Tag: childbirth

Code Pink

Code Pink

When a code is called in the hospital, it means two things: A caregiver’s day is about to be turned upside-down, and a patient’s world is about to fall to pieces. If you’re a caregiver, when a code is called you look up from your own work and wonder who’ll be sprinting through the halls and whose story is unfolding.
This time, the story was ours.

I was a third-year medical student, and I’d

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Birth of a Midwife

Birth of a Midwife

As a nurse, I was brand new to labor and delivery–and I was on my third night shift in a row. Walking back from a quick break, I was called over by the charge nurse.
“You have the next admit from triage,” she told me. “She’s a live one–and so is her family. They’re carnies.”
“What’s that?” I asked, bewildered.
“You know, the people who do the circus and carnival circuit–gypsies,” she said, innocently using

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Ode to the Uterus

They call it

A woman’s coin purse
Buried away like an afterthought
In the folds of her body.

But hers is a feral little thing
Throwing away angry outbursts
With the tide of each moon.

It scoffs at being
Belittled and unused
Writing her opinion in bloody letters.

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A Good Cry

Colette Charles ~

I was a second-year resident, doing a twenty-four-hour shift on maternity care. I’d spent some arduous nights on call with my attending physician, Dr. Campbell; now we sat at the nursing station, joking about what this one might bring.

“You must be a black cloud,” she teased, accusing me of being one of those unfortunate residents who seem to attract medical emergencies. I laughingly protested, but in fact these quiet

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My Friend, My Patient

Andrea Eisenberg ~

Seeing patients in my ob/gyn office this morning, I try to stave off the mild nervousness rumbling inside of me. My good friend Monica is having a C-section this afternoon, and I’m performing it.

We met ten years ago, when I walked my three-year-old daughter into Monica’s preschool classroom for the first time. Monica sat on the floor, a child in her lap and others playing around her. Like them,

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Birthday Boy

Joe Andrie ~

It’s another day for me as an intern on the labor-and-delivery floor of my large urban hospital–another day scrambling to help pregnant women deliver and trying to keep pace with the unpredictable timetable of the birthing process.

My hospital phone rings. I’m really starting to dread that sound.

It’s the triage nurse. We’re admitting a patient: Mrs. Harris, age thirty-four, who’s had several prior deliveries and therefore carries the

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Broken

Jordan Grumet

I was a third-year medical student in the first week of my obstetrics rotation. The obstetrics program was known to be high-pressure, its residents among the best. Mostly women, they were a hard-core group–smart, efficient, motivated–and they scared the heck out of us medical students.

I remember the day clearly: Not only was I on call, but I was assigned to the chief resident’s team. I felt petrified. 

We’d started morning rounds as

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Babel: The Voices of a Medical Trauma

Tricia Pil

 Editor’s Note: This week, on the eve of Pulse‘s second anniversary, we offer a remarkable piece. It is the true story of a hospitalization as told from three points of view: first, the recollections of the patient (who happens to be a physician); second, events as recorded in the medical charts by doctors and nurses; and third, the

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Second-Guessed

Andrea Gordon

It was a good night, but it’s been a brutal morning.

As a family doctor who does obstetrics, I generally enjoy my time with laboring patients. When I arrived on the maternity floor last night to start my call, things looked pleasantly uneventful. Several patients were in labor. Only one wasn’t progressing well: Ana, age twenty-two. 

I was told that Ana had come to the floor two days earlier, leaking puddles of clear

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Counting Cards

Alexandra Godfrey

Once again, I see a still heart. As I stare at the fetal monitor, I search for signs of life. The screen flickers; my son’s heart does not.

The last time I saw him, he looked happy–content in his life-bubble. As he turned somersaults, he waved at me. I had thought he was saying hello, but I realize now that he was waving goodbye.

Soon I must deliver his still form into the

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