Wasn’t Going Through Labor Enough?

, , | Healthy | May 11, 2018

(I work in a busy maternity ward, and I’m constantly amazed at how many people will show up to visit someone who’s just given birth. Your ex-boyfriend’s best friend’s ex-girlfriend’s third cousin from grade school will show without batting an eyelid. The following exchange is unfortunately very common:)

Visitor: “Hi, I’m here to see Lisa Jones.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have anybody named Jones. Is there another name she might be using?”

(Even people who are married often book in under their maiden name, as a way of not getting too many visitors, and elderly people often assume the woman’s name is the same as her partner’s, even if they’re not married, because they can’t imagine letting the hospital know you’re having a baby out of wedlock!)

Visitor: “She must be here; she was only born this morning.”

Me: “Wait, is that the baby’s name? I need the mother’s name. She’s the patient. As the baby’s name isn’t registered yet, all babies are listed as ‘Baby of [Mother].’”

Visitor: “The father is Dick Jones.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I need the mother’s name; otherwise, I can’t help you.”

Visitor: “I think her name might be Ann.”

Me: “I honestly can’t help you if you don’t know her name.”

Visitor: “Couldn’t you just check the fathers’ and the babies’ names?”

Me: “We. Have. No. Record. Of their names. Only the mothers are admitted as patients.”

(At this point, even if there’s only one patient on the ward named Ann, and I KNOW that’s who you’re looking for, there’s no way you’re getting in to see her if YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HER NAME!)

Me: “Well, could you call her? Or the father? I’m sure he can tell you what name she’s using.”

Visitor: *doubtfully* “Well, I don’t really know him.”

(So, you don’t know the mother, as you, “think her name might be Ann,” and you don’t really know the father, usually a vague acquaintance such as, your partner plays football with him, and you maybe know the mother by sight, but you think it’s appropriate to come see her in the, hospital hours after she’s given birth?!)

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