ or rollin’.

71. Why does she still look pregnant?

72. She can’t have the baby Thursday. I can’t get off work then.

73. She cain’t have the baby on Halloween – he might be a WITCH!

74. What the hell’s a onesie?

75. If her mom don’t leave I’m gonna go nuts.

76. No, you can’t buy all new shoes if your feet spread.

77. How come you need your toenails painted? You can’t even SEE ’em!

78. Stirrups? You mean like on a horse?

79. Why’s she so grouchy when she’s on the rag?

80. Oh my God! That needle is huge!

81. Don’t worry. I’ll make her take her pills.

82. Damn, girl! Your Tweety Bird tattoo’s done turned into Big Bird!

83. Is she gonna have to take that piercing out?

84. Looks like he’s a little alien tryin’ to crawl out your belly.

85. What’s that cut for her c-section gonna look like?

86. She doesn’t want an epidural. You don’t want an epidural, hon. We want an all natural birth.

87. Just breathe, hon. You’re not breathing the way we practiced. What do you mean, shut the hell up?

88. What the hell do you want me to do??

89. Why are all the magazines in here for women?

90. She’s a MILF in training.

91. I forgot the camera.

92. This wasn’t in the birth plan.

93. You’re not the doctor we’ve been seeing.

94. How can you stand looking at this stuff all day? Why’d you decide to do this?

95. Don’t you feel weird looking at women’s crotches all day?

96. Will she still be a woman if she has a hysterectomy?

97. Will she still be mean when her periods go away?

98. You gotta do something, doc. She’s rippin’ the covers off and freezin’ my ass off every night.

99. I told her I was coming in with her to make sure she addresses this issue.

100.Thank God I’m a man. That’s all I’m gonna say.

A Screaming Baby

Today I am thinking about when my husband and I first brought our new daughter home from the hospital.

We were in the hospital for four days after my c-section because everything went so rough. When I finally had enough strength to go home, we went home. Our daughter was a perky newborn with bright curious eyes peering out of her baby carrier and almost a smirk on her little face. We have a picture. I can prove it. I recalled vaguely that on the occasions that we sent her to the nursery so we could rest, I could hear her doing a little crying down the hall. OK, a lot of crying. In retrospect, she was probably one of the babies that the nurses rolled their eyes about and said, “Lord, there she goes again. Somebody make it stop!”

Smug Bean

Smug Bean

I remember pulling up in the driveway with her for the first time and thinking, Lord, what have we done? We carried her in with me walking very carefully, as my new c-section scar pulled and tugged and burned. We installed me in the leather recliner in my husband’s downstairs office where, unbeknownst to me, I was going to spend the next four weeks.

Our new arrival had colic. Bad. As near as I could tell, she hated being alive and it was all my fault. Almost every waking moment, she screamed. For hours. I walked her. My husband walked her. My mom walked her. It was worst around (what would have been) bedtime in the evening. She bowed up and wailed and screamed as if someone were burning a hole through her stomach. She was breastfed, so I couldn’t imagine what was bothering her. It never occurred to me that it might have been nothing identifiable at all.

Screaming Bean

Screaming Bean

A week passed, and my folks went on home. My husband had decided that my time at home with the new baby would be a good time for him to travel for work, since I wasn’t on call when I was off on maternity leave. So he flew away on a work trip. Every day he would call and check on me, and every day I would tell him the same thing: “Remember that chair I was sitting in when you left? I’m still in it.” I don’t remember eating. I don’t remember cooking anything. I really didn’t have a chance. I had a newborn who, if set down for a moment, bowed up and screamed as if she were being branded. So in the chair I sat, all alone, in mid-July, with a wailing infant who could not be comforted, except when she was eating. And eat she did.

One day I decided I was sick and tired of being stuck in the house. Why, I would put her in her stroller and we would go out for a walk around the neighborhood. A great idea, except my baby despised her car seat. And her stroller. And being set down. And buckled in. And the July heat when we went outside. I put her in her stroller and rolled her outside. Immediately she screamed so loud her voice echoed off the houses around us. I slunk back inside with my terrible baby.

Another day, I decided to go for a ride to Sonic, for one of my favorite lemonberry slushes. This would be the first time I had left the house in over a week, save for the time I barely got out the door with the stroller. I was determined. I was going. I put her in her car seat and she began to scream, immediately. I was still determined. I drove all the way to the Sonic with her screaming in the back seat. On the way there, I began to cry. I was a terrible mother. I was making my infant scream with misery because of my selfishness in wanting to go out to Sonic. I arrived there sobbing, with big tears rolling down my face. She was still screaming. I placed my drink order in between sobs. Then I climbed out of the car and walked around to the back seat to comfort my daughter. She still screamed as if I had beaten her. Just then, the carhop came out to the car with my drink. She recognized me. “Doctor…?” she said. She looked from fat sobbing me in my grungy maternity sweats to my screaming daughter who was inconsolable, set the drink down, and backed away. I took my drink and slunk back to the house. The kid screamed until I took her inside and got her out of her carseat.

