Sunday, August 30, 2009

"That must be a great place to work!"

When I tell people what I do for a living, that's what they say.

"It must be such a happy place!"
"You are so lucky!"

The nurses and I were talking about this yesterday. L&D is the happiest place in the hospital...until it's not.

Do we talk about the term stillbirths? Or the nightmarish scenarios of losing a mom? Tell them about coding a newborn? I used to have nightmares about some of the deformities I had seen...I don't anymore. Delivered one recently that had multiple anomalies...my resident had to leave the room, it upset her so much. My practice has lost 6 babies so far this year, either as stillbirths or shortly after delivery. Do we talk about the crackheads on their umpteenth baby who refuse to get sterilized?

We don't. We just nod and say "Yes, it's great."

Until it's not.

8 comments:

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I did a rotation with an OB who told me he loved that his job had only happy endings.

Then I spent time in NICU, and have no idea were he got that from. I just couldn't do it.

thegooddrlaura said...

Word. The highs are high, but the lows are fkn horrible. Nothing worse than losing a baby or mama. Can't possibly explain it to someone who hasn't experienced such tragedy. Not worth trying.

JC said...

That and the fact babies tend to come even if it is the middle of the night! Not so great.

xx said...

i dont mean for this to be insensitive, but are many mums lost? i think the people who can work through such tragedy are amazing

ER's Mom said...

No, not many, but when it happens it is absolutely devastating.

I've only had one. I don't ever want another.

Dragonfly said...

Thats what people seem to think about paeds as well. So many (girls) in my class early on did the whole "I want to do paeds and play with kids all day" routine, or "I love kids, they are so cute, I have to do that". My reasons for wanting to do paeds have nothing to do with happiness or cuteness. It is interesting that those people seem to burn out their unrealistic expectations early on and go for something else.

Mark and April Skinner said...

NICU is like that too, sort of. People have one of two ideas about it: that we sit and rock babies all day (obviously we don't), or that it's the saddest place in the whole hospital.

I think it's neither. It's great, most of the time, and I love it. But there are times where it's broken my heart. When babies die - it's bad. When babies that should have died a long time ago don't ... well, that's bad too, sometimes. But when they go home to parents who love them, that's the part that made me want to work there in the first place.

pAula said...
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