Baby Catching 101…Lesson #1 & 2  

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:49 am by José Mayorga

I recently flash-backed to the first day I found out my intern schedule. The emotions I felt made my whole stomach turn…I was to start on the California Hospital OB rotation! (or how I like to call the hospital – The baby delivering capital of the world!) You see, Cal OB recently underwent changes in which they lost their OB fellowship. This unfortunate loss has forced drastic changes on the most important aspect of an intern’s life – CALL. Call was officially q3days. Yes q3days (but as of 2006, shift work was added and no longer q3days). As I warmed up to the issue of doing my first rotation as an intern away from Harbor, I realized that one of us had to do it first – lucky me. Accepting the challenge & receiving affirmation from my fellow interns made things a little smoother to swallow. Towards the end of orientation we had a small pep-talk from our Program Director. He asked the group, “Who was starting Cal OB first?” As I raised my hand in pride & stated “That’s me,” he looked over, smirked, and uttered, “Good luck, you’ll need it…”

Lesson #1 – Hold it like a football

It was my very first night on call at Cal OB. As expected the OB triage was booming as well as the contractions on the L/D deck. The two of us, interns were doing our usual monitoring of laboring patients. I had spoken to my senior resident and mentioned that I officially never delivered a baby. He was very supported, taught me the techniques and mentioned he would be there to help. As the night went on, things became busier. I had just finished my hourly check on my patient and suddenly heard, “IS THERE A DOCTOR ON THE FLOOR!” Of course I hesitated but then realized I was the ONLY ONE. “Quick, this lady is crowning and the baby is about to fall out,” the nurse said. As I race into the room I had a few seconds to gown up and put gloves on. I frantically asked the staff to call in my Senior – he was to assist me with my first delivery. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the baby to wait. As the baby was going through its cardinal motions, I felt every emotion you can imagine – scared was the most dominant. Luckily, I saw to gloved hands enter the field. It was my Senior! As I looked over at him and back at the baby he leaned in to utter those famous two sentences…“Have you ever played football? Then hold it like one and don’t drop it.” The following words after that were…“you fumble it, we are dead.” Needless to say I maintained a good handle of the baby/football. I congratulated mom, grandma, and dad. Grandma mentioned it was her daughter’s first child and with all that emotion running through me, I uttered, “It was my first time too.” Grandma replied, “I noticed.”

Lesson #2 – Protection is key

Another sleepless night on call and many deliveries later…I was doing my usual rounding on my laboring patients. I had spoken to my senior regarding rupturing my patient’s water bag. We discussed her progress and he agreed that I should proceed. Without any problem I performed the procedure and noted amniotic fluid flowing out. As time went on my patient and her contractions were progressing nicely. The staff had asked me to assist in teaching mom how to push during delivery. I agreed, and positioned myself with a sterile glove at the edge of the bed. As I proceed to talk with the patient and examine her, the nurse mentioned that she had ruptured her membranes again. I thought nothing of it at the time since it was possible that the patient may have developed a fore-bag. At this point the cervix had completely dilated, contractions were every 2 minutes, and the baby felt engaged. We proceeded with the trial of pushing. As we began to count off her pushing, in slow motion I saw a WAAAVE of FLUUUID heading my direction. As I felt this warm, gooeey mess cover my body, I managed to only turn my head to the side and close my mouth…Everything came to a screeching halt – pushing stopped, nurses stopped, contractions stopped. I got up covered in my slimy mess and asked for a change of clothes and ordered the mom to stop pushing till I was done cleaning up. I went quickly into the bathroom and changed, came out with a smile and said, “Let’s put on some protection and have this baby.”

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