It was about this time that I called my mother. I hated to ask for help. It KILLED me to ask for help. But I begged her to come back and help me. I was all alone. This was all I could take. When my daughter wasn’t eating (which she did a lot) or sleeping, which she did very little, I had to keep holding her and keep moving with her. This was the only way to keep her from screaming. I put her in a little sling and walked the house endlessly. I looked sadly at all my jewelry making supplies and thought about how I would never use them again. If she fell asleep and I dared just to sit down for an instant to rest, she jerked awake and the Godawful screaming started again. It was just like flipping a switch. Unbelievable. Thank God, Mom showed up to bail me out. She stayed until my husband got home again.

My husband decided to take over and get online and find a cure for the colic. You wouldn’t believe how many websites there are on how to shut up a colicky baby. We put her in the car and drove her – she screamed. We put her in her carseat on the dryer and turned it on, because the warmth and vibrations were supposed to soothe her to sleep. She screamed. I have a picture of her in her carseat, screaming on the dryer. We got her gas drops, and these homeopathic stomach drops, and she screamed. I cut out dairy products in case she was lactose intolerant. She screamed. My husband found this ridiculous site that had a two step process to break the colic cycle. You were supposed to pat the baby to bring up any gas, then distract the baby (how?) to keep it from bowing up and blowing its stomach up full of air again. I wound up wild-eyed chanting, “PAT the baby. DISTRACT the baby. PAT the baby. DISTRACT the baby.” until my husband took her out of my hands for fear I had lost my mind. One night my mom found my husband in his office, passed out with a screaming baby on his lap. She took the baby and walked her for several hours, screaming all the while. I had been sent upstairs because it was obvious I was losing my mind.

Crying Bean

Crying Bean

We took the baby in for her two week checkup and mentioned that we might, er, have a little problem with colic. My pediatrician prescribed Prilosec for possible reflux, and we were supposed to tilt her bassinette up in case stomach acid was coming up her throat. This seemed to help a little, but basically, she just screamed. She screamed for several months. Then gradually, she just stopped. It never occurred to me that this was causing postpartum depression. I was in this mental fadeout fog that made any kind of perception impossible. Looking back, it was more of a postpartum psychosis. But I didn’t see that then.

Was my daughter the most difficult baby ever? No. Probably not. Was she too much for me to handle? Yes, definitely so. Despite my love of photography, I took not one photograph of her that entire time. All the pictures we have, my husband took. Although I didn’t put it into words, did I hate my baby? Yes, I think I did. Yet I loved her fiercely all the while. Looking back, this was an insane period in my life. At the time, it was just a blur. Thank goodness we have outgrown that horrible time and my daughter is a healthy seven year old who, despite a penchant and flair for drama, doesn’t scream and cry any more.

Wild Cat Birthing

Every once in a while you enter a delivery room and just know that you are doomed.  Something about seeing a pregnant naked teenager hunkered wild-eyed up against the wall at the top of the bed just tips you off.  I entered such a room today and the goat rodeo was in full swing.  The baby daddy and the girl’s mom were yelling “Push!  PUUUUUSSHH!” and trying all manner of ineffectual pushing urgings which the feral girl did not even register.  They had had her pulling on a towel in an attempt to get her to bear down in the appropriate place, which was in her bottom and not in her head as she imagined.

When I walked in, she was yelling, “GIVE ME SOME MORE SPRIIIITE!”  which struck me as an odd thing to say when a baby’s head is half out.  There were two nurses in the room trying to help each other through this awful mess.  Each one held a leg.  Instead of gracefully dropping her legs back and open as the girl had been asked, she was shoving her legs straight out and threatening to crush the baby’s head between them.  She was pushing so hard, intermittently, that her naked bottom with half a hairy baby head protruding from it was waving up and down in the air.  Alternately, she would bring her knees together and threaten to slam them on the baby’s head again.  The two nurses were fighting her with everything they had.

The girl’s momma was yelling, “You got to get it out, baby, you gonna hurt him!” and the baby daddy was hollering, “Get yore LEGS back!  Pull on this TOWEL!”  The nursery nurse was hollering at her to get off the baby’s head.  The nurses were hollering at her to get her legs back and PUSH.  And the poor ward clerk was actually in there attempting to give her some more Sprite in hopes that that might calm her down.

