Way Past Due For Some Bedside Manners

, , , , , | Healthy | January 12, 2019

(I am pregnant with my firstborn. After a great deal of reading up on the subject and a conversation with my uncle, a prominent obstetrician, we decide to use a certified nurse-midwife and a birthing center. Unfortunately, the due date comes and goes, despite multiple efforts at bringing on labor naturally, including walks, cohosh, and cod-liver oil. Finally, the midwife sets it up for us to go to the nearby hospital for some Pitocin to be applied topically. By this point, I’ve been lying on a table in a cubicle for several hours and am already stressed out because of the overdue baby and because I’ve had to go to the hospital. I am sure they will make me stay, and I don’t want that. Finally, a resident walks in. He pokes around for a bit.)

Resident #1: “How many days past due are you?”

Me: “Nine days.”

Resident #1: “You know, the fetal mortality rate spikes after fourteen days.”

(The resident walks out. Later, a different, female resident comes in. She pokes around for a while. Then:)

Resident #2: “Your cervix is off to the side.”

(The resident walks out. By now, I’m hysterical. Thankfully, the midwife phones right that minute to check on me. I blubber out what the resident said about the cervix.)

Midwife: “She just means that it’s off to the side right now. It will move into position as part of labor.”

(I still think that the first resident’s completely gratuitous information was because he was annoyed that he wouldn’t get to do a delivery. The kicker? My contractions started the minute we were in the parking deck on our way out of there. Our son was born about nine hours later, in the birthing center, with the midwife.)

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