Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guilty as charged

I work a 12-step program, and one of the concepts to which I've been introduced in meetings is "contempt prior to investigation."  To me, that means thinking I know something that I don't, and finding out later that I was dead wrong.

In an earlier post I waxed on about not liking either my pediatrics or obstetrics classes.  I certainly wasn't looking forward to my clinical rotations in either, and last week I spent my first day in the labor and delivery department of a hospital.  It was a slow day, and the best I could say about it was that I got to sit down a lot, which I like because I inherited my mother's foot structure and my feet hurt when I spend any time on my feet in almost any pair of shoes.

Today I crawled out of bed at 4:45 am and got myself to the hospital for another day on the obstetrics unit.  I wasn't looking forward to it, and resent that I have to get up that early to do anything, much less something I am not particularly fond of doing.

Then I got my hands on a newborn.  She was soft and small and healthy, and absolutely adorable.  She made the sweetest little sounds I've ever heard.  I listened to her little heartbeat and examined her fingers and toes.  Then I did the same with a male newborn.  He was just as precious and heartwarming as the girl had been.

Then I got to see a birth.  Out of the miracle of a woman's body came a tiny bluish-gray human being who almost immediately took his first breath and, over the course of just a few moments, turned a robust pink color.  He curled his little fingers to make little tiny fists, and his cries of protest sounded like music.  We weighed him, measured him, and swaddled him before handing him to his father.

I left that labor/delivery room and couldn't remember where I was for a few minutes.  I found a chair at the nurses' station and stared off into space for a few more minutes.  That was several hours ago, and I'm still stunned.

How could I have been so wrong?  How could I have not known?  I LOVE obstetrics.

Yeah, I could do that.


  1. I'm sure someone who has your loving insights into obstetrics would make a wonderful addition to the field.