She finally managed, despite her wild-eyed bucking, to get the baby’s head out.  Then of course the baby’s shoulders stuck.  A shoulder dystocia is a possible emergency even in a calm environment and we REALLY had to get her legs back, no fooling.  I had a nurse pushing just above her pelvic bone to try to get the shoulders to rotate.  The girl was screaming, hollering, fighting.  To my relief the shoulders rotated and came on out.  THANK GOD the baby was out!  After a little rubbing and stimulation he started to scream, having survived the squeezing and pushing fairly unperturbed.

“Now I want Sprite,” my patient said.  “Was I bad, Doctor?”  I told her with as much sense of humor as I could muster that she was quite the wildcat and I wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley.  Fortunately, she needed very few stitches and she actually submitted to them without too much fuss.  “Did I hurt the baby?” she wanted to know.  We reassured her that the baby seemed to be fine.  We got her cleaned up and united with her baby,  and I escaped from the room.

Outside at the nurse’s station, the nurse who had been in the room helping was shaking her head.  “I haven’t had a wild delivery like that in YEARS,” she said.  “I think I actually hurt my back trying to get her legs in position.  WOW is she strong!”  I shook my head.  “Well,” she said.  “I’m off to get her some SPRIIIIITE!”

Baby In A Box


Back in the days before child seats (or seatbelts, really), this is how my folks toted me around in the car!

Tales From The Crib: My Hellish Delivery Experience

As an Ob/Gyn, I know that one of the most important rites of passage of a mother is to describe in detail her hideous delivery experience.  Lord knows, I have heard enough of them over the years.  Mothers also love to describe their horrible deliveries to pregnant women, who aren’t paranoid enough about pregnancy and delivery, and need to be told tales of the worst experiences to be put in their respective places.  I, however, had a truly hideous delivery experience, and thus feel obligated to share it with you!

I had a perfect pregnancy.  I worked up until the day before I delivered, and did not miss a single day due to illness or pregnancy problems.  Now, we have a saying in our Ob/Gyn world (in fact, we have numerous sayings):  first, you will either have a horrible pregnancy, or a horrible delivery, or a horrible baby.  You will not escape all three.  And second, if you are even vaguely in the medical field, and particularly if you are an Ob physician or nurse, you will have awful things happen to you, crazy things, that seldom happen to anyone else.

I arrived at the hospital on a Tuesday, ready to have my labor induced.  I was past my due date, and I just wasn’t going into labor.  My Ob doctor (also my partner) was going out of town later in the week, so we decided to just go ahead and induce.  So I came in with my Sonic 44 ounce lemonbery slush (totally addicted, people, in pregnancy and afterwards) and plunked down in the bed and vowed to be a model patient.  I was certainly not going to freak out, or yell and scream, or otherwise distinguish myself as a freak since these were all people I worked with.  So my partner/doc came in, and put the magic medication up my h00-hah (very medical term here I am using) and waited to see if I would go into labor.  I had contractions all day after that, but they didn’t hurt and I nonchalantly sat in the bed and worked on a beadwork piece I had been making.

I sent my husband to get me some supper since the medication didn’t seem to be working.  However, the real contractions started kicking in while he was in the drive thru, about 5:30 in the evening.  I had one that seemed a little stronger.  Then another one that was stronger yet.  Then another and another and they HURT.  I finished my beadwork piece and with shaking hands put the beads away.  Damn.  These things HURT.  I called my husband and told him not to bring my dinner after all; I was going into labor.  I gripped the siderail of my bed.  I considered biting the siderail of the bed.  I realized I wasn’t going to get much farther without screaming, and I had vowed NOT to scream, so I called for some pain medication.  I told the nurse to give me a half dose at first.  No sooner had she given it, I realized that I was going to need the other half of it.  And pronto.  And the other half of the medicine didn’t do me a bit of good either.  I called the nurse back in the room.  I was really going to embarass myself, because I was going to have her check my cervix and see if I could possibly be ready for an epidural.  And I had a funny feeling I was still going to be one centimeter and then I would have totally embarassed myself.  But hallelujah!  I turned out to be 4-5 centimeters!  I was not embarassing myself!  I was actually eligible for an epidural! 

So they called the anesthesiologist to come and put my epidural in.  At this point I was considering chewing the bed I was in into matchsticks.  I was biting my arm to keep myself from screaming out loud.  Around this time, my husband returned, looking a bit alarmed.  They put the epidural in and miracle!  The pain was all gone.  Now the pain medicine that I got before the epidural kicked in, since I wasn’t hurting any more.  I was stoned out of my mind.  I literally slept until I was ready to push.  I didn’t even look at the fetal monitor once, that’s how stoned I was.

Now, understand that up to this point, there is nothing horrific about this story.  This was just normal labor.  So far, everything was going OK.  But now is when the fun kicks in.  First of all, I pushed for three hours.  Three hours is a long time to be taking deep breaths and pushing down in your bottom as hard as you can, every two minutes.  It turns out the baby was facing up instead of down, which makes the head jam down in your pelvis where it won’t come out.  Then my epidural stopped working, in one spot.  It just happened to be the spot where the baby’s head was.  I had this agonizing pain/pressure of this huge head right, yes again, in my hoo-hah.  My partner offered to put forceps on, but she had a tendency to get bad tears when she did forceps, the baby’s head had scarcely moved in three hours, and I had no anesthesia right where she was going to shove those forceps.  So I said no, we would do the c-section.

They redosed my epidural and the horrible pain/pressure went away.  It was such a relief.  I thought my troubles were all over.  They wheeled me back to the c-section room and my husband came with me.  I was totally exhausted from all the pain medicine and pushing for over three hours.  They started cutting, and, so far, so good, it didn’t hurt.  When they got down to my bladder, ZINGO, that hot spot in my epidural kicked in again and I felt EVERYTHING.  I felt them peeling my bladder off my uterus.  I felt them cut my uterus.  It burned like I was being branded.  They say I was screaming but I don’t remember anything.  I could feel them grab the baby’s head and yank it up out of my pelvis.  It made a squelching, ripping noise.  I think I was begging them to stop.  The anesthesiologist drew up some medicine, slammed it in my IV and twisted the IV bag to get the pain medicine to go in faster.  The drug they gave me was ketamine.

Ketamine may be known to some of you as a rave drug.  It is an anesthetic that induces vivid hallucinations.  It is also used in veterinary medicine.  The pain went away as it knocked me unconscious.  And then… I woke up.  The first thing I remember was looking at a pulsating blue brain.  Then the brain dissolved into blue triangles.  As the drug wore off further, I realized the blue stuff was actually the surgical drape that was protecting me from the surgical field.  That made me realize I was in an operating room.  What was I doing?  Oh, I was having a baby.  Having a baby?  How?  Oh, I was having a c-section.  What was a c-section?  I couldn’t think.  Then I realized that that was a surgery.  Was I having an awake anesthesia experience?  There have been people who have woken up during a general anesthetic who have been aware of everything that was happening to them, and feeling pain, but were paralyzed by the anesthesia medication and were unable to move or make anyone aware that they were awake.  Was that happening to me?  Had they put me to sleep?  I next noticed that there was no tube down my throat.  No.  They had not put me to sleep.  They had just given a drug that was wearing off.  I decided it didn’t matter, either way, as I was no longer hurting any more.  Then I heard the baby crying and they brought her to me to see.  My first thought was, she looked just like my cousin.  Who is related to me by adoption.

I found out later that more lovely things happened to me while I was under the influence of the ketamine.  I developed a hematoma (blood clot) on my bladder.  They could not seem to keep it from enlarging.  My uterus turned inside out.  INSIDE OUT, PEOPLE.  How often does that happen?  As an obstetrician, it has never happened to me.  Personally, of course, it happened to me.  I lost a LOT of blood.  My husband was horrified at the rags full of blood they kept tossing in the container.  He had never imagined so much blood.

When they took me back to my room, I thought the worst was over.  But the hits just kept coming.  Despite all the pain meds I had received I developed this awful referred pain that was well ABOVE where the surgical incision was.  It was horrible.  They thought it might be the bladder hematoma enlarging.  I had to have an ultrasound.  They gave me two doses of demerol and I had to beg them to stop.  The demerol was making me woozy and drunk, but it was in no way touching the pain.  I made them send anesthesia to the room to redose my epidural.  That was the only thing that made the pain go away.  However, I now had the epidural shakes from a near lethal dose of epidural medication.  My whole body was shaking violently.  To keep the shaking from ripping at my incision, my husband had to grab my wrists so I could direct the shaking into him.  We went on like this for at least an hour.  At no time during this time was I well enough to see or hold my baby.  When they finally brought her to me, I had had so much pain medication that I could not focus my eyes on her.  I had to have them take her away because I was terrified that I would drop her.  So that was my terrific birth experience.  Oh, and the final word?  Remember when I mentioned that you would either have a terrible pregnancy (mine was great), a terrible delivery (mine is above – enough said) or a terrible baby.  Well, we got a terrible baby.  She was lovely and healthy, and she is seven now and I love her so, so much, but she had the Worst.  Colic.  Ever.  She screamed for about five months straight.  After all the pain and the blood loss and the exhaustion, I was totally unprepared for it.  So, I had a rip roaring post partum depression on top of everything else.  So, yay, me.  I don’t tell this story to any of my patients because I am kind enough not to terrify pregnant women.  But I will tell it to anyone else who will listen!

Has anyone else had a lovely birthing experience they would like to share?